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BY REV. EDWIN F. HATFIELD.
PUBLISHED BY J. A. HOISINGTON,
THEOLOGICAL BOOKSELLER, 156 FULTON STREET,
THIRD DOOR EAST OF BROADWAY.
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by
EDWIN F. HATFIELD, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for
the Southern District of New York.
8. W. BENEDICT, PRINTER, 128 FULTON-ST.
ERROR, to be successfully combated, must be known. A minute acquaintance with the resources of an enerny is indispensable to a prosperous campaign. A mode of attack suited to one position would be utterly unsuitable to one of a different character. Ignorance, in such a case, is defeat.
These remarks apply with peculiar force to the controversy with UNIVERSALISM. A sect has grown up in this land within the memory of those now living, which, with loud professions of charity and universal benevolence, under the above name, arrogates to itself the peculiar distinction of being the only depositary of religious truth. Insignificant at first by reason of their entire want of a profound acquaintance with the Scriptures, and the disreputable character of those who became the first converts to the creed, it has now acquired importance by the extent of its prevalence. With a diligence and industry worthy of a better cause, they have insinuated themselves into the confidence of the community in various sections of the country, until they now claim to be regarded as one of the most numerous religious sects in the land. They are, in their own estimation, (Life of Murray,' p. 272,)“ the fifth, (if not the fourth,) in order, in point of numbers, respectabiltiy and talent, among the denominations of the land ;-among the greatest reading people in the Union ; having no less than nineteen or twenty periodicals, issuing every month at least 100,000 sheets to 25, or 30,000 subscribers, among at least thrice that number of regular readers.” “ In the southern and western States,"
“ the doctrine is extending its progress faster than preachers can follow to proclaim and defend it; while in the eastern and middle States, ministers, laymen, and even whole societies are embracing this calumniated doctrine, and coming over to its avowal and support.”
Such were the pretensions of the sect eight years since. Their statistics for the present year show that they have lost none of “this same confident boasting." They maintain