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THE SALVATION OF ALL MANKIND IS CLEARLY EXHIBITED
AGAINST THE DOCTRINE,
FAIRLY STATED AND FULLY ANSWERED.
BY RUSSELL STREETER.
Understandest thou what thou readest? How can I, except some man should
guide me? Acts viii, 30, 31.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835,
BY RUSSELL STREETER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Vermont:
TO SECOND EDITION:
The ready sale of the first edition of these CONVERSATIONS, the general approval of the work by the Universalist Public, and the continued demand for the same in all sections of the country, encourage the Author to issue this revised and enlarged edition. He has availed himself of the remarks of all, friends and foes, and made such erasures and additions, as judgment dictated; and trusts that the alterations will greatly enhance the value of the work. He acknowledges his indebtedness to certain brethren, who have offered some judicious suggestions in regard to the style and phraseology of some parts of the book, which have been serviceable. A serious : hope is indulged, that all colloquial and obnoxious phrases, are expunged, and that this edition will merit and receive the undivided approbation of our editorial and ministering brethren, throughout the country.
The Indexes of subjects, and of scripture Texts, have been added by the advice of discriminating friends, and will doubtless be found very convenient to inquisitive readers.
The following extract from the Preface to the first edition, will apply equally well to this :
The work will sufficiently explain itself to those who read it with candor; and to those who do not, no explanation is due. As it embraces, in a condensed form, the conversations I have had with preachers and laymen of various persuasions, in eight States of the Union, in which I have travelled and preached, not only my numerous friends and brethren, but many others, into whose hands the book may fall, will
be able to recollect and recognise most of its contents. In no instance have I stated, as matter of fact, what was not literally true.
Grateful acknowledgments are due to several authors, whose works are referred to in the coming pages; to my ministering brethren generally; and, particularly, to those editors who have spoken of the CoNvERSATIONs in terms of encouragement. Should this edition meet their expectations, the knowledge of the fact would contribute to my best reward.
Trusting in the justice and holiness of the cause, I respectfully invite a fair and manly examination, by any religious opposer; not by contortions of words and sentences, nor by using the knife of editorial dissection, cleaving off a slice here, and breaking a joint there; but by a serious attempt at refutation. Let those able and pious men, who profess to be lovers of “immortal souls,” show their faith by their works, and they will be venerated for sincerity, as they are for talents.
This being the first volume of CONVERSATIONS, should life, and health of body and mind be spared, I shall keep my eye upon the main subject, search for the most weighty objections to the truth, which remain unanswered, and present them, in due time, in another volume, should the good of the cause render it necessary, and Merciful Heaven approve my works and resolutions.
R. STREETER.. WOODSTOCK, Vt. 13th April, 1835.
INQUIRER introduces the subject of the Conversations. The
DOCTRINE of universal grace, holiness and happiness, is then distinctly and briefly stated, and the particular meaning of certain terms and phrases, candidly given.
Inquirer. I am very happy in meeting you, friend Universalist, at this time, as I hope to learn something definite in regard to the essential principles of Universalism. It has been my misfortune not to meet with persons of your denomination, who were sufficiently acquainted with the peculiarities of your system of doctrine, to give me all the information which is needed, in order to form a correct opinion of its merits. And indeed, it has so happened, generally, that when I have conversed with people, or heard preaching, or read any thing, on the doctrine, the principal object appeared to be, to disprove and explode other systems, by exposing their supposed contradictions and deformities, rather than to state and defend the doctrine of universal salvation. Hence, I do not understand your system; and, I am inclined to believe the same is 'true of many candid people, who violently oppose it.
Universalist. I thank you for your candor and frankness, dear Sir, and a friendly interview on the subject of your inquiry, would be no less