Vol.V No.XII Pg.6
February 1969

In Search Of Unity

Robert F. Turner

Surely, brethren, from my steadfast adherence to the Divine standard — my absolute and entire rejection of human authority in matters of religion — my professed and sincere willingness to walk in all good understanding, communion, and fellowship with sincere, humble Christian brethren who may not see with me in these things — and, permit me to add, my sincere desire to unite with you in carrying forward that blessed work in which you have set out, and from which you take your name — you will do me the justice to believe, that if I did not sincerely desire a union with you, I would not have once and again made application for that purpose. A union not merely nominal, but hearty and confidential, founded upon certain and established principles; and this, if I mistake not, is firmly laid on both sides.

Your standard informs me of your views of truth and duty, and my declarations give you precisely the same advantage. You are willing to be tried in all matters by your standard, according to your printed declaration: I am willing to be tried on all matters by my standard. according to my written declaration.

You can labor under no difficulty about my teaching and practicing whatever is expressly taught and enjoined in the Divine standard, as generally defined in my Declaration, and although I have not the same clearness about everything contained in your standard, yet where I can not see, believing you to be sincere and conscientious servants of the same great and gracious Master who freely pardons his willing and obedient servants their ten thousand talents of shortcomings, I am, therefore, through his grace, ready to forbear with you; at the same time, hoping that you possess the same gracious spirit, and therefore will not reject me for the lack of those fifty forms which might probably bring me up to your measure, and to which, if necessary, I also, through grace, may yet attain, for I have not set myself down as perfect.

May the Lord direct you in all things. Amen. Thomas Campbell.


With this, we complete our republication of Thomas Campbells historic Appeal to the Presbyterian Church to be allowed to continue preaching from their pulpits. Presented in 1808 this is one of the first papers to come from the Campbells struggle for freedom to study Gods word, and to preach it, unhampered by party creeds and restrictions. (Earlier portions were reprinted in our past three issues, and are available upon request.)

We do not present this as some holy relic or creed for today; but we recognize its historic significance, and its application to some of todays problems. Perhaps Campbells efforts to maintain union while in search of Scriptural unity extended beyond proper bounds — but even this failed to loosen party —bound hearts.

Then, as now, some would not even make an effort to understand issues or one — another. In such a clime, Scriptural unity is impossible.