Tuesday, July 13, 2010

alien intellects...

In the first two parts of Samuel Longfellow's "A Spiritual and Working Church,"  he defines church and then talks of the importance of the "religious" aspect.  In this third installment, he emphasizes the "spiritual"...

"And again, I wish to emphasize the word spirit, as distinguished from doctrine and form. Some creed or system of opinions about religion is almost universally the centre around which our churches are gathered ; or else some rite. Now, I do not deny that similarity of opinion is a bond of union. We are drawn to those who think like ourselves. But it is not the strongest or deepest bond. It is easily overridden by spiritual sympathy, or annulled by the want of that. Neither do I mean to undervalue correct opinion as making clear the way to right feeling and right action, though quite a"s often right feeling and action will lead to correct opinion. Nor do I deny their value to religious rites. But a unity sought in uniformity of belief, or of ritual or organization, is but superficial. Nor can it be permanent unless it destroy freedom and growth, and with them life. We must look deeper for the bond of living and abiding unity. And we shall find it where it has always existed, amid the diversities of belief and organization, and under all their strifes, — in that unity of spirit which is alone the bond of an enduring peace. This unites, while creeds and forms sunder, and shut off as many as they shut in.

Alien intellects are brethren here, and walls vanish. Therefore I emphasize the word spirit."

Blessings

2 comments:

Bill Baar said...

Belief, Rite, and Spirit; do we have a trinity here?

boston unitarian said...

Hey Bill,
Its just possible (but dont tell anyone!) Many blessings, BU