Excerpt from Reply to Rev. Dr. Woods' "Lectures on Swedenborgianism" Delivered in the Theological Seminary, Andover, Mass
The inspired motto of your recently published volume, entitled Lectures on Swedenborgianism Prove all things hold fast that which is good - offers to me the same warrant for examining with care your own work that it does to you for sitting in judgment on the doctrines of Swedenborg. As I do not feel at liberty to question the sincerity and uprightness of the motives which have prompted you in submitting to the ordeal of reason and revelation the merits of the system which he has propounded to the world, so I would fain hope to proceed in a manner equally accordant with the spirit to the apostolic precept in my own probation of the True and my steadfast holding to the Good of your production. If I have any embarrassment in entering )ip'on the task proposed, it arises from the sentiments of warm personal regard which your uniform courtesy and kindness have ever compelled me to cherish toward; you - sentiments abundantly witnessed by the general tenor of your pamphlet - and which render the office that I have entered )1 ou like something under taken by a son in opposition to a father. But the c aims of Truth we both re gard as paramount to those of all earthly relations, and you would justly enter tain but a poor opinion of that professed earnestness of conviction which would forbear, .from motives of complaisance, to assume the defence of principles held to be of the utmost importance, and which were yet called in question and ar raigned of error. Vion this work of vindication Ifeel constrained to enter, how ever hampered by the difficulty of uniting fidelity to truth with the deepest res pect for the person of my opponent. If I should fail in either particular, it will doubtless be owing to the preponderance of the opposite class of sentiments at the time.
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