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tural standard. There is no more necessity for falling into a rage when demonstrating a proposition in Christianity, than when demonstrating a proposition in mathematics: although the infinitely interesting quality of the one above the other, will involve a deeper feeling; will furnish an explanation of the warmth which is apt to accompany it; and will draw from candor an allowance for our common frailty. Controversy then being unavoidable, as truth and falsehood often meet, and never agree, it must occasionally occupy every one who wishes to have a good conscience. But as great evils result from an improper manner of conducting it, the remarks in this paper are to be understood as contemplating it under the following restrictions: I. There should be no personal asperity. The greater part of feuds arises from the rash use of names and epithets. If one is obliged to expose weakness or disingenousness, let not the exposure separate decorum from strength; nor forfeit respect in the act of forcing conviction. 2. There should be no impeachment of motives, where facts to justify such a censure are not too palpable to be set aside. The bosom is a sacred retreat : God alone can explore it without the aid of external evidence. And, therefore, a man must be his own betrayer, before his fellow-man may presume to judge of what passes in his heart. Bad as the condition of the world is, it would be unutterably worse, if men always meant whatever their words convey, or even their actions indicate. Many persons have said and done, with the utmost integrity of motive, things which could not have been said or done by some others without an absolute sacrifice of principle—though it is not hence to be inferred that the things were right. 3. No consequence of an opinion should be attributed to those by whom it is disowned. As the number of correct reasoners is comparatively few, positions are often advanced, of which their authors are far from perceiving the real tendency. This observation solves a disficulty that otherwise would be very embarrassing. Many a one whose piety it would be insolent to question, has held tenets which lead to the most impious conclusions. What then Q must we say that these conclusions form a part of his creed, and arraign him when he denies them, as being at once both a blasphemer and a hypocrite 7 For example: because we are persuaded that opposition to the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus, and to the doctrine of the reformed churches concerning the divine decrees, will drive the opposers, if closely followed up, through the Socinian and deistical camps, into atheism itself; are we, therefore, to brand them as Socinians, deists, or atheists? God forbid! It is our consolation to know that multitudes of them would, with horror, abjure their views on these points, could they see them to be connected with such results; and to believe that they renounce in words, things, which, without being aware of it, they love in their hearts. It is ignorance of this sort which, in some cases, reconciles with the existence of grace, a notion subversive of the gospel. Let me not, however, be supposed to favor in the slightest degree, that monster of modern philosophy—the innocence of error. Detect it; pursue it; hunt it down; urge it over the precipice : but permit those who started with it to disengage themselves in season, and save their lives. In plain words: charge home upon error its most tremendous consequences; but charge them not, when solemnly disavowed, upon the man whom it has misled. If you reason fairly, he must either quit his ground, or maintain it feebly; and while your triumph will be complete, neither mercy nor justice will forbid you to let him shelter himself from crime amid the thickets of contradiction. The reader will doubtless apply the foregoing rules, without abatement, to the disquisitions in the present work. And his right to do so is unquestionable. That he shall never, in perusing it, meet with an instance of transgression, it would savor of boasting to affirm. But that it shall not be often repeated, nor long continued, he may reasonably demand. Care shall certainly be employed that the Christian's Magazine be not unworthy of its name; but if unhappily, any thing of a different mark should steal into its pages, let the Christian critic remember that he owes to its writers the same indulgence which they owe to him ; and he will enter an occasional trespass into his account current with human imperfection,

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