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are to be our authorities on points of doctrine, are they? No; we acknowledge no authority but that of nature, reason and the Bible. These are our interpreters of the Bible, are they? No; we are Protestants, and will interpret the Bible for ourselves. These are our masters, are they? No; we acknowledge no master but Christ. These are our intercessors before the throne of God, are they? No; we want but one intercessor and that intercessor is Jesus. These are our advocates before God, are they? No; we want but one advocate with the Father, and that advocate is Jesus Christ. These are mediators between us and God, are they? No; we acknowledge but one mediator, and that mediator is "the man Christ Jesus." These are our spiritual fathers, are they? No; we acknowledge but one spiritual Father, and that Father is God. People may talk and prate about the pious, and holy, and Christian Fathers, as much as they will; but the fact is, these are only high-sounding titles and phrases, which can serve no other purpose but to deceive, delude, and to impose upon mankind. And any church, which has no other foundation to rest on but the authority of such men, must eventually be shaken to its very foundation; and its extravagant and arrogant claims and pretensions will be discarded by every
The Articles of Faith, Plan of Church Government, and Statistics of the Denomination of Universalists in the United States and British Provinces.
ARTICLES OF FAITH.
THE following article on this subject, written by Rev. A. B. Grosh, is full, clear and comprehensive, and much better than any. thing which we could substitute in its stead.
"The Universalists, as a body, have no Creed or Confession of Faith which members must subscribe, or profess faith in, before they can be admitted into fellowship or membership. The Bible is the creed of the Universalist. But as we have been, at various periods, much misrepresented by our opposers, a Profession of Belief, embracing those important points of doctrine in which all Universalists are agreed, became necessary. The General Convention of
"As the Universalists of the New England States agreed with Congregationalists, in regard to church government, they could not be legally distinguished from them, so as to avoid paying taxes to support the then 'standing order,' until they became a separate denomination, and made a formal Profession of Faith. In New Hampshire they were so taxed, and the Supreme Court decided in favor of the Congregationalists, as late, we think, as 1803. To obviate this difficulty, which had been anticipated, a Profession of Faith' was presented by the committee, previously appointed for that purpose, and adopted by the General Convention, holden at Winchester, Ñ. H. The members of the committee were Zebulon Streeter, Geo. Richards, Hosea Ballou, Zephaniah Laithe, and Walter Ferris; the Profes sion was composed by the last on the committee. There were some believers
Universalists for the New England States and others, at that time the highest official body in our order, in 1803, adopted and published the following, not as binding on the faith of its members. but as declarative of our sentiments. No alterations have been necessary, neither have any been made in it, since that period. It is, therefore, submitted to the reader as an official and correct declaration of the faith of our denomination at large, wherever it is known to exist, whether under the name of Salvationist, Restorationist, Christian Friends, or the more common and more appropriate one for all believers in impartial and universal grace, UNIVERSALISTS.”
"1. We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest and final destination, of mankind.
"2. We believe there is one God, whose nature is love; revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happi
"3. We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected; and that believers ought to maintain order, and practise good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.".
"This general declaration of the general belief of our whole order, it will be seen, allows great latitude of opinion on minor points, while it especially states our sentiments on all points most important and useful to all Christians."
Lest it should be thought that the above Profession of Faith. is too brief, and not sufficiently expressive of our views on all points connected with the Christian religion, we here insert a form of faith which was drawn up by Rev. D. Skinner, and which has been published and extensively circulated in the United States; premising, however, that we do not consider this creed as binding on the consciences of our fellow-men, but as “a mere general declaration, not of the things which must be believed, but of the things that are believed among us." To obtain the fellowship of ur denomination it is only necessary that the individual should believe in one God; in Jesus Christ as the Sent of God and the Saviour of the world;
in the trinity and in future punishment on the committee, and yet all could cordially agree to the Articles presented.” See an article on this subject in the Magazine and Advocate, vol. 14, No. 40, taken from the Universalist Watchman.
in the authority of the Bible; and that he should possess a good moral character.
ARTICLE I.- Concerning God. We believe in one, only living and true God; that he is a pure spirit, self-existent, immutable, eternal, infinite in wisdom, power and goodness, and possesses every natural and moral perfection which can render his character amiable, lovely, reverend and adorable; that he is the Creator, Upholder, Benefactor and moral Governor, of the universe; that he stands in the relation of Father to all mankind; that, as he hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, we are his offspring, all have one Father, one God hath created us; that though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, and lords many), yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; that God is love, good unto all, and his tender mercies are over all his works; that he loveth all the things that are, and abhorreth nothing that his hands have made, for he never would have created anything to have hated it; that he is a just God and a Saviour, who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; that he worketh all things after the counsel of his own will; that all his attributes harmonize; that in him mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have embraced each other. 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Deut. 6: 4; Mark 12: 29; John 4: 24; Mal. 2: 10, and 3: 6; Gen. 17:1; Ps. 147: 5; 45: 9, and 85: 10; Wisdom 11: 24; Isa. 45: 21; Acts 17: 24-28; 1 Tim. 2: 4, 5; Eph. 1: 11; 1 John 4: 8—16. ARTICLE II. Concerning Christ. - We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ; that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, the one Mediator between God and men, the Son of God and the Saviour of the world, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person; that to him the Divine Spirit was given without measure, and hence, God hath made him both Lord and Christ — given all things into his hand, even power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given him; that all that the Father giveth him shall so come to him as not to be cast out; that he was sent to reveal the true character of God to the world, and save mankind from sin, misery, dark
ness and death; that, to this end, he gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time; is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world; that, having been crucified on the cross, he arose from the dead on the third day, ascended up on high, leading captivity captive, and giving gifts unto men; and having brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel, he shall see.of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; shall reconcile all things unto God, by the blood of his cross; that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; that he shall reign in his mediatorial kingdom till all things shall be subdued unto him; till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed; till every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess him Lord, to the glory of God the Father; and that he will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, that God may be all in all. 1 Cor. 8: 6, and 15: 3, 4, 22, 24-28; 1 Tim. 2: 5, 6; 1 John 2: 2, and 4: 14; John 1: 45; 3: 34, 35; 6: 37, and 17: 2, 3; Matt. 1: 21; Heb. 1: 3; Rom. 14: 9; Eph. 4: 8; 2 Tim. 1: 10; Isa. 53: 11; Col. 1: 20; Phil. 2: 10, 11.
We believe in the
ARTICLE III. — Concerning the Scriptures. Divine authenticity of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, that they contain a true and faithful record of the revelation of God to men, and are a perfect and infallible rule of faith and practice; that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit; and that all Scripture, given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness, that the servants of God may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works, and become wise unto salvation. 2 Peter 1: 21; 2 Tim. 3: 15—17.
- We be
ARTICLE IV.— Concerning the Motive to Obedience. lieve that, as God hath commended his love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, it is our duty to love him because he first loved us; that if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another; that the goodness of God leadeth to repentance ; that the grace of God, which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world; and that those who believe in God, ought to be careful to maintain good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men;