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For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these
Charity rejoiceth_in the truth.-1 Cor. xiii. 6.
PUBLISHED BY JOHN PRENTISS, KEENE, N. H.
BOWLES & DEARBORN, BOSTON.
PRINTED AT KEENE, BY J. PRENTISS.
Vol. 1-2 1997-29
It is believed that the greater portion of the American public are acquainted with Unitarian Christianity chiefly, if not solely, through the medium of prejudice. Its adherents have been denounced ; its principles, its tendencies, its books, its teachers, stigmatized as poisonous, ruinous, disorganizing, infidel, undermining revelation and trampling upon the cross, injurious to society and fatal to the soul. Of those who might be willing, if respectfully invited, to judge for themselves, many, from their situation, want the opportunity. The Liberal Preacher will supply all with the means of hearing. It in effect throws open the doors of our temples of worship even to the most distant. A voice from our pulpit may reach to every fireside. If it utters not the words of truth and faith and seriousness, breathes no right spirit, and conveys no glad tidings and saving influences to the hungry and perishing soul, let it speak no more.
The Liberal Preacher, while it would exert a proper influence on the present age, looks still further. Future generations may survey the present era of the Christian Church with a calmer interest. Existing controversies will then be tested by their merits, and party names and distinctions will be estimated by the memorials left behind them. Sermons, written in the course of professional duty, whether to unfold a truth, or to expose an error,—to root the latter from the understanding, and to plant the former in the heart,are perhaps the best commentaries on tenets. The argument that convinces, and the eloquence that thrills now, will not lose strength or pathos by time. Let the Liberal Preacher exhibit a specimen of the pulpit labors, doctrinal and practical, of Unitarian Ministers, and the name which they bear will descend to after times as clear from the reproaches now cast upon it, as triumphant over the prejudice that gives them utterance, or haply the errors and the spirit that cherish it.
EDITOR. KEENE, JULY 1, 1827.
ON RELIGIOUS ANXIETY.
Phil. ii. 12.-Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling
This passage not only teaches us the necessity of diligent endeavors to obtain salvation, but also points out one characteristic of that state of mind with which they should be pursued ; and this characteristic is religious anxiety. « Fear and trembling,” when they relate to an object to be gained or to be lost, necessarily involve this anxiety. I shall devote the usual season this morning, to the consideration of this subject. And I do so, the rather, because the circumstances of our past religious history, and the spirit of the times, I fear, expose this solicitude to misapprehension and distrust.
As to the nature of religious anxiety, I suppose, it may be as intelligible as any other anxiety and yet it needs to be carefully distinguished from inordinate terror and morbid melancholy, for these and other perversions of it, as I shall take occasion to observe, have brought it under great objection. To be anxious then about our business, our reputation, our prospects in life, our friends, our children, is more or less the experience of every one, and is therefore very intelligible. Now to entertain such a solicitude about our religious welfare ; to feel, not an extravagant excitement, indeed, nor an absorbing terror; but to feel deep, and sober and reasonable apprehensions of danger to ourselves ; of danger to ourselves as accountable creatures ; as weak and erring and sinful creatures ; encompassed with temptations, often wavering, often falling, always exposed—and yet, amidst sins and follies, amidst temptations and dangers, hastening to a solemn judgment; to feel all this, is to cherish a religious anxiety.
This state of mind however, as I have already hinted has sometimes had the misfortune to be very much misunderstood,