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pious and respectable individuals, some of whose religious principles may differ from his own. Difference of opinion on important religious topics ought not to break the ties of harmony between children of the same common Parent, and subjects of the grace of the same Redeemer. On political questions men divide, who on other occasions meet on terms of friendly intercourse. And surely no Christian ought to esteem his brother his enemy because he “ tells him the truth.”
He is doubtful whether he ought to claim any indulgence for the imperfections of this performance, from the peculiar circumstances under which it was written. It was his wish to lay it by for frequent and careful revision. But the violence of the assault upon him seemed to require an immediate defence. He was, therefore, compelled to go rapidly on, amidst constant interruptions, amidst the calls of his usual professional duties, and often under the pressure of bodily languor. He candidly states these circumstances, because deference to the public requires that no immature or incorrect production should, if possible, be exposed to its view. But he is writing idly. The perforinance wields the weapon of controversy. He concludes, therefore, that it can claim no quarter. He leaves it to its fate. His chief solicitude ought to be, that its imperfections should not injure the cause which it advocates.
New-York, June, 1807.
The Christian's Magazine, which the newspapers lately announced to the public, and the responsibility of which, as Proprietor and Editor, you take upon yourself, I have perused, and the determination is instantly formed to ada dress you on the subject.
The tendency of the system of denunciation which you have adopted leaves me no alternative. This denunciation 'is so injurious to my character, and aims at the same time so deadly a blow at the principles of the Episcopal Church, that a moment's delay in repelling it would be traitorous to my sacred office. My soul must be palsied by cowardice, or by apathy more criminal and disgraceful than cowardice, if I could witness my writings denounced, my reputation and usefulness fundamentally assailed, and the principles of my Church held up to scorn and execration, without lifting the honest and ardent voice of remonstrance,
As Editor of the Christian's Magazine, you are responsible for its contents. The Editor of a miscellany may sometimes think himself compelled, by motives of delicacy or impartiality, to admit observations of which he is not the writer, and which in sentiment or in language he may deem liable to censure. To even the smallest indulgence on this plea you have renounced all claim. You assert, that "you will feel yourself not only at liberty, but under obligation to make such alterations in the pieces which may be offered for insertion, as you shall judge expedient." But this matter is well understood. For the triumphs with which taste, delicacy, and truth will doubtless crown the first number of the Christian's Magazine, you have no competitor--alone you stand rex, magnus Apollo. You intend to claim the honour of having made the first breach in the towering fortress of Episcopacy. Your illustrious compeers have only to advance and raze it to the ground! All the original productions in the number of the magazine before me, with the exception of the essay on the visible Church, point with resistless evidence to you as their author. And even if I had not been long taught to expect from your appalling arm chastisement for my temerity in advocating the principles of my Church, the style and spirit of the review of the Essays on Episcopacy would leave me at no loss to whom to tender my most profound acknowledgments for the very honourable notice which that review has condescended to bestow on me.
I behold and address you only as Editor and Reviewer. “For your personal character I entertain umfeigned respect." We have often met, and I trust we shall often meet again, on terms of friendly intercourse. “ My criticisms are intended to apply to you solely as an author.” “Nor can I be justly charged with violating" my“ respect”. for
yoư, “ though I examine” your animadversions “ with as little ceremony as you have brought them forward." I heartily subscribe to the noble maxim of the “ imperial stoick.” And in “ aiming at truth, by which no man was ever injured,” regardless of the dictates of a temporising policy, or of the fear or favour of man, I am swayed by the injunction of one infinitely greater than this “imperial” philosopher. “ Whosoever loveth father or mother more than me” and iny truth, " is not worthy of me."
Paradoxical as it may appear, I confess I am gratified at the appearance of the Christian's Magazine. Present calamity may be measured by the mind. Its magnitude is accurately surveyed. Its dreaded terrors diminish by the habit of contemplation; and the mind, summoning resolu
tion, proudly surmounts them. But threatened calamity is often clothed with a thousand “nameless” horrors by the magnifying and exaggerating power of a panic-struck imagination. With the aprehension of a portentous calamity I have long been tortured. My “ Companion for the Altar,” as innocent in its design as it is in its consequences to all the sincere inquirers after truth, had scarcely found its way among those to whom some of its principles were obnoxious, before vengeance was threatened. Prudence, however, which in charity must certainly be imputed to that mild and tender forbearance which knows not how to pour from its soft-flowing tongue one harsh, one unkind, one criminating expression, for near a year repressed this ire. But before the expiration of a year a s speck of war" appeared in the horizon. The prospectus of the Christian's Magazine, in the spring or summer of 1805, threatened to disturb the “ relations of amịty," and to engage Episcopalians and their fellow Christians in the unprofitable contest of trying who could do one another the most harm.” The opponents of Episcopacy, however, resolved to exhaust forbearance! The Christian's Magazine was delayed, and delayed, and delayed. Were I uncharitable, I would suspect that an aversion to enter the < bloody arena,” on which Episcopacy had so often laid prostrate its antagonists, had full as much influence on this delay as the spirit of forbearance to which ! feel the most cordial disposition to ascribe it. A hero, however, no less renowned than the Rev. Dr. Linn, not taught wisdom by the salutary lessons which he had received some years ago from the Right Rev. Prelate of New-York,” in a theological contest, felt all the vigour and ardour of his youthful days renewed. Indignant at this delay, and spurning the restraints of his compeers, he rushed forward to spread dismay among Episcopalians, and single-handed cover them with defeat. In his numbers styled “ Miscellanies,” published in the Albany Centinel, he attacked the principles of Episcopalians. He was instantly met-met, and vanquished by striplings, inferior to this venerable giant of literature and theology in every thing but the goodness of their cause, and judgment to defend it. Did these striplings or their friends presume ever to triumph, that, clothed with the armour which scripture and antiquity furnished them, they had withstood the shock of the champion of Presbytery, and laid low both him and his cause! They were instantly humbled by the declarations, -The author of Miscellanies has been rash and indiscreet-he knows not the strength of his own cause--he has never read extensively on the subject--he did not “ take the question by the proper handle"-But the Christian's Magazine! this will retrieve the laurels which have been lost--this will flash such transcen. dent light, that the cause of Episcopacy will not be able for a moment to bear up against its overpowering effulgence. Yes, Sir, my soul has often startled at the threat, that you would rise in your might, and pouring the awful majesty of indignant truth on the rash and adventurous advocates of Episcopacy, would “ chase them before you as the chaff before the wind.” The thunder has at length shot from your arm. But-I yet survive! and, astonishing as it may seem, I can summon resolution to maintain my principles, and to expose your denunciations to the world. I thank you, Sir--you have kindly released me from al fear of " the Christian's Magazine."