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As Christianity is happily not a subject resting on vague metaphysical speculations, but is founded upon the authority of books written in languages, which are understood and explained according to known and standing rules, I therefore propose, with a view to the more speedy and certain attainment of religious truth, to establish a monthly periodical publication, commencing from the month of April next, to be devoted to Biblical criticism, and to subject unitarian as well as trinitarian doctrines to the test of fair argument, if those of the latter persuasion will consent thus to sub. mit the scriptural grounds on which their tenets concerning the Trinity are built.
For the sake of method and convenience, I propose that, beginning with the Book of Genesis and taking all the passages in that portion of Scripture, which are thought to countenance the doctrine of the Trinity, we should examine them one by one and publish our observations upon them; and that next month we proceed in the same manner with the Book of Exodus, and so on with all the Books of the Old and New Testa nents, in their regular order.
If any one of the Missionary Gentlemen, for himself and in behalf of his fellow labourers, choose to profit by the opportunity thus afford. ed them of defending and diffusing the doctrines they have undertaken to preachi, I request that an Essay on the Book of Genesis of the kind above intimated may be sent me by the middle of the month, and if confined within reasonable limits not exceeding a dozen or sixteen pages, I hereby engage to cause it to be printed and circulated at my own charge, should the Missionary Gentlemen refase to bestow any part of the funds, iotended for the spread of Christianity, towards this object; and also that a reply (not exceeding the same number of pages) to the arguments adduced, shall be published along with it by the beginning of the ensuing month. That this new mode of controversy by short monthly publications may be attended with all the advantages which I, in common with other searchers after truth, expect, and of which it is capable, it will be absolutely necessary that nothing be introduced of a personal nature or calculated to hurt the feelings of individuals that we a. void all offensive expressions and such argu. ments as have no immediate connection with the subject and can only serve to retard the progress of discovery; and that we never allow
ourselves for a moment to forget that we are engaged in a solema religious disputation.
As religion consists in a code of duties which the creature believes he owes to his creator and as “ God has no respect for persons; but in every nation he that fears him and works righteousness is accepted with lim," it must be considered presumptuous and unjust for one man to attempt to interfere with the religious observances of others, for which he well knows, he is not held responsible by any law either human or divine. Notwithstanding, if mankind are brought into existence and by nature formed to enjoy the comforts of society and the pleasures of an improved mind, they may be justified in opposing any system, religious, domestic, political, which is inimical to the happiness of society or calculated to debase the human intellect; bearing always in mind that we are children of ONE Father “ who is above all, and through all, and in us all.”
Calcutta, January 30, 1823.
Necessity bas ariv a the Ander to these puwlications
Autwr's precau lon in the Se cond Appeal