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FEOM THOMAS WENTWOBTH HIGGINEON.
Woecestbk, Mass., May 26th, 1858.
I feel refreshed, every spring, by the thought of the Progressive Friends' Meeting, although still unable to attend it in person. Suffer me again to put on record my admiration for the wisdom and righteousness of your movement. I see everywhere the evidences that this is to be the greatest religious era the world has ever seen. But, after all, there is nothing better than your meetings. May they grow and prosper, until alll conservatives become Progressive, and until all enemies become Friends. Cordially, yours,
Thomas Wentwoeth Higginson.
FROM JOSHCA R. GIDDIN'GS.
Hall Of Reps.,Washington, April 17th, 1858.
I should be more delighted to address the Progressive meeting than they would to hear me. But my friends here have, acting with my physicians, forbidden me to speak. In uttering a few words the other day they say I turned palo, and they were alarmed and peremptorily stopped me. The Speaker declared himself so alarmed that he determined no more to recognize me. Nor have I time to write such a letter as would become me, for I am compelled to forego all close study or intense thought, yet am greatly pressed with official duties, of which you will know more hereafter. But if I can get time, as I think I can, I will meet you at Longwood, and listen to you and others, and enjoy a day or two of relaxation from duties here.
J. R. Giddings.
FROM THOMAS J. MUMFORD,
Deteoit, May 25th, 1858. I cannot accept your kind invitation to be at Longwood on the 30th inst., because I must attend another meeting of Progressive Friends at Cincinnati. Our gathering is styled a Unitarian Conference, but I trust that the platform will be aa broad, and the spirit as fraternal as can possibly be desired.
Have you noticed that H. W. Beecher declares his cordial approval of the grand principle that underlies your movement? In " Life Thoughts" I find this noble statement of sound doctrine: "You are to accept as a Christian every one whose life and disposition are Christ-like, no matter how heretical the denomination may be to which he belongs. Whenever you find faith, and righteousness, and love, and joy in the Holy Ghost, you are to look upon them as the stamped coin of Christ's kingdom, and as a legal tender from God to you."
Believing that this will t>e the only creed of the Church of the Future, and bidding you God speed in your glorious enterprise, I remain yours, faithfully,
T. J. Mumfoed.
GEMS OF THOUGHT.
Any view of God, of which Love is not the centre, is injurious to the soul which receives it.—Chaining.
Are we not traitors to great truths, when we suppress the utterance of them, and let the opposite errors pass unrebukcd ?—lb.
A Single sentence from the lips of one who has faith in Humanity is worth whole volumes of ordinary sermons.—lb.
The greatest and most dangerous error of the age is the substitution of opinion, speculation, controversy, of noise and bustle about religion, for the practice of Christ's precepts,—lb.
If we are to obtain brighter and more enlarged conceptions of Christianity, we must begin with feeling that past ages have not exhausted Christian truth, and that we may make advances on the wisdom of our fathers.—lb.
Nothing exhibits greater ignorance of the history of the Church and of the history of mankind, nothing is more fitted to reduce the intellect to imbecility, and to carry back the race to barbarism, than the idea that we have nothing more to learn, that Christianity has come down to us pure and perfect, and that our only duty is implicitly to receive the lessons of our catechisms.—lb.
These lives more faith in honest doubt,
'tis the sublime of man,
The sweet words
O Then, fair Truth, for thee alone I seek,
Friend to the wise, supporter to the weak;
From thee we learn whate'er is right and just,
Creeds to reject, professions to distrust,
Forms to despise, pretensions to deride.
And, following thee, to follow naught beside.—Crabbe.
A Church should put no fetters on the man; it should have unity of purpose, butjwith the most entire freedom for the individual. When you sacrifice the man to the mass, in Church or State, it becomes an offence, a stumblingblock in the way of progress, and must end or mend.—Theodore Parker,