Quoted from the Editor's "Preface."
"EARLY in the present year, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN UNDERWOOD, Freethought lecturer of Boston, Mass., delivered three Radical discourses, in the village of Aylmer, Ontario, under the auspices of the Liberals of that vicinity. During the course of these lectures, the Rev.
Mr. Sheppard, a Campbellite, engaged to meet Mr. UNDERWOOD in a debate on the vital questions, at issue, between Christianity and Freethought.
Feeling personally inadequate to the task, Mr. Sheppard provided a substitute in the person of PROF. O. A. BURGESS, President of the Northwestern Christian University, Indianapolis, with whom MR . UNDERWOOD, had already debated, and had also several other debates pending. MR. UNDERWOOD offered no objections to the substitute, provided the debate be reported. To this MR. BURGESS would not agree, and a lengthy correspondence on the subject, between the two gentlemen, was opened and published in the Aylmer paper.
Both gentlemen remained firm to their respective determinations, and even a few days before the time fixed for the controversy, it was feared none would be held. At last, those fears were dissipated. The Rev. Mr. Sheppard received a private letter from PROF. BURGESS, announcing that the latter would not object to a newspaper report; and as the furnishing of verbatim reports is a prominent feature of modern journalism, MR. UNDERWOOD was telegraphed to " come on; reporters will be present." The gentleman arrived, and the debate
passed off successfully."