“It is contrary to the very genius of christianity to make the observance of forms the test of discipleship. Forms in christianity are not ends, but the means for the accomplishment of ends. Pharisaism was a religion of forms. No man could be a good Pharisee who did not obey every ceremonial requisition of Pharisaism, and in the exact manner that was prescribed. If these were obeyed, not matter what the life, judgment, mercy, and truth might be wholly disregarded, still the requisites were possessed.
Christianity is diametrically opposite. That makes love, mercy and truth, the requisites. Reverance for God, love for all men, humility, gratitude, charity, Jesus said were the essentials. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
–Rev. Otis Skinner, Seven Sermons, Delivered in the Orchard-Street Universalist Church, in the Winter of 1847, in Reply to Rev. E.F. Hatfield’s Attack Upon Universalists and Universalism. New York: C.L. Stickney, 1847: 33-34