Contents: UU World Back Issue

We believe


by the Rev. William Channing Gannett

We believe that to love the Good and to live the Good is the supreme thing in religion;
We hold reason and conscience to be final authorities in matters of religious belief;


We honor the Bible and all inspiring scripture, old and new;

We revere Jesus, and all holy souls that have taught men truth and righteousness and love, as prophets of religion.

We believe in the growing nobility of Man;

We trust the unfolding Universe as beautiful, beneficent, unchanging Order; to know this order is truth; to obey it is right and liberty and stronger life;

We believe that good and evil invariably carry their own recompense, no good thing being failure and no evil thing success; that heaven and hell are states of being; that no evil can befall the good man in either life or death; that all things work together for the victory of Good.

We believe that we ought to join hands and work to make the good things better and the worst good, counting nothing good for self that is not good for all;

We believe that this self-forgetting, loyal life awakes in man the sense of union here and now with things eternal—the sense of deathlessness; and this sense is to us an earnest of the life to come.

We worship One-in-All—that life whence suns and stars derive their orbits and the soul of man its Ought,—that Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, giving us power to become the sons of God,—that Love with which our souls commune.

William Channing Gannett
(1840–1923) wrote “Things Commonly Believed among Us” in 1887 for the Western Unitarian Conference, which was then divided by a theological dispute between Christian and post-Christian Unitarians. Gannett’s statement helped reconcile the two groups in 1894. Reprinted in The Epic of Unitarianism, compiled by David B. Parke (Skinner House Books, 1985; $16).

 Contents: UU World Back Issue

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