The scriptures will never keep together in union, and fellowship members who have not the spirit of the scriptures, which spirit is love, peace, unity, forbearance, and cheerful obedience. This is the spirit of the great Head of the body. I blush for my fellows, who hold up the Bible as the bond of union yet make their opinions of it tests of fellowship; who plead for union of all-Christians; yet refuse fellowship with such as dissent from their notions. Vain men! Their zeal is not according to knowledge, nor is their spirit that of Christ. There is a day not far ahead which will declare it. Such antisectarian sectarians are doing more mischief to the cause, and advancement of truth, the unity of Christians, and the salvation of the world, than all the skeptics in the world. In fact, they make skeptics. (Barton W. Stone, "Remarks," Christian Messenger, August 1835, p. 180).
It is, to us, a pleasing consideration that all the churches of Christ, which mutually acknowledge each other as such, are not only agreed in the great doctrines of faith and holiness; but are also materially agreed, as to the positive ordinances of Gospel institution; so that our differences, at most, are about the things in which the kingdom of God does not consist, that is, about matters of private opinion, or human invention. What a pity, that the kingdom of God should be divided about such things!! (T. Campbell, the "Declaration and Address," 1809)
That as it is not necessary that persons should have a particular knowledge or distinct apprehension of all Divinely-revealed truths in order to entitle them to a place in the Church; neither should they, for this purpose, be required to make a profession more extensive than their knowledge; but that, on the contrary, their having a due measure of Scriptural self-knowledge respecting their lost and perishing condition by nature and practice, and of the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, accompanied with a profession of their faith in and obedience to him, in all things, according to his word, is all that is absolutely necessary to qualify them for admission into the church. (Thomas Campbell from the Declaration & Address, quoted by Alexander Campbell in Memoirs of Elder Thomas Campbell, pp. 49-50)
The one fact is, that Jesus the Nazarene is the Messiah. The evidence upon which it is to be believed is the testimony of twelve men, confirmed by prophecy, miracles, and spiritual gifts. The one institution is baptism into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Every such person is a christian [sic] in the fullest sense of the word, the moment he has believed this one fact, upon the above evidence, and has submitted to the above mentioned institution; and whether he believes the five points condemned or the five points approved by the synod of Dort, is not so much as to be asked of him; whether he holds any of the views of the Calvinists or Arminians, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, or Quakers, is never once to be asked of such a person, in order to admission into the christian [sic] community, called the church. (A. Campbell, "The Foundation of Hope and of Christian Union," Christian Baptist, April 5, 1824)
The Saviour expressly declared to Peter, that upon this fact that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, he would build his church; and Paul has expressly declared, that "other foundation can no man lay (for ecclesiastical union) than that Jesus is the Christ." The point is proved that we have assumed, and this proved, every thing is established requisite to the union of all christians [sic] upon a proper basis. Every sectarian scheme falls before it, and on this principle alone can the whole church of Christ be built. We are aware of many objections to this grand scheme, revealed by God, to establish righteousness, peace, and harmony among men; but we know of none that weighs a grain of sand against it. We shall meet them all (Deo volente) in due time and place. (A. Campbell, “The Foundation of Hope and of Christian Union,