On this page
- Text (3)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
fest , by their mild benevolence , peaceable deportnieut , and liberal forbearance towards every class and denomination of their Christian brethren , that they are , indeed , the followers of that Saviour whose coming announced peace and good will upon the earth , and who declared universal charity to be the distinguishing and indispensable characteristic of all his genuine disciples .
For this gratifying token of your regard—those splendid editions of the Scriptures—you will accept my thankful acknowledgments . Such a gift is peculiarly appropriate , when presented by a congregation which adheres to the Bible alone as the great charter of Christian privileges—to pastors who resort to the Bible alone , as the pure fountain of religious truth , and the only unerring guide of faith and practice .
To interpret the sacred volume faithfully and sincerely , is all that any uninspired mortal can pretend to . He that affects to be unerring , knows not what spirit he is of . Your pastors have no interest to serve but that of the truth , as it' is in Jesus . To whatever ,
therefore , appears to my unbiassed judgment to be trttth , I shall , at all times , bear my testimony openly , as not being ashamed or afraid—sincerely , as in the presence of that God who searcheth the hearthumbly and modestly , as- liable to human error and infirmity—and with peace and charity , as a follower of the meek and lowly Redeemer .
May the spirit of God illuminate our understandings and direct our will — may we study to adorn the doctrine of our Saviour in all things ; and having mutually edified , comforted and strengthened each other during the pilgrimage of mortal life , may we meet in the everlasting mansions of our Father ' s house , through Jesus Christ our Lord . James Armstrong .
device ; not to fashion my doctrines to the theories of men , but to speak as instructed by the oracles of inspiration . I esteem it among the great felicities of my life to be connected with a congregation of enlightened Christians , who not only allow , but expect their pastors to exercise , a perfect freedom of inquiry , and to declare , without reserve , the conclusions to which such freedom of
inquiry , leads , however widely they may differ from popular and established creeds . For it is only when the mind is left free from the impositions of human authority in all sacred investigation , that she becomes conscious of her powers , aud can
explore her way to Evangelical truth . Your pastors must derive peculiar satisfaction from your approval of their efforts to encourage a manly and rational spirit ; for the religion of Christ is the religion of reason , purified and sublimed , illuminated by light from heaven , and sanctified by the Spirit of God .
Those sacred , volumes , the presentation of which you justly consider as the most suitable expression of your regard , speak intelligibly to the understanding and the heart . They teach us to worship the one Eternal Spirit , the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ , in spirit and in truth . They teach us our neighbours' rights , and we respect them ; they teach us our own rights , and we will maintain them . Happy in the enjoyment , and firm in the support of our own liberty , we allow others to be free ; aud acting on the great
Christian rule of " doing unto all men whatsoever we would that they should do unto us , " cheerfully grant them that exercise of private judgment which is the inalienable birth-right of man . We draw no pale of exclusion round ourselves , as if we were the only heirs of salvation ; we fix no limits to the mercies of the Most
High ; but , hoping humbly that we are in the straight path to everlasting life , we extend the same hope to all who " fear God and work righteousness , * ' in whatever region they dwell , or by whatever name they are called . Such is the genuine spirit of Christianity . It considers the greatest heresy to be sin , and the most excellent of virtues to be charity .
To encourage you in cherishing such sentiments is equally the pleasure and the duty of your pastors . While they humbly endeavour , according to the moat faithful derisions of that understanding which God has . given them , to interpret the Holy Scriptures , and announce those truths which they deem of vital importance to the formation of the Christian character , they lay no claim to infalli
Intelligence . — Strand Street Congregation , Dublin . 797
My Dear Friends and Brethren , For your affectionate address aud magnificent present , I return you my most grateful thanks . Your approbation , next to that of my own heart , is to me the highest of all gratifications . It would be dear to me at all times—it is doubly dear to me now , by the circumstances which have called it forth , and by the consciousness , though you are pleased greatly to overrate my services , that it has been honestly obtained ; for , in the discharge of my pastoral duties , it has ever been my practice fearlessly to declare what I believe to be the genuine dictates of Holy Writ , untrammelled by systems of human
DR . DRUMMOND ' S ANSWER .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Nov. 2, 1828, page 797, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2566/page/69/