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Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal
But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty
PRINTED BY THOMAS C. OCUSHISSE
IT may be proper to inform the reader that the controversy which has given rise to the following essay was originated by Asa Rand, a professed minister of the gospel, in Gorham, Maine, who, not content with performing the duties of such an office (if indeed he is qualified, and is sensible of what his duties are) roluntarily stepped aside and attacked and grossly misrepresented the principles and practice of his innocent and unoffending neighbours. This he did in two sermons which were published in the year 1817, of them as related to the society of Friends, and which were deemed worthy of any notice, were replied to by Edward Cobb, in a small tract published soon after. Since which, Rand has made a seint at rejoining 10 Cobb’s remarks; wbich however he has touched but very slightly. Instead of which, he has branched out in a new publication calling in question the prin. ciples and practices of this society much more exten. sively; and in doing it has added misrepresentation to misrepresentation.
To clear the principles and practices of this society so far as he has attempted to implicate them, is the de. sign of the following sheets. How far this is done the candid reader is left to judge.
It may not be amiss however briefly to state, that This writer has endeavoured to impugo the tenets of this society in these particulars. A want of giving due credence to the Holy Scriptures.
To their disuse of
outward ordinances. To their undervaluing the character and office of Jesus Christ. To their professed belief in a divine principle immediately operating upon the human heart. To their not holding to the resurrection of the body, and to their not being correct in their belief in the necessity of repentance and regeneration. He has also suggested that they do not explicitly hold to future rewards and punishments. All of which, as well as others not enumerated, have been the themes of former adversaries, and hare been repeatedly and it is believed effectually answered by our prede-, cessors in the same faith.
It was more excusable in those, who, in the early part of the existence of our society, made these invidious attacks, because, those vindications and explicit statements of our principles, which have since been so fully made, were not then before the public : but that they should be reiterated and again retailed out by Asa Rand, who might and ought to have known that they had been refuted more than a century ago, is just cause of regret as well as animadversion.
Friendly Reader, It may be thought that I have treated him with too much asperity; but whatever excess of feeling I may appear to have indulged, I am persuaded, whoever reads his publication, will be satisfied that I had much to suppress, and will therefore make proper allowances, for had I suppressed more I might have have felt myself guilty of what I have im. puted to him, viz. fallacious pretences, in undertaking to give his performance the colour of a “friendly debate,” and then filling it with unnecessary imputa. tions and sarcasms; such as
6 the holy duty of 'quaking,' pretended new revelations,” &c. &c. besides the