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vii

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vi of fplendid abilitiesbI fIll truft I am eapable of relating in writing fuch matters of fa as my eyes have feen and my ears have heard. You have altfo blended my want of literary tal- ents, with inability as to the fubje of your faith, " undeeJi'anding "your dorinnes, or having any Inowledge of the wvork of God among you.". This is what I did not expe, in as much as I hoped that a facred regard to truth would have been adhered to in all your correfponrdence. As to the work of God among you, I Thall leave the reader to judge for himfelf. You explicitly declare your difapprobation of my work even before you have examined it. This mode of deftroying the au- thenticity of a book, will be accepted by thofe only who pin their faith on your flecves: and I truft you cannot have the bokinefe to publifh to the world, that it is impoffible for a man to ob- tain a knowledge of your faith and doctrines, who has been a member of your Church upwards of fix years, and who has fpcnt much of his time in difcourfes with the Elders and others who had an underflanding of the faith, in order to procure that knowledge. But I perceive you have not written particularly for me, but hereafter for the publick, in order to rebut or in- validate my publication whenever it may make its appearance; and therefore you widfi to make people believe, I have not an underfianding of your faith and doarines, and.am not competent to tZe t'!/v I have undertaien; but the underfianding reader will then fee, that I have a thorough knowledge thereof; likewife, a competent knowledge of the Hiftory of the Church from the earlieft time to the period in which my work ends, and will be able to judge whether or not I have written with candour. As to the world of mankind being ignorant of -me, as you mention, it concerns me little-: where I am known, however, I have the fatisfadion to think I fhall be believed. I hall adhere frirkIly to truth in my reprefentations of you, your faith and prafice; and I am confcious to myfelf of hav- ing conducted this undertaking with upright intentions. And though you, in part of your letter, feem apprehenlive that my "writings may impofie on ferious inguirers," yet in another part you. .faure me " there is no appranehenjm of harm to you from my pubica.