Testimony of Belief and Fellowship in Union of the Universalist Society in Portsmouth, N.H. (1796)

This “testimony” was reprinted by Richard Eddy in his “Universalist Conventions and Creeds” (Universalist Quarterly January 1878: 44). Eddy notes:

In May, 1796, the Universalist Society in Portsmouth, N. H., adopted the following, written by their pastor, Rev. George Richards.

First. We believe that all Scripture, as contained in the Old and New Testaments, is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Second. We believe in one God the Father, of whom are all things and we in him, manifested in one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, revealed in one Spirit of Truth, who receives of Jesus, shows the Redeemer unto us, and glorifies the Saviour.

Third. We believe it a faithful saying that they who believe in God should be careful to maintain good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.

And more, As the Seal of Faith can only be impressed by Practice, we mutually desire that a good confession may be witnessed, by meeting together on the First day of the week, to Read the Scriptures, Sing Praises, and Hear the Preached Word, accompanied by Prayer, Supplication and Thanksgiving.

Secondly. In the fellowship of one Spirit of Charity and judging no man’s conscience, every man is to be fully persuaded in his own mind whether he cometh unto or abstaineth from Baptism or the Lord’s Supper; and whensoever a Minister or Elder is requested to administer the one or celebrate the other, let not him who receiveth or eateth judge his Brother.

Thirdly. As members of Society and of Families, in the Social and Relative Connections we mutually desire to be found in practical fellowship with the Precepts of the Lord Jesus Christ, the pattern he hath set before us, and the admonitions of his Apostles and Evangelists; and every Brother or Sister who walketh not orderly is to be admonished in meekness and love for the adorning of the doctrine of all things.

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