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easy , and comprised in a few articles : that they pretended not to enter into deep argumentations , and to draw consequences remote from their principles ; and , that they never undertook
to treat of nice and controversial matters , as is plain by reading of their writings . Or , if it happened sometimes they were mistaken in any thing , as it seems to have happened to St . Peter and St . Barnabas , it has been in things
of small consequence , and they soon perceived their error , as did these two apostles . This sort of infallibility is easy to be conceived , if it be considered that a man of sense and integrity , who is well instructed in his religion , and who does not much enter into
argumentations and drawing of inferences , can hardly err , so long as he continues in that temper and observes that conduct . " This is the sum of what I have said in my writings concerning the inspiration of the sacred penmen ; and it is herein precisely that I differ from the common opinion of divines . "
. * Agreement of Quakers and Unitarians .
Sir , London , 1821 . ERHAPS no circumstance has a Pstronger tendency to keep religious people of different denominations aloof from each other , than the want of a thorough and mutual knowledge of
their respective fundamental principles . We are most of us too apt to form our judgment of the religious opinions of others on hearsay evidence , and if that conveys any thing opposed in reality , or even in appearance , to our own religious views , to treat such opinions
and the professors of them with asperity , coldness , or neglect—and thus deprive ourselves and them of that pleasing and profitable intercourse , which as professing Christians we might and ought to have with each other . " Have we not all one Father ? Hath
not one God created us ? " And hath not he , whose followers we profess ourselves , declared that it is by our love one towards another , we shall be best known as his disciples ? Then let Christians of every denomination
act like his disciples ; let us lay aside all little party prejudices ; let us freely and candidly communicate our own religious opinions , and candidly examine those of others ; above all , let us compare them with the pure , unadulterated religion of Jesus Christ ,
as set forth in the Scriptures , with a sincere view to discover the truth ; and I am persuaded , that whatever difference of opinion may ultimately remain amongst Christians , there will be no
bitterness of feeling one towards another on that account ; but a readiness mutually to acknowledge , that in " every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted with him : this is a broad , apostolic ,
Christian principle , and grants no exception to the members or any particular sect or party ; " there is neither Greek nor Jew , circumcision nor uncircumcision , " ^ Roman Catholic , Episcopalian , Calvinist . Quaker Q . Mp . thnHist : nr TT ™ Calvimst uakerMethodist or
Uni-, , tarian , «• but Christ is all and in all . Put on , therefore , as the elect of God , holy and beloved , bowels of mercies , kindness , humbleness of mind , meekness , long-suffering ;—and , above all these things , put on charity r , which is the bond of perfectness . "
I have been led to these reflections by the following circumstance : a junior member of the society of Friends ( with whose friendship and correspondence I am favoured , and of whose liberal sentiments I cannot doubt ) has taken
some pains to convince me , that he does not hold Unitarian principles , and with that view forwarded me a summary of his religious belief or creed , and , in a subsequent letter , adduced
no less than fourteen quotations , as a " scriptural illustration" of his opinions . In a parenthesis in this creed he has expressed his opinion , though rather doubtingly , that Jesus Christ is subordinate to God . From this expression , and the texts chosen as
illustrations , I was convinced that he held the fundamental principles of Unitarians , without being' aware ofit > and objected to them , because on hearsay evidence he had concluded them to be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Scriptures .
It is a matter of importance that young persons should be so directed in their first religious inquiries , as to lead them early to form right notions respecting the fundamental principles of the Christian religion , and I apprehend
these are , that there is one God *—' < Hear , O Israel , the Lord our God is one Lord , " Deut . vi . 4 . " I am the Lord , and there is none else ; there is no God besides me , " Isa . xlv ; 5 . " To us there is but one God , the Father /
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Aug. 2, 1821, page 468, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2503/page/28/