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 CONTROVERSY between 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.