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The Christmas Dispute Revived

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42 pages26 minutes

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A Letter from Connecticut to Elder ELIAS LEE,
Anabaptist Teacher in the Vicinity of Ballston, State of New-York.



Norwalk, November 16th, 1799. SIR,



A CONTROVERSYbetween you and Mr. Rogers the
Episcopal Minister of Ballston, having lately fallen into my hands, wherein you
are pleased to treat the Episcopalians of these States in a very ungentlemanly
manner. I shall at present only advert to your assertions, that no man can
ascertain the precise day of the Nativity of our Lord, and of consequence that
Episcopalians are superstitious and absurd in their observance of the 25th of
December, as the anniversary of Christmas. Hereafter, I shall do myself the
pleasure of addressing you on the other observances and doctrines sacred to
Episcopalians, with which you have taken, in my judgment, very unwarrantable
freedoms.



To a man so conversant with the sacred Scripture, and so replenished
with the plenitude of the Holy Spirit, as you profess to be, the circumstance
of St. Luke's beginning his Gospel with a chronological account of an event
immediately connected with our Saviour's Incarnation, and a virtual repetition
of the same thing by the Holy Angel as the time of the Annunciation, can hardly
be supposed matters of indifference: And yet it is evident that you have either
overlooked or mistaken the meaning of both; for you say it is a matter of
indifference whether the day can be ascertained or not: The which I deny, and
think it a matter of great consequence to Christianity that the day of our
Lord's Nativity should be chronologically ascertained. I will therefore,
present you, and the candid public, a calculation of the precise day of the
Nativity founded upon two data, viz. the Old and New Testament.



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