William Ellery Channing: Discourse on Spiritual Fr




William Ellery Channing: Discourse on Spiritual Freedom 1830

Excerpts read by Charles Bryant

I do not often read sermons. But when I came upon this discourse, I was immediately struck by its truth and power. It was given by Dr Channing in 1830, but it applies equally in 2010; and not only to Christianity, but to all religion and to every sect. I think it would also have been relevant at most times over the last 2,000 years, and even back to the dawn of civilisation. I have not been able to give the whole discourse, but what I have recorded will give a representative flavour of the mind of this estimable American. I will not attempt to give historical details here, but there is ample material concerning the good doctor on the Net for those who are interested in learning more. Let me just add some of his own words here:

'The soul should fill us with awe. It is an immortal germ, which may be said to contain now within itself what endless ages are to unfold. It is truly an image of the infinity of God, and no words can do justice to its grandeur.'