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Hilary, bishop of Poictiers, and Augustine, bishop of Hippo, in Africa, "whose fame," says Mosheim, "filled, not without reason, the whole Christian world. We would willingly," he adds, except them from this charge; but truth, which is more respectable than these venerable fathers" (amen), "obliges us to involve them in the general accusation." Dr. Chapman, in his "Miscellaneous Tracts," page 191, says, The learned Mosheim, a foreign divine and zealous advocate for Christianity, who, by his writings, has deserved the esteem of all good and learned men, intimates his fears that those who search with any degree of attention into the writings of the fathers and most holy doctors of the fourth century, will find them all, without exception, disposed to lie and deceive, whenever the interests of religion require it." "The learned Dodwell," in a work published by him, "abstains from producing more proofs of ancient Christian forgeries," "through his great veneration for the goodness and piety of the fathers." What a strange and inconsistent reason was this!
For publishing the above facts to the world we may be censured by some, but we have long since adopted the maxim, "let the truth be told though the heavens fall;" and the above facts being truths, we fearlessly proclaim them. In relation to those who would censure us for so doing, we have only to say, their opinions are of no more consequence than the opinions of the Christian Fathers themselves. Such, reader, was the character and such was the conduct of the Christian Fathers. And yet they have been called “ Christian Fathers." That very title which Jesus instructed his disciples to apply to no man on earth, has been applied to them; even by those who profess to be the disciples of Christ. They have been called "pious saints," and "most holy fathers." But, if such conduct as they were guilty of does not manifest depravity, then we have no evidence that depravity exists in any man on earth. If they were deserving of these high and honorable titles, where is the man who is not? They have been sainted and canonized, and their intercession in behalf of sinners has been supplicated by those calling themselves Christians. And to this day their authority is thought, by Catholics and Episcopalians, to be very important in settling controverted points of doctrine. These, then, are to be ou oracles, are they? No; we acknowledge no oracles except the oracles of God, contained in the Old and New Testament. These
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 rational man.
The Articles of Faith, Plan of Church Government, and Statis tics 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 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, N. H. The members of the committee were Zebulon Streeter, Geo. Richards, Hosea Ballou, Zephaniah Laithe, and Walter Ferris; the Profession 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 our 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 char acter of God to the world, and save mankind from sin, misery, dark