BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner


Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross


Autobiography, correspondence, & c. ...

by Lyman Beecher

Excerpt:

Dr. Beecher to Rev. A. Hooker.

"Litchfield, March 13,1825.

"dear Brother,—I have understood in several ways that some of the brethren were alarmed and dissatisfied in some points in the examination of Leavet; that the delegates, also, were alarmed; and that fears have been expressed that Brother Taylor is Leavetical.

"Will you have the goodness to state to me what were the points in the examination of the candidate which create uneasiness, and will you allow me to express my earnest hope that nothing will be said or done which shall have a tendency to exasperate brethren, or to alarm the community, or to commit us, at this time, with the insupportable calamity of a theological controversy among ourselves? The reasons for avoiding a public controversial schism in Connecticut are obvious and powerful. We are watched by enemies within and without, and our condition is critical. Sectarians without and heretics within would gladly see us fall out by the way, and avail themselves of our confusion to put down our Theological Seminary, our College, and our churches; and I really fear that our triangular brethren at the South would notxput on sackcloth should we come into troubled water. The strength and glory of our Church has been and now is the cordial and efficient co-operation of the clergy, and our plans for self-defense and the augmentation of strength which are in operation and in a course of preparation are noble, powerful, and certain, if we fall not out by the way. The Spectator, the Observer, the Domestic Missionary Society, with a system for evangelists, for tracts, and for the improvement of our common schools, can not, with our revivals, fail of glorious results. But a controversial spirit, corroding the hearts and diverting the minds of ministers and churches, would, I have no doubt, put an end to our revivals, and leave us without strength in the presence , of an insolent enemy. They have tried in vain to bind us with cords and withes; but still we have waxed valiant in fight, putting to flight the armies of the aliens. Evangelical doctrine, and peace, and love are the secrets of our Nazeriteship, and it is only a controversial spirit, with its alienating and diverting influence, which can cause our glory to depart, and make us weak as other men. The reformation was stopped by the sacramental controversy; and the orthodox in the eastern parts of Massachusetts begin to have revivals only as they begin to dismount their hobby-horses, and to love one another and act in concert.

"I have said our churches are in a critical situation. We have just passed, or are, rather, now passing through a revolution, the object of which was, by withdrawing the support of law, and creating facilities and temptations to withdraw from our societies, to scatter and destroy us. And a great effort has been made to shake the confidence of the community in the clergy, and, if this could be done, I know not what would save us. But a controversy which would produce so much feeling, and such action and reaction as must attend the attack and the defense of such a man in such a station as Brother Taylor, could not be carried on without impairing the confidence of the public in the ministry. Inevitably we should first or last walk naked, and they would see our shame.

"If there are exceptionable points in Brother Taylor's system which need to be modified and guarded, that at present is, I have no doubt, entirely practicable. But we know what human nature is, even when partly sanctified, and how easy it is to confirm a man in his opinion by a course of treatment which to him shall appear precipitate or unkind.

"If I had the confidence of my good brethren sufficiently to render the pledge of any avail, I should not hesitate to pledge myself to produce statements and explanations from Brother Taylor on every point entirely satisfactory. I do not mean statements in which every brother would concur, for perhaps no two of us would explain ourselves entirely alike; but I mean statements which would release the mind of every brother from the apprehension of any dangerous error.


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