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members of the church who disbelieved tbe consubstantiality of the W&td * A feir days afterwards , a preacher in allusion to this attack , preached on the Mysteries , blaming those ministers who insisted on
abstruse -and incomprehensible doctriaes and represented them as fundamental and the belief of them essential to sal ration * This occasioned great uneasiness ; it was felt how injurious and dangerous it would be if pulpit discourses became controversial and were
constantly filled with disputed dogmas . It was therefore proposed ( with all due respect , however , to the independence of the preachers , to freedom of thought and to the principles essential to the Reformation ) to prevent the pulpit from becoming an arena , whilst the minds of men were in a
state of agitation ; to prevent those public dissensions of the spiritual teachers on articles of faith , which would render the people uncertain what they ought to believe , and throw
them into a state of perplexity on the most important subjects , which would lead some to dejection and others to scepticism , or at least to indifference .
The basis of the pacific plan was laid , the Tight spirit of action pointed out , the feelings of ail were regarded , every one was listened to , the advice of each taken into consideration ; the two preachers who had censuted each other were consulted , and mutual concessions were made bv all parties
Each one of the pastors confessed that Jesus was a Divine Being , that all men were sinners , that the grace of God was necessary for salvation , that maa was free , and that there was no limit to the Divine knowledge .
They all confessed likewise , that , from the origin of Christianity no one had been able to comprehend the manner in which the Son had proceeded from the Father ; the imputation of Adam ' s sin to his posterity ; the way in which God influences the human mind : and
the means of reconciling the prescience of ttie Almighty with the undeniable liberty of ? man . AH were , at the same time , Equally convinced of th ^ necessity of banishing these disputed topics from the Christian piilpit ; of giving importance not to the # ordfc but W the spMt of the gospel ;
of Iqring aitd of chmsHiog pesu ^ i In this temper , and ftith the oottseat t > f all parties , was drawn up the regulation of ihe < 3 rd of May , ( 18 IT ^ af which the preliminary remark ^ givi ng- the cause of the act > is in truth the most important part . We subjoin it entire : ¦ ...:,. ; ¦ . * " . ; . . •• ¦ . - ' . '¦ : ¦ ¦ . - ¦ . -
Tb& pastors of the Church of Geneva , imbued with a spirit of humility , peace and Christian charity , and convinced that the existing- circumstances of the * Church entrusted
to their care demand on their part wise and prudent measures , have resolved , without giving any judgment on the following questions or restraining in any degree the liberty of opi * nion , to require the students who
desire to be set apart for the gospeU ministry , and the ministers who aspire to exercise the pastoral functions , to enter into the following engage * ment —«¦ promise
:. ' We , as long as we reside and preach in the Canton of Geneva , to abstain from discussing ^ either in whole discourses or in parts of our discourses , the subjoined
topics : — ** 'lst . The manner in which the Divine Nature is united to the person of Jesus Christ . " 2 dly * Original Sin . * 3 dly . The operation of Gnwte > or Effectual Calling . * C ( * 4 tbiy . Predestination .
* We engage also not to oppose in our public discourses the sentiments of any minister or pastor on these subjects . Lastly , we promise that if we should be led to mention these topics , we will do so without
expatiating on our own views , or departing more than is unavoidable from the words of the Holy Scriptures / ^ What now took place ? This regulation , which was in no wise injurious to freedom of opinion , which did not
oppose the publication of theological doctrines , either in writing , without any reserve , or in the pulpit , if there explained briefl y and mildly and when the subject led to them , was erary where represented as an instrument of tyranny ; it was declared to be
imposed by force , and signatures to it exacted ; the clergy of Geneva were reproached with it as a demonstration of their heresy . In order to cause division and excite animosity , it was sent to various places , detached from
Theolog-walControversies at Gsnem . v g
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1824, page 5, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2520/page/5/