Near Lexington, Ky., March 5, 1839.
DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: – I have this moment seen Brother Trott’s note of the 6th ult., published in No. 4, of the current volume of the “Signs,” in which he asks an explanation of the following quotation from my letter published in No. 3, viz: “I will not retort by saying Brother Trott received his present opinions on the subject from the authors loaned him by a brother, in which they were fully held forth.” By reference to the sentence immediately preceding (in the same letter) it will be seen that I express mortification that Brother Trott should have charged all those who differ from him on the subject of Justification with plagiarism – that they have received their opinions from Doct. Gill – that they have no mind of their own. I felt that Brother Trott had been too censorious in some of his productions referable to the pending controversy which I regretted exceedingly to see; and that equal consoriousness on the part of those who occupied the other side of the question might cause them to retort, which I would not do. With reference to myself, there would be quite as much justice in charging Brother Trott with deriving his present opinions on the subject of Justification from the authors referred to, as there was in charging me with receiving mine from Doct. Gill. I was not aware of Doct. Gill’s views until after Brother Trott’s “Thoughts on Justification” appeared in the Signs; and their appearance was subsequent to the publication of the Licking Circular of 1837. My allusion to with Brother Trott takes exception is to a sentence contained in his communication of Aug. 2, 1838, published in Vol. vi., No. 17,page 130: – “An esteemed brother has since reminded me that Doct. Gill refers to several authors of note who held the justification of the Church as I do; at the resurrection of Christ. I had formerly read Doct. Gill’s Body of Divinity; but having at that time full confidence in the Doctrine of Eternal Justification, I did not probably notice the different views which he ascribes to these authors.” I had not the number before me at the time I wrote the letter, including the sentence an explanation of which Brother Trott asks, and which I cheerfully make at the first convenient moment. My design was to give the substance, not the words verbatim of Brother Trott. I take occasion here to remark that I differ from Doct. Gill on many points; yet where he convinces me by “Thus saith the Lord,” that I am in error, I cheerfully yield, as I would do were Brother Trott or any other person, whether Old School, New School, or No School to convict me of error.
In conclusion, I have to say I am sure that Bro. Trott has no friend who would be farther from doing him or any other person intentional injustice than I would: at the same time I exercise the privilege of criticising his views and those of others, which become public property by their publication, and of dissenting from them where I conceive such views and the word of God are inharmonious.
I hope the explanation I have given may be satisfactory to Brother Trott. I intend writing you so soon as I have leisure on the subject of your editorial remarks in No. 3, present volume, in relation to the pamphlet I desired you to publish through the columns of the “Signs.”
Sincerely your friend and brother,
In the precious Redeemer,
THOMAS P. DUDLY.
Signs of the Times
Volume 7, No. 7.
April 1, 1839