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FAMILIAR DIALOGUES

ON

SHAKERISM;

IN WHICH THE

PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED SOCIETY

ARE

ILLUSTRATED AND DEFENDED.

BY FAYETTE MACE.

MAGNA EST VERITAS ET PREVALEBIT."

Behold the latter day appears,
And things mysterious greet our ears,
Which seem to make this wise demand-
Let him that heareth understand.

PORTLAND:

CHARLES DAY AND CO.........PRINTER®.

1838.

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The present is an age of inquiry ; and such is the deep interest taken by all classes of people in the subject of what is termed theology, that the champions of the various sects, which divide Christendom, have almost deluged the country with their voluminous publications. It is consequently difficult for any one to enter the arena of religious discussion and avoid the imputation of vanity. Having been requested, from various quarters and respectable sources, to lay before the public, the causes which have led me to embrace my present views, I feel impelled, by a sense of duty, to gratify that wish. I desire however, in this treatise, to say as little concerning myself as possible. Egotism is always disgusting, let it come from what quarter it may; and almost all the journals and lives, I have taken the trouble to peruse, have exhibited this contemptible weakness to such a degree, that the superficial reader, not being acquainted with their foibles and imperfections, has set them down as superhuman.

Our main object, in whatever we undertake, should be the glory of our Maker and the good of mankind; and it is this consideration more than any other, that induces me, in as concise a manner as possible, to present before my former friends and the public generally, the principles of the United Society (called Shakers) to whose views I frankly acknowledge myself a convert.

Having been a subject of deep religious impressions at an early period of life, my inclination led me to the study of the scriptures as an infallible directory to the realms of blessedness. But as various interpretations were given to the sacred testimony by those, who professed to be divinely illuminated and commissioned to enlighten the benighted understandings of their fellow creatures, I felt it a duty to resort to those for information, who were reputed orthodox. The Calvinistic system of theology consequently engaged my attention. The bodies of divinity," so called, of the most eminent writers of that order were critically perused. Having passed through the ordeal of conviction and conversion, I began seriously to meditate on the subject of the ministry ; and although my prospects were very flattering to a youthful mind, yet I could not bring myself publicly to advocate sentiments, which eclipsed the moral perfec

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