Having received several letters from dear friends in various sections suggested by a recent communication in thy paper, and not having time or health to answer them in detail, will thou permit me in this way to acknowledge them, and to say to the writers that I am deeply sensible of the Christian
love and personal good — will to myself, which, whether in commendation or dissent, they manifest?
I think I may say in truth that my letter was written in no sectarian or party spirit, but simply to express a solicitude, which, whether groundless or not, was nevertheless real.
I am, from principle, disinclined to doctrinal disputations and so-called religious controversies, which only tend to separate and disunite.
We have had too many divisions already.
I intended no censure of dear brethren whose zeal and devotion command my sympathy, notwithstanding I may not be able to see with them in all respects.
The domain of individual conscience is to me very sacred; and it seems the part of Christian charity to make a large allowance for varying experiences, mental characteristics, and temperaments, as well as for that youthful enthusiasm which, if sometimes misdirected, has often been instrumental in infusing a fresher life into the body of religious profession.
It is too much to expect that we can maintain an entire uniformity in the expression of truths in which we substantially agree; and we should be careful that a rightful concern for ‘the form of ’