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ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO THE FAITH ANR
PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE MINISTRY,
Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our
18 1 O.
In the First Edition of this work, printed last year, (at Lebanon, in the State of Ohio,) the reader was notified that, from a variety of causes, several important errors had passed through the press uncorrected; some of which were afterwards corrected in the sheet, and others of less importance still remained. Since that time the work has been carefully reviewed, and where any words or sentences were discovered that appeared not to convey a clear understanding of the sense, or likely to mislead the reader's mind from the true meaning of the subject, they have either been struck out, or others added, in order to render"the sense more clear, plain and familiar to the understanding of common capacities. Some verses, not essentially connected with the main subject, have been placed in the form of Notes at the bottom of the pages ; a few of less importance have been excluded, and a number of new Notes added. some of the long chapters, for the sake of convenience, have been divided : this improvement, together with some amendment in the division of the verses, has occasioned a variation from the first copy in the numbers of many of the chapters and of the verses in general ; but the true sense and order of the original is, throughout, preserved entire. This is to notify the reader that this Second Edition is corrected and improved by the authors.
Done near Lebanon, in the Miami Country, and State of Ohio, 29th of Nov. 1809. }
MANY have undertaken to write and publish concerning the firinciples and fractice of a people, who, in derision, are called SHAKERS, and either through ignorance or prejudice have misrepresented both : so that no true information, from this quarter, could be obtained by those who desired it : hence many have become solicitous of having, from the people themselves, a correct statement of their faith. It is, therefore, in answer to the long-repeated requests of the unprejudiced and candid part of mankind, that the following sheets have been prepared for the press.
The greatest part that hath been published abroad in the world, by common fame, or through such preachers or writers as were either unacquainted with the people, or actuated by a spirit of prejudice, is too ridiculous, absurd, and contradictory, to merit the least attention; nor has anything, hitherto, been published that meets our approbation, except a small pamphlet, entitled, of concise statement of the firincifiles of the only true Church, written to a deaf man, by particular request, and printed at Bennington, Vermont, in the year 1790; and a pamphlet published last year, under the title of The Kentucky Revival.
Some things, however, have been published from a spirit of detraction and slander, which are not altogether unworthy
of notice, inasmuch as they have some appearance of author
ity, and claim for their foundation, certain well known facts, from which undue advantage has been taken, not only of stating facts in an imperfect light, but also of adding the most groundless falsities.
This remark will justly apply to an anonymous publica
tion, printed in Danville, ( Kentucky, ) 1805, said to be taken from the Theological Magazine. A specimen of this garbling writer is, that, “The first founder of this wild sect was “one JANE LEEs: she lived in the town of Manchester, in “England; was of low parentage, and procured her living at “the expence of her chastity. She sustained the character “of a woman of ill fame in England, which character she “supported in America until her death.”
That God did make use of a woman to open the present Testimony of Christ, is a fact; and also that she lived in the town of Manchester, in England, and was of low parentage : But the writer unhappily mistook both her name and character, which may have given occasion to a thousand other mistakes, or palpable falsehoods, concerning the people.
The woman whose character he attempts to slander, we can confidently say, upon good evidence, was a chosen vessel, ordained of God, to convey the knowledge of his will to a lost world ; and for no other cause than the purity of her life, and the piercing truth of the testimony which she bore against the hidden abominations of the wicked, was her chastity called in question, and all manner of evil spoken against her falsely.
And her sustaining the character of “a woman of ill fame,” in the midst of a crooked and ferverse nation, was one very striking evidence that she was not of the world, for the world doveth its own ; and in this it is very evident that she bore the more striking relation to the Son of God, who, as to outward appearance, was so particularly noticed for the meanness of his parentage and character; and who was well known to have been a person of ill fame, in Judea, among the Scribes and Pharisees, until he was publicly executed as a malefactor, between two thieves.
But there is, still, a more striking analogy between this anonymous libel, and the character of the Virgin Mary, given