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ing; by the multiplication of books, which grows with the multiplication of readers; by the new views which have been opened, and are every where obtaining increased and increasing attention; of religious liberty, and of religious rights; and which are awakening new convictions, and new interests, and are giving a new impulse to thought and action. Great are the changes of opinion, which are spreading, and which will continue to spread, through the nations, of the nature and ends of civil government; of the rights of the ruled and of the duty and accountableness of rulers. And, I am happy to say, that, compared with any former time since the days of the Apostles, great, throughout Christendom, is the revolution that has been produced in opinion and in feeling, concerning the relation of man to man; and concerning our capacity, and obligation, to extend to others the blessings, with which God in his mercy has distinguished us, in the religion which he has given us by his Son. But the principle which, more than any other, has given life, and efficiency, to our systems of education, which has peculiarly multiplied and extended books, and which has spread widely the new sentiments, that have obtained of religious liberty, and of religious rights; the principle, which has given diffusion to the new views which are received of the nature and ends of civil government, and which has attempted, and done, what has never before been done, for the universal extension of our religion, is, the principle of voluntary association. And if we may infer what it may do, from what it has done, where shall we fix the limits of its power, and of its consequences? Look alone to the Bible societies, the anti-slavery societies,

the peace societies, and the religious missionary societies of England and of America, and say, what is to arrest their progress, and their effects? Opinion has been called the lever, by which society is now moved, and its vast operations are directed, and controled. But I should rather call it the ground on which the lever is fixed, by which the world is moved. The mighty agent, by which those changes have been accomplished, which are every day exciting new admiration, and new expectations concerning the moral and the political condition of the world, is, the power of voluntary association. It is a power, which, like knowledge, and like wealth, may be made as conducive to evil as to good. But let all the virtuous and the wise feel its importance, and faithfully avail themselves of it, and employ it with the calm, and steady, and persevering zeal which should characterize christians; and, with God's blessing on the work, it will not long be doubtful to any mind, whether indeed the enterprise be feasible, of the conversion of the world.

I will only add my hearty good wishes for the prosperity of your association; and my hope that, while we are aiming at the advancement of our religion at home, we may all be excited to do what we can, to bring every knee to bow in the name of Jesus, and every tongue to confess him to be Lord, to the glory of God the Father." With great respect and affection,


I am truly yours,

Chelsea, June 8th, 1826.






American Unitarian Association.




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It was a recommendation of Peter to the early Christians, that they should be ready always to give an answer to every man that asked them a reason of the hope that was in them that is to say, that they should be prepared to meet the questions and objections of those around them; to assign the grounds or reasons of their belief and hope in christianity; and not only so, but to be familiar with these reasons-to" be ready always" to give them to every objector, that design or casualty might throw in their way. Placed as those of us in the community, who embrace the system of Unitarian christianity, are, in a situation not altogether dissimilar to that of the early Christians; suffering the lot that has uniformly attended all the advocates of progress and reform in every age of the world; beset, as it is natural we should be, with inquiries, and suspicions, and misapprehensions, and misrepresentations also; assailed, as is no less natural, by the admonitions of the weak, though well meaning, by the confidence of the prejudiced, and by the strong arguments of the majority, we need the same familiar acquaintance with our principles and the grounds of them, the same ready preparation for the difficulties of the inquiring, and the objections of the adversaries, that was

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