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DEFENCE OF MR . STONE . To the Editor of the Monthit ) Repository . Sir , Seeing in your Repository for November last ( Vol . L p . 591 . ) tC 3
a letter , under the signature of Whistonius / containing ' * Remarks on Unitarian Ministers in a Trinitarian Church , occasioned by Mr . Stone ' s Visitation Sermon , " Iwas induced to commit a few observations on that subject to paper , which I now send you , hoping they will serve to shew that the remarks of that writer are not so just as they may appear at first sight .
Whistonius regrets Mr . Stone ' s continuing in his presfent living : but is not his boldness in the c ^ use of truth evident enough ? and does it not add more to his merit that he exposes himself to the censure of his clerical brethren , and subjects himself to the disgrace ( if it can be called so ) of being deprived pf his gown , than if he tacitly laid it aside , together with his opinions ? How ample a room has he left to his fellowchurchmen , to confute , if they can , his opinions .
It may be presumed that neither Mr . S . nor any man of integrity would hesitate a moment in throwing up his church preferments when his conscience could not be reconciled to keeping them . He has , it is worthy of notice , many more opportunities , by preaching in a Trinitarian church , of making
converts to Unitarianism , than if he preached to Unitarians themselves . Is a man always to be of the same religious opiv nions , because , ten or twenty years ago , he subscribed to the Thirty-nine Articles , when he was in the heat and ardour of youth , and hardly knew what they were ? Mr . S . may
probably have a family depending on him for support ; and while he acts conscientiously in the discharge of his moral duty as a churchman , who will consider him unworthy of his gown ? He may be of opinion that he is not called upon to believe what he does not understand ; and undoubtedly he is not . Mysteries , as such , constitute no part of a man ' s faith : and why is ihut man to be called ; i iC slave / 5 who will not sacrifice his onlv
20 Defence of Mr . Stone .
* aken For granted , and therefore are not points to be canvassed at this time . Now , once more , Gentlemen , I must entreat your pardon for having so long detained you by my prolixity ; and , in hopes of a valuable addition to my little stock of ideas , I wait for your remarks to elucidate a subject compared with which every other sinks almost to insignificance .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1807, page 20, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2376/page/20/