Friday, August 14, 2009

the more excellent way...

One of William Phillip Tilden's greatest virtues was his true ecumenical spirit. He, himself, had found much of value (including an abiding sense of the Holy Spirit) at a relatives Baptist Church in his youth. His "head and heart were united" listening to the preaching of Caleb Stetson and he became a staunch Unitarian with transcendentalist leanings. In his person, therefore, was united Evangelicalism, Unitarianism, and Transcendentalism all in the service of God and humanity.

"And here we see our true relation to all other churches. In all practical work, it is a relation, not of antagonism, but of cooperation. Some of their doctrines we cannot accept, because we believe them untrue; but under this difference of opinion, perfectly sincere on both sides, there is an essential agreement as to the aim and end of all religion. There is a real unity of spirit and purpose as to all the moral and philanthropic movements for the suppression of vice and the promotion of virtue. We may say of them, as they frequently do of us, that "one is often better than his theology...

But you say, perhaps, They will not acknowledge us as coworkers, because we lisp in pronouncing the creed. Alas! it is true in spots, large spots, too; but this we should regard as a divine call to show the more excellent way by acknowledging them as fellow-workers for God and man just in proportion as their labors tend to moral and spiritual elevation.
But not only all the best and noblest powers of earth are with us, but the Power that moves these powers. Above all, these ministering spirits here on the material plane are all holy agencies in the invisible world, with the risen Jesus still about his Father's business, and God himself filling and inspiring all."


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