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[386] experience on the development of his theological beliefs:

1st.—Resolved, That the doctrine of the American church1 and priesthood, that the Bible is the Word of God; that whatever it contains was given by Divine inspiration; and that it is the only rule of faith and practice, is self-evidently absurd, exceedingly injurious both to the intellect and soul, highly pernicious in its application, and a stumbling-block in the way of human redemption.2

2d.—Resolved, That this doctrine has too long been held as a potent weapon in the hands of time-serving commentators and designing priests, to beat down the rising spirit of religious liberty, and to discourage scientific development—to subserve the interests of blind guides and false teachers, and to fill all Christendom with contention and strife; and, therefore, the time has come to declare its untruthfulness, and to unmask those who are guilty of this imposture.

3d.—Resolved, That “the Word of God is not bound” either within the lids of any book, or by any ecclesiastical edict; but, like its Divine Author, was before all books, and is everywhere present, and from everlasting to everlasting—ever enunciating the same law, and requiring the same obedience, being “quick3 and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” --the Bible itself being witness.

4th.—Resolved, That it is a secondary question as to when, where, or by whom the books of the Old and New Testaments were written; but the primary and all-important question is, What do they teach and command? And in order to ascertain this, they are to be as freely examined, and as readily accepted or rejected, as any other books, according as they are found worthless or valuable.

5th.—Resolved, That it is the climax of audacity and impiety for this nation to pretend to receive the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and then to make it a penal offence to give it to any of the millions who are held as chattel slaves on its soil, thus conspiring to make them miserable here and hereafter.

6th.—Resolved, That, judging them by their course of action toward all the reforms of the age, and their position in society,

1 Lib. 23.95; Proceedings Hartford Bible Convention, p. 142.

2 I. e., ‘Progression in knowledge, in wisdom, and in truth; thus perfecting ourselves; simply a matter of progression—redemption from a low and fallen state, bringing us up to a high and exalted one’ ( “Proceedings Hartford Bible Convention,” p. 204).

3 Heb. 4.12.

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