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He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor Chitt and searcheth him.-ST. PAUL.

Prove all things-hold fast that which is good.-SOLOMON

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AS it would probably be expected that the writer of the following sheets on presenting them to the public, would assign his reasons for so doing, it will be proper to do this in the commencement of this preface, and in order to which, it will be necessary to give a brief sketch of the circumstances which gave them existence.

An Universalist Periodical was commenced in June 1825, at Montrose, to be issued semi-monthly with the title of The Candid Examiner." On being informed that the Editor held a reputation for candor & piety above the common grade of those editors with whom he ranked himself, the writer sought an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the merits of his work. On examination it did appear that the general spirit of the work was more candid and temperate than most works of that peculiar kind. The principles upon which the editor professed to conduct his work, he stated in his editoral address, thus: "We shall not hesitate, boldly, to oppose those theories which we consider as false, whose deleterious qualities are poisoning the streams of human enjoyment, but we shall not intentionally give unnecessary pain to our most virulent opposers; and while we assume the privilege of opposing what we consider erroneous, we give those whom we oppose an opportunity, in this paper, of supporting their own views, on condition of using candor in argument, decency in expression & a prolixity compatible with the size of this work." (Vol. I. p. 2.) This proposition appeared quite plausible, and the language very moderate and pleasant: but being permitted to go on to his seventh number without meeting with any


one who felt disposed to engage him in his columus, be
came out in a style a little more ardent, as follows:-
"We also would say to all our opposers that we are
open to conviction, and that the columns of this paper
will be gladly granted to their service, should they wish
to refute the doctrine of its conductor. If our doctrine is
as absurd and as unscriptural as they insinuate, it is their
duty to show it. We then say again to our opposers if
there is light in you let it shine. Remember that you
must answer to your God for your criminality by permit-
ting what you call our darkness to extinguish your light.
Open and fair dealing comports with a good religion-
stratagem and intrigue it will spurn out of its presence.-
Come then, let us reason together." (Vol. I. p 56.) On
reading this warm and nervous challenge-very sensibly
feeling the force of the appeal to our love of truth, and of
his warning, that we must answer" to our " God,"
&c. not knowing that any one better qualified, would
undertake the business-and supposing that the interests
of truth required that some one should; the writer deter-
mined to accept the proposition. Though it appeared to be
a matter of some importance to do away the impression
under which his friends seemed to labour, that no one dare
engage him, and to silence the clamor which had been
raised through the country upon the subject; yet the prin-
cipal object of the writer was to present his readers with
a few striking specimens of what might be said in opposi-
tion to his system; and to guard the minds of the more
serious and candid against his plausible sophistry. Be-
lieving that occasionally throwing an obstacle in his way
which he could not effectually remove, would cause many
to examine the subject more thoroughly-and so to see
the truth-upon whom, otherwise, the continual dropping
of his pen, would produce an impression favorable to his
mistaken theory.

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The writer accordingly addressed a note to the editor upon the subject expressive of his design in general. And how cordially he was received will appear from the following introduction which the editor gave him to his readers: "We welcome Observer into the columns of the Examiner, and promise him a candid hearing and all due attention. His design in coming forward is laudable, & we hope if our bulwarks' are vulnerable, he will bring

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forward engines' powerful enough to (Vol. I. p. 102,)

demolish' them.

The plan was embraced in five short numbers (the first part of this work) which the editor published promptly, sending out his replies' at the same time.


A rejoinder was immediately commenced (the second part of this work) and the articles were promptly supplied; & the editor proceeded in their publication, (though often with much delay) till he had finished the 5th number when he came to a pause.-And what was altogether unaccountable was, that he ceased to publish without assigning any reason, or giving any explanation! So that the public was left in total ignorance with regard to the cause why the controversy was so abruptly broken off. Indeed some of the editors friends were very ready to insinuate that

Observer had become weary of the controversy and had abandoned it."-Under these circumstances the subject was permitted to rest, for more than three months, when the writer addressed a letter to the gentleman upon the subject. In this the grounds of complaint were stated, and the editor was requested to enter into some specific arrangements for the future. And in order to bring the matter before the public, and to obtain his views, he was requested to publish the communication in his next paper-but he did not see proper to comply with the request. After a delay of several weeks however, he condescended barely to give notice that he had two of Observer's rejoinders on hand” which on account of "their uncommon length" he had been obliged to defer publishing" to give room for other matter, which on account of promises, was entitled to a preference." (Vol. 2. p. 181.) Now as to the "length" of these articles, it will be but justice to observe, that the gentleman had not given the least intimation that the writer had transgressed due bounds in this respect--Indeed he did not even give notice that he had received any such papers, until he had been plainly addressed upon the subject. It is true that the numbers referred to, were somewhat longer than those which had deen previously published, the subjects requiring that they should be. But the editor should have recollected the prolixity of his replies. In replying to the first part of this work, he occupied more than twice the number of pages which that occupied. The rejoinder, 20

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