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62 Tyler Rev. Bennet 199
72 Vanderkemp 136,468
232 Velleius Paterculus 9
8 Warren Dea. S.
38 Teignmouth Lord 182 William de Rubruquis 5
[116 Wilberforce 87,184
429 Worcester 44,131
INDEX TO THE TEXTS OF SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATED OR REFER-
Psalm 1xv, 4
MATT viii, 1–17
GEN. I, 26, 27 216,540
Rom. 1, 29
Eccl. xii, 11
2 Cor. v, 14
. iv, 11,12
INDEX TO THE SIGNATURES.
Friend to Liberality 224
47, 95, 144
Ar the commencement of a new volume, it is expected that an address shall appear embracing those topics which relate peculiarly to the connexion between our readers and ourselves. As previous addresses of this kind, however, have occupied the prin- ' cipal subjects appropriate to the occasion, the present article will be short
It is to be noticed with devout gratitude, that the present is the era of Christian exertion. Never before were so many persons, in regions so remote from each other, and with views so enlarged and benevolent, engaged to make the Gospel known in all the world, and to prepare the way for the universal prevalence of its heavenly doctrines. Never before did the whole Christian church look forward with such confident anticipations of the approach of that happy period, when love and peace shall reign in the hearts of men, and all oppression, fraud, violence, and war, all infidelity, hypocrisy, and opposition to true religion, shall be effectually and permanently subdued by the Prince of Peace. Preceding ages have desired and prayed for the period alluded to; but for the present age was reserved the honor of taking efficient measures, on a large scale, with a direct view to evangelize the whole human race; measures which seem admirably calculated, with the divine blessing, to accomplish the purpose for which they are taken. Should it be said, that the wars, commotions, and unexampled revolutions of the present day, seem to portend everything but the peaceful event so much desired, the answer is ready: Precisely such a scene of revolution, tumult, and blood, as we have beheld for a few years past, was foretold, as preparatory to the great and lasting pacification usually called the millennium. The furious wars which have raged above twenty years on the continent of Europe, so far from furnishing an argument against indulging hopes of the kind above specified, are in fact among the most cona vincing proofs that such hopes are well founded.
Let the pious and the benevolent proceed, then, with increased alacrity and zeal; if inclined to despond,' at times, let them revive their fainting spirits by studying the prophetic page; and, while laboring and striving to disseminate the seed of Divine truth, let them comfort their hearts with the reflection, that the world shalt speedily reap the joyful and abundant harvest. Vol. IX.
The attempts which are now making to reform the morals, in various parts of New England, demand the hearty co-operation of all who desire the present or future happiness of their fellow creatures. No time is to be lost in halting between two opinions. If it has not been already proved, that present enjoyment, and happy prospects of the future, are on the side of strict morality and strict religion, it is in vain to expect that any question in more als will ever be settled. Let every friend of his country, of pos. terity, of his own children, join his efforts to those of the patriotic and benevolent already engaged in promoting public and private virtue and suppressing vice.
While adverting to united exertions in the cause of truth and righteousness, we desire to call the attention of our readers to the utility and necessity of religious magazines, permanently established and liberally patronized. How many of the great charities which have adorned the present times would never have been originated without periodical works of this description? How many others would have languished and failed, without the same support? As the first step towards any extensive and united efforts, it is necessary that those, who are called upon to co-operate, should know what is to be done, and what is doing, in the religious world. They should be informed of the means, the hopes and prospects, the duties and encouragements, which claim their particular consideration. But all this can be done in no other way so effectually as in the manner here specified. Let it be remembered, that the establishment of any useful magazine is not justly regarded as a temporary and inconsiderable expedient to subserve the present interests of a party; but as the erection of an engine whose power may be incalculably beneficial; as the opening of a fountain whose salutary streams may long continue to refresh the thirsty pilgrim, and cover the earth with verdure.
Among the duties, which devolve on writers for religious publications, those which relate to the treatment of adversaries are probably the most difficult. As we have never yet learnt from Scripture, experience, or observation, that all the different schemes of religion have an equal claim to be treated with deference and respect, we cannot hesitate to believe, that many pernicious errors actually exist in this country; errors which materially affect the very foundations of Christian doctrine; errors which, if cordially embraced, must prove fatal to the souls of men.
Nor can we hesitate to believe, that these errors are zealously propagated from the press and the pulpit; and that, in some instances, men set apart, as the guides of their fellow sinners in the way to heaven, lead them in the downward road to perdition. How are writers and preachers of this class to be treated? is the question. The rules which have appeared to us most important, and altogether defensible, are briefly as follows:
First; it should be regarded as a fundamental canon, not to judge more unfavorably of any religious doctrine, than the Scriptures authorize and require us to judge. We allow no human authority in matters of faith. What the word of God condemns, it is the duty of Christians to condemn; but nothing more. We are no advocates for drawing the bonds of fellowship closer than God has drawn them; or for inventing stricter rules of conduct than He has given. In construing the Scriptures, and searching after their genuine meaning, the utmost candor, fairness, and reverence, are to be exhibited; but when that meaning is satisfactorily ascertained, it is too serious a thing to be yielded out of complaisance, or concealed from view for fear of reproach and obloquy. It is to be avowed, proclaimed, and defended, with all possible zeal.
Secondly; in controversies with the enemies of the truth, the law of love is never to be transgressed. Christ has made it the duty of his followers to love all men. A real and earnest desire of the present and future good of an opponent is perfectly consistent with the persuasion that he is in extreme error, and in the way to ruin. Indeed, the fact that any human being is in such error, ought to awaken a desire that he may be delivered from it, and will uniformly do so, in hearts under the permanent influence of religion. To ascertain whether a writer is really possessed of this benevolent regard to his adversaries, whom he apprehends, at the same time, to be the adversaries of the truth, let him answer to his own satisfaction the following questions. If the person whom I am now particularly opposing were my brother; had we been educated together in a father's house; or were he a son, whose salvation had been near my heart ever since his birth; should I not soften the expressions which offer themselves to my pen? If I answer in the affirmative, is it because, in the case supposed, my natural affection is stronger, than, in the real case, my benevolent regard to an immortal being? Should I be able to read what I am writing to my opponent in private, without feeling the slightest disposition to anger on the one hand, or the slightest degree of compunction on the other? If not; Why? Am I able to say, with a solenin reference to God, the Judge of all, and to the day of final retribution; This page was written in love to mankind?
If all writers would faithfully pursue inquiries of this kind, it is manifest that the race of Warburtons and Belshams would soon become extinct.
Thịrdly; ridicule should be admitted with extreme caution in religious controversy, if admitted at all. Were it not, that the Scriptures have sanctioned the use of ridicule, we should doubt whether it ought not to be interdicted altogether. Sanctioned as it is, however, by the highest authority, it is doubtless intended, on certain rare occasions, to answer the most important purposes. But it is so liable to perversion, and can so easily be pressed into any cause, while the temptations to use it unnecessarily, and even improperly, are so frequent, that prudence seems to dictate the course here recommended. It is certainly very far from being an instructive spectacle, to behold sinners, hastening to the judgment, busily employed in holding up each other to public laughter and scorn. To prevent mistake, however, it ought to be observed!,