A Word on Church Unity

From William Symington:

Rising above the little jealousies of sectarian rivalry, laying aside all personal asperities, let us show a readiness to meet, on the arena of frank and friendly consultation, brethren of other denominations, and to discuss with them our points of difference in a spirit of Christian candour and charity. Surely the friends of the Redeemer are not to be for ever separated. The reign of disunion is not to be perpetual. “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all. There is one body and one Spirit.” And, believing as we do that these statements of Holy Writ are to receive a visible as well as an invisible fulfilment, we must hold professing Christians bound to use all proper means for bringing this about.

Is it not more to be desired that the Churches of the Reformation, holding by the Westminster Standards, should, like rational and moral creatures, come to unite on the basis of truth, by the blessing of God, on the scriptural use of mutual consultation, explanation, advice, and prayer; than that, like insensate masses, they should wait to be melted by the fire, and welded together by the hammer, of Divine judgments? That these meetings to commemorate the men and the doings of former days may result in a closer union of Christians, must be the fervent desire of every enlightened friend of the Redeemer. No one who wishes well to the glory of Christ or the good of Zion, can derive satisfaction from thinking that the dissensions and divisions of modern times are to be much longer perpetuated. Let us, then, crucify and repress the spirit of party strife; let us feed the flame of that sacred affection which many waters cannot quench, neither can the floods drown; let us stand prepared to take to our hearts, in fraternal embrace, all who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity; let us converse closely and oft with those predictions which foretell a coming period of unity and peace; and let us drink daily and deeply into the spirit of the intercession, “That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.”

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