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I have two reasons for presenting this to the public : First, to refute the unfounded reports which are circulated respecting my opinions; in some instances, it is to be feared, from improper motives. Second, the hope that it may fall into the hands of some, who have hitherto paid but little attention to the subject, and who, by the perusal of this sketch, may be induced to give the subject a candid examination; in doing which they will see op how slender a foundation rest the various creeds and systems of faith imposed by men, and which have been productive of effects as opposite to the proper fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as strife and contention are to righteousness and peace and charity.
At a meeting of the committee of the church, on the evening of Tuesday, March 31, 1818, after some conversation on the subject discussed in the following pages, it was said that it would be necessary for me to state my views to the church, at the next meeting. This was agreed to be done in writing. And at the meeting on the Thursday evening following, after some objections, the following paper was read and left with the clerk.
As I am this evening called in question respecting my faith in God and Christ ; in order that there may be no misapprehension, or misrepresentation ; and especialy, (in view of the most unfavourable result of this case, as it respects myself,) should it hereafter be said, that I had “ denied the faith” and “the Lord that bought me,” that I might be enabled, and my children after me, by irrefragable evidence to rebut and put to silence such unfounded report, I have drawn up and subscribed this my confession of faith, on this subject : Protesting, at the same time, against the right of the church to exercise any discipline against me, after this my declaration of faith.
I believe that “ there is but one God, the FATHER, of whom are all things.” 1 Cor. viii. 6. " That there is none other God but one." 1 Cor. vii. 4. That the FATHER is “ the only true God." John xvii. 3. That He “is a Spirit.” John iv. 24. That he is the 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all.” Eph. iv. 6. That he is “God only wise.” Rom. xvi. 27. And “the only Lord God." Jude iv. That he is “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God.” 1 Tim. i. 17. “The only Potentate," and " who only hath immortality.” 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16. That “ there is none other God but He.” Mark sii. 29. 34. That He is “ the God of our Lord Jesus
Christ.” Eph. i. 17 ; Heb. i. 9. And “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. i. 3.
I believe that He “ made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is.” Acts iv. 24. That “ He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things,” and 'that“ in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts xvii. 25. 28. And that He created all things alone by himself, by his own hands, and that there is no God with him. İsaiah xliv. 24 ; xlv. 12 ; Deut. xxxii. 39 ; Mark. xiii. 19.
I believe “ that Jesus is the Christ.” 1 John v. 1.That he was born of “ Mary, the espoused wife of Joseph.” Mat. i. 18; Luke i. 5, 6. I “confess and believe that he is the Son of God.” 1 John iv. 15; Acts viii. 37.
I believe that he is “ the beginning of the creation of God.”Rev. iii. 14. “ The only begotten of the Father.” John i. 44. “ The first born of every creature.” Col. i. 15. And “ the first begotten and the first born from the dead.” Col. i. 18; Rev. i. 5.
I believe that “God anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows.?' Heb. i. 9. That “God gave not the Spirit by measure to him.” John iïi. 34.
That “ it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Col. i. 19, That “ in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col. ij. 9. That “he is the image of the invisible God.” Col. i. 15. And “the brightness of his glory." Heb. i. 3.
I believe that he 6 came down from heaven not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him.” John vi. 38. That he came " to bear witness unto the truth.” John xvii. 37. That “ the Father, which sent him, gave him commandment what he should say, and what he should speak.” John xii. 49. I believe that he said, “ My Father is greater than I.” John xiv. 28. “My Fåther is greater than all.” John x. 29. "I can of my own self do nothing.” John v. 30.
66 The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” John xiv, 10. I believe that when he spake these words he spake the truth, for I believe that he “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” 1 Pet. ii. 22. I believe that “he and his Father are one.” John x. 30. Not one person, however, or being, but as all true disciples are one in the Father, and in him. John xvii. 21, 22 ; xiv, 20.
I believe “ in my heart that God hath raised him from the dead.” Rom. X. 9. That “ all power is given unto him in heaven and in earth.” Mat. xxvii. 18. That because “ he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross, God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. ii. 8—11; Heb. ii. 9. That « God hath made him both Lord and Christ.” Acts ï. 36. That “ He hath exalted him to be a prince and Saviour.” Acts v. 31. That “ God gave him to be head over all things to the church.” Eph. i. 22. That “God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained,” that is, Jesus Christ. Acts xvii. 31; Rom. ii. 16. That he “is the way, and the truth, and the life." John xiv. 6. And that “there is none other name under heaven given amongst men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts iv. 12.
I believe also that "there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. ii. 5. 'That “since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” 1 Cor. xv. 21. That “
through this man is preached the forgiveness of sins.” Acts xiii. 38. Thatat the coming of Christ, then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.” “Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Cor. xv. 23. 28. And I deny that I have asserted or maintained, within the last six months, in any way whatever, any opinion contrary to what is contained in this confession.
This is my present faith on this subject, the result of diligent, prayerful and laborious search after truth. But, agreeably to the principles of this church, and the command to search the scriptures, given by him, who was not only full of grace and truth, but the way and the truth, I hold myself bound at all times to be open to conviction, and to the reception of truth, as the same shall be presented to my mind.
I add further, that duty to myself, to the cause of truth and christian liberty, and especially to the memory of those