Page images
PDF
EPUB

counts, the aspect of religion in al establishments in the coun. Denmark and Sweden, as in tries that profess Christiantiy, Germany, is more favourable, will strikingly appear, from the than at some former periods. state and circumstances of the Though French manners and Northern kingdoms of Europe. philosophy had tainted the high Independently of all considera. er ranks in Sweden and in Den tions of superior utility, which mark, and the luxury and tempta may arise from a well educated tions, incident to similar stations, clergy, according creeds, uni. had fostered their concomitant form discipline, civil protection, vices ; these had never infected and regular instruction, what to any extent, the great body of would be the state of religion in the people. The established countries that are poor and thinreligion in both kingdoms is ly peopled, if no stated teachers Lutheran, with some shades of were provided by a national, or distinction, chiefly in the power, 1 liberal and extended plan of titles, and distribution of the support ? --It has been generalclergy. Manners, schools, dis ly found, that innovators in cipline, the poor, are under sal | forms of religion, leaders of utary regulations, and the happy sects, and founders of parties, effects and principles of the Re ever direct their chief attention formation, are still zealously to rich and populous cities, af. retained. In Lapland and Fin | fluent districts, or scenes where land there still prevails a melan | they may obtain power and choly gloom of almost inaccessi- followers, though it should even ble heathenism : But, in the y be where, according to their other provinces, the Protestant professed tenets, their labours faith, and truths of the Gospel, can least be required. But who, are attended with conspicuous with such tempers, would devote and invaluable advantages.

himself to labour as a teacher in Minds that are narrow, bigot the bleak wilds of Sweden and ed to the forms of their own Norway, or even among the church, or actuated by zeal, not mountains and islands of Scotaccording to knowledge, are land ? Devout and zealous chaprone to deny all merit or utility racters might undertake the to institutions that differ from task, if no knowledge of truth their own, to condemn such na- | were already diffused in these tional establishments, or to limit | regions before them, like the by their own prejudices, the Apostolical spirits, who first counsels of God, and the features | were enabled to convert these of holiness. Enlightened and nations to Christianity. But benevolent Christians will ever though, from the inherent imderive satisfaction from viewing perfections of all human instithe diffusion and effects of pure tutions, and the degenerating religion, whatever be its form ; propensities of men, even in and, like Paul, “ every way, things which are divine, estabwhether in pretence or in truth, lishments are liable to abuse Christ is preached, therein | and to decay, and very unfit they do rejoice, and will rejoice." teachers sometimes usurp the

The advantages, and almost | ministerial office under their indispensible necessity of nation. I sanction ;-still when, by the

[graphic]

good providence of God, such pers printed every week, to reextensive means of religious late the good and ill news coninstruction and light are intro cerning the states and kingduced, acknowledged, and pro- doms of this world, how suitaductive of so much undeniable ble that Christ's kingdom should good, in regions which other. have its Evangelical Magazines. wise would be sunk in darkness Let us adore the mercy of God, and neglect, let Christians again in stirring up the spirit of the be thankful and rejoice. Let Editors of the Magazine, to unthem bless God that the regu. dertake this very important lar institutions of the Protestant work; and let us thank him for churches, even with all their de. the extensive spread which he fects, are yet permitted to be the has given it, and for all the good instruments of so much good : | which has been done by it. and let them pray with renewed The design of this Address to ardour, that their zeal may be the Readers of the Magazine is revived, their worship purified to stir up their minds, to pray from adventitious defects, and for the continuance of the divine their labours still more exten blessing on this very important sively successful.

publication. No doubt, many of you have already carried this

matter to the prayer-hearing TO THE READERS OF THE CON | God, I beseech you to abound

NECTICUT EVANGELICAL | more and more in this grace. · MAGAZINE.

I would suggest a number of Christian Brethren,

particular petitions, which ap

pear to me proper to be made VOU know we are command concerning the Magazine, and

1 ed, “ In every thing by which can be most suitably and prayer and supplication, with freely poured forth, in our sethanksgiving, to let our request cret retirements and in our ejabe made known unto God.”- culations. Every thing which is worth do- | 1. We should pray, that God ing is worth asking the blessing would furnish the Magazine of God upon it. What he bles- | with suitable and excellent mata seth is blessed indeed, and with ter. Such a publication is calout his blessing, our greatest culated to do good or hurt, acand most promising exertions cording to the nature of the mato build up his kingdom will terials, of which it is composed. prove of no avail. I think, If it should be filled with error brethren, we are under great and misrepresentation of Chrisobligation to give thanks to tian doctrine ; if it should exGod for the periodical work hibit wrong views of Christian which now lies before us. What experience and practice, it will a great blessing to the church is do incalculable mischief. We such a religious publication should pray, that this work may Like the trees of Paradise, it be replete with truth, and with bears twelve manner of fruits, such truth as is most needed by and yields its fruit every monin. the readers, and most calculaIf it be suitable, that there ted to promote their edification. should be thousands of newspa. 'God can stir up here one and

VOL. V. No. 3• .

l

there another, to write such pie- , and righteousness, we may exces, as shall be most useful. pect he will do it. We should pray, that God would 3. All will see the importance reflect much light on their of praying,'that God would acminds, while they are pre-company the reading of the Maparing spiritual food for such gazine with his holy spirit, so a multitude of guests. While that it may feed the sheep of we are praying to God about Christ's flock, and convert sinthe materials of the Magazine, / ners from the error of their way. we shall naturally be led to ask Paul may plant the best seed, him, to furnish it with a de- and Apollos water it with the lightful and edifying variety of most divine eloquence, still there doctrinal essays, interesting nar- will be no harvest, unless God ratives, biographical sketches, give the increase. If the Maand other soul refreshing com- gazine is furnished with the positions. While we pray, that choicest matter, and if it should we may be entertained in read circulate from one end of the ing accounts of spreading re- land to the other, still it will do vivals of religion, remarkable no good if God do not accompa. conversions, and the examplary ny it with his gracious influence. lives of holy men, we shall na. This is that which makes turally be led to two petitions ; preaching or reading enlarge first, that there may be many the heart, revive the spirits, and such agreeable things to relate ; set the soul in motion towards and, in the second place, that God. Those who write for the they may be sent forward to the Magazine should pray much, Magazine. Anotherthing, which that if God sees fit that what will strike our minds while pray- they write should come before ing for rich materials for this the public, he would attend precious repository, will be to the reading of it with his ask the God of wisdom, to assist grace. Sermons or Magazine and direct the Editors in deter-compositions, which have been mining what pieces, among those interwoven with much prayer, committed to their inspection, will be likely to do much more. shall be inserted.

good, than pieces of equal mer2. It is a matter of sufficient it, on which the blessing of the importance to pray about, that Most High has not been implorGod would give the Magazine ed. God will be sought unto an extensive circulation, and dis- for his blessings : Ezek. xxxvi. pose many to read it. God can 37. Whenever we take up a give people a mind to read, and Magazine (or indeed any other he can give such celebrity to book) we should look up to heavthis work, that there shall be | en for a blessing upon the readgreat pains taken to obtain it. ing. When a new number of Divine Providence can so dis- | this work comes out, we should pose events, that the circulation fervently pray, that it may, thro' of this pamphlet shall become | the divine blessing, do infinite more practicable and easy; and in good. Each reader of the Maanswer to the disinterested de- gazine should pray, not only for sires of those, who long for the his own, but for the edification more extensive spread of truth of every other reader; that each

[graphic]

successive number may promote ders of intelligent creatures who a great growth in grace and inhabit the celestial world. This knowledge among many thous- is a mystery, which, the scripands in Israel. And while pray- tures inform us, the Angels ing for these things we ought with a sacred curiosity desire to to remember the importance of look into ; and shall the wonder exertion on our party in the use and admiration of those immaof all proper means, that a work culate and holy beings be excitso interesting to Zion's peace ed by the grand event; an event and comfort, may not fail, for in which they do not appear to want of frecuniary support. be immediately interested ; and There is great danger of this shall man, guilty, miserable supports being withheld. It re- man, who is deeply and most quires a considerable sum to / intimately concerned in it ; shall carry on such a periodical work; he stand by as an idle spectator, this sum is expected to be re- while the amazing scene is pas ceived from several thousand sing as it were in review before individuals, who are scattered him? Altho' this is, and will all over the land. It is often remain, a mystery, incompredifficult for them to send their hensible by finite minds, and far subscription, when it becomes exceeds the comprehension of due and each one thinks, if I am human reason, yet, as it is not not quite so prompt in making contradictory to reason, and is payment, such a little sum will clearly revealed in the sacred make no great odds. In this oracles of eternal truth, it is the way, there is great danger, that duty and the wisdom of all to payment will not be punctually believe it, and to contemplate it made. From this as much as with wonder and gratitude. any quarter, I apprehend there The incarnation of the Son of is danger of the Magazine's, God, considered in itself, may at length, failing. Let us, there well excite the admiration of all fore, as we value the comfort the intellectual world ; but when and edification which the people the great end and design thereof God now derive from this af are taken into view, how justly excellent repository, not fail in may our wonder and astonish. our exertions in this respet, that ment be increased ! it may be supported.

When we behold the Son of

God as it were laying aside his A READER of the MAGAZINE.

celestial crown and dignity, di

vesting himself of the robes of Reflections on the incarnation and

heavenly Majesty ; suspending

the exercise of his supreme ausufferings of Jesus Christ,

thority as the King of Kings the Saviour of sinners.

and Lord of Lords ; descending MTHE mysterious appearance from his glorious and eternal

1 of the divinity in union throne to take upon him with humanity, and the great what? The nature of an Angel ? and wonderful end and design No! though this would have of that appearance, no doubt been an act of most astonishing excite the wonder and aston- condescension; he stoops still, ishment of all the glorious or- still lower; he comes down into this dark, miserable and guil- , late character of the incompres ty world of ours, to assume the hensible JEHOVAH. nature of his guilty creature! In the economy of redempman l! But is this all ? Does tion, as exhibited in the gospel, his condescension stop here? it is very manifest that God is No, it does not; he leaves the infinitely holy, that he is inflexi. celestial mansion, not merely to bly just, and at the same time visit this benighted region ; not good, yea, even merciful ; in as merely to witness the guilty, much as he is offering pardon the ruinous, the helpless condi- and forgiveness even to the tion of his rebellious creatures; chief of sinners; to the vilest but, for the divinely benevolent transgressors who repent and purpose of offering them delivo | return unto him ; at the same erance ; and that in a way the time he is represented as that most marvellous, condescend- infinite Being who is seated on ing and astonishing, even by a the throne of the Universe, posvoluntary submission to death, a sessed of all power, of all author. death both painful and ignomin- ity, infinitely able to do all his ious, for those very creatures pleasure ; to fulfil all his promwhich himself had made ; more ises, and to execute all his threat. astonishing still! for those very ning's; he is as able to destroy creatures who had dared to rise as he is to save. in opposition to and in rebellion The character and condition against him ; that by shedding of man, as a fallen and guilty his own most precious blood he creature, are also held up to view might maintain the honor of the in the gospel scheme of salvadivine law, and the character of tion; he is shewn to be in a Almighty God, as the moral forlorn and helpless condition ; Governor of the world. He came under a sentence of just con. not to abrogate or set aside that demnation, and utterly incapa. law which is holy, just and ble to do the least thing towards good ; but, more firmly to es- delivering himself; in other tablish it; and that by bearing words, he can do nothing merithe penalty of the law, which torious, nothing that can in the was justly due to apostate, least entitle him to divine favor, sel-ruined man, he might make or recommend him to divine an atonement; and by his per- | mercy. In what a divinely exfect obedience to it, bring in a cellent, glorious and amiable complete and everlasting righ- light, does the gracious Saviour teousness, that so a reconcilia-of men appear! what unequaltion might be effected between led love! what unparalleled con. God and his revolted creatures descension ! what astonishing of the human race; so that now self-denial are at once exhibited God can, consistent with strict in the birth, the life, the death of justice, justify all who truly re- this most illustrious and divine pent of their sins, and cordially personage ! who, though higher trust in this Almighty and mer. than the most exalted earthly ciful Redeemer and prevailing l potentates, though styled in Intercessor.

sacred writ, “ Wonderful, Coun. Such reflections naturally lead sellor, the mighty God, the everus to contemplate the immacual lasting Father;" yet, he hurris

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »