THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT-THE
BOND OF PEACE.
A Sermon preached in Free St George's,
on the first Sabbath after the rising of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, 1873.
BY ROBERT S. CANDLISH, D.D.,
PRINCIPAL OF THE NEW COLLEGE, AND SENIOR PASTOR OF FREE ST GEORGE'S.
WITH AN APPENDIX, CONTAINING
1. Finding of the Assembly on the Report of the Union
2. Act directing this Finding to be communicated to the other Churches.
3. Dissent of Mr Nixon, Dr Begg, Dr Forbes, and Others.
4. Explanatory Statement of Dr Duff, Earl of Dalhousie, Dr Candlish, and Others.
EDINBURGH: MACLAREN & MACNIVEN, PRINCES STREET. 1873.
IT will be seen that this Sermon is published very much for the sake of the Appendix. I think this a fair way of trying to keep together the important documents connected with the Assembly's proceedings in closing for the present the Union movement. Of course, I alone am responsible for the sentiments of the Discourse, and for its issue in its present form, and with its present accompaniments.
It is right to explain that the names appended to Mr Nixon's Dissent are exclusively the names of members of Assembly. We proposed to allow a wider latitude of signature. But the proposal was declined, and perhaps rightly, on strict constitutional grounds.
As regards our own Explanatory Statement, I may be permitted to say a few words. I prepared it, when quite alone, without consultation beforehand or advice at the time, simply for the relief of my own mind, and without caring much whether few or many might join in it. I shewed it to five friends, I think, who all approved of it without even a verbal alteration. It was thus strictly private, until I read it in the Assembly on Thursday, 29th May. It lay thereafter for signature in the precincts of the Assembly Hall; but without the possibility of organisation beforehand or pressure at the time, we simply allowed names to be appended, with a view to their being engrossed, according to agreement, in the Assembly's Record.
I cannot imagine any harm likely to ensue if steps are quietly taken to allow office-bearers throughout the country, the opportunity of signing either of these documents. Of course, their signatures cannot be engrossed in any ecclesiastical record. And no agitation need attend any such movements.
But I am far from saying that they are necessary or desirable. I merely indicate their harmlessness.
E. S. C.
June 13. 1873.
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