“I would be perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect, for my accumulated pleasure attends each accession to my virtues. Are providential events encircled with clouds, faith points me to a smiling God beyond them. I love that God, for he smiles on my efforts to forsake my sins. I will worship him, for he is my Father.”
–Rev. T.J. Tenney
Rev. Dan Harper, at his blog Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, has today posted a Universalist responsive reading that he adapted from Rev. Isaac Case Knowlton’s essay “The Angry God,” published in Through the Shadows (1885): 44-45. It is a creative re-use of historic words from our heritage. Whereas the Universalist quotes posted daily on Transient and Permanent are meant to be given in the form that the author presented them, as historical documents (though of course also potentially inspirational and enlightening), in trimming and rearranging sections of the text Rev. Harper offers them in a new liturgical fashion that may be useful to modern-day Unitarian-Universalists.
“As cause and effect are in likeness of nature one and inseperable, it follows that man’s life, however affected by things seemingly adverse to it, as negatives resist and chafe against their positives, can never lose its positive sense of conscious existence as posited in likeness of nature with God: hence ‘the everlasting redeemableness’ of the human soul. The life of God in it is the pledge of its redemption.
It is false in fact to say that the thing’s in man’s nature and conditions that antagonize his spiritual manhood can be held as cause of final and eternal separation from God, for the divinity of his manhood admitted to co-exist with the human is there; and, where God is in such high sense of self-evident purpose of wisdom and goodness, there can be no rational ground in reason or Scripture for the common and repulsive idea of final separation from God.”
–Rev. William C. Brooks
“The sense of the universal is the sense of the divine everywhere. We live by faith in the divine thought and purpose. Earth and stars, sun, sky, and air, plants and animals, the dust-atom and man, are all significant to us by God’s working in them. The darker providence we rest in him by faith. The thing of beauty we hail with joy. The life of virtue, tenderness, aspiration, so rich in thought, blessings, praise, and prayer, we receive as the divine pledge to man. Life becomes more and more. Our relationships to atoms and stars, creatures and men, are sacred. Conscious duties are upon us. And more than those duties are is God in the divine moralities working the infinite work. In the faith of God, coming on the unseen courses of the Spirit, man in these scenes of outer nature, and in living and dying, is comforted. God is better and greater than all earth’s need, than all human longing, need, and joy.”
–Rev. S. W. Sutton
“My early religious impressions were received in the atmosphere of partialism. The church, the Sunday school, and the home made the awful future a serious reality in my young heart. So firmly was ‘orthodoxy’ instilled into me, that much of the joy peculiar to childhood was changed into sadness.
But, when other influences entered my heart a little later in life, this world itself had a larger meaning to me, and God became to me, not the monster which ‘orthodoxy’ had taught, but the righteous Father who owns all worlds and all people, and that relationship a tie never to be broken. And Christ became to my soul, not the messenger of death, but one with good tidings of great joy. And it has ever since been my aim to proclaim that good news, that the world might be blessed.”
–Rev. F. E. Kollock
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations’ new religious education curriculum Tapestry of Faith has four themes. Our UU Trivia Question of the Week asked what these four themes were. And here is the answer:
1) Living Faith
2) Seeking Truth
3) Creating Love
4) Serving Community
“Sorely as we have offended, we can do nothing fatal. Sheer blasphemy and inhumanity in the old theology is the doctrine of a doom to perdition and eternal woe for our personal or our ancestral delinquency. The bottomless pit were a blot on the Deity, though but one soul wallowed in it.”
–Rev. C. A. Bartol
“It is more and more seen and felt that God is working with man and for man to enlighten, purify, and strengthen him in spiritual things; that man has his part to do in bringing sin to an end, and in making the universe of intelligent creatures the willing and acceptable subjects of their spiritual Ruler. The righteous consummation is decreed and promised on the ground of divine and human co-operation. Prophets announced it; Christ proclaimed it; apostles reiterated it. The Revelator in vision foresaw it, and he heard every creature which is heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever!–the whole universe joining in ascriptions of praise to the Saviour.”
–Rev. I. J. Mead
“And who saith ‘I loved once’?
Not God, called Love, his noble crown-name casting
A light too broad for blasting.
The great God, changing not from everlasting
Saith never ‘I loved once.’”
–Mrs. E.B. Browning
“My faith is grounded in the nature of God and man. God, the supreme mind, controls all, and is through and over all. He is love. Man is made to be in his likeness. The fulness of this was shown in Jesus: it will be shown, in the fulness of time, in all mankind, for God cannot fail. All man’s intuitive tendencies, the bent of every power of his spirit, is toward this completeness,–this oneness in Christ and God. The child inherits all the nature of its father: so we are heirs of the divine nature; and no power can or will disinherit one of us. And in this self-evident position I rest; nor fear nor doubt nor creed can shake my trust.”
–Rev. Lindley M. Andrews