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These have been, and still are, the objects of a violent attack from several dignitaries of the English Church, who appear anxious to bring this country once more under the influence of Popery, and to cause a religion of light and liberty to be succeeded by the darkness and bondage of the Middle Ages. The Romanizing Clergy of Oxford, in the “Tracts for the Times," unblushingly assert that the Reformiers receded too far from Roman Catholicism, and that the scriptural doctrine of justification by faith, to which so much prominence was given in all the “Confessions” of the Protestant Churches, was but a “cunningly devised fable;" and evidently seek to bring our country back to communion with Rome,—to crush that religious freedom which was the offspring of the Reformation,--and to place in fetters the right of private judgment which was procured for us at the price of the martyrs' blood. We declare it to be our firm and conscientious opinion, that Tractarianism, so called, is essentially Popish ; and our full determination, that no effort on our part shall be wanting, to give ample notice of the dangers with which we are threatened, so that the evils may be averted. The papers on this subject which appear in the following pages, will amply testify on our behalf; and, God being our helper, we shall continue to advocate the doctrines of the Reformation, whatever may be the cost : they were those which were taught by Mr. Wesley, and they are ours !
Anxious, however, as we have been to resist and expose the usurpations and delusions of “ Babylon, the mother of harlots," we have not been unmindful of the edification of the church. Many valuable and instructive communications, connected with the doctrines of the Gospel, and the duties and privileges of the Christian life, are placed before our readers. To the department of Religious Biography we have paid a careful attention, and this will be continued. In the
space allotted to literary and scientific subjects, we have endeavoured to keep in view the great design of the Magazine committed to our management; and hope that, during the ensuing year, we shall be enabled, in a more extensive degree, to bring before our intelligent readers miscellaneous topics pertaining to the progress of science, which shall be characteristic of the advancing spirit of the age in which we live,-enlightened by the application of religious truth, and subservient also to the defence and progress of the Gospel of Christ.
We now address ourselves to the labour of another year, acknowledging that we shall need grace and wisdom from above to discover and act as the exigencies of the times may demand. The period has arrived, in which no individual professing the Christian character can slumber at his post and be guiltless! Principles are even now at work around us, which tend to sap the foundation of our civil and religious liberties; and if ever there was a time when Wesleyan theology and the principles of the Reformation were required to be distinctly understood, and energetically declared, it is now. Depending upon the promised aid of the Great Head of the Church, and the prayers of the faithful, — and soliciting the continued help of our numerous correspondents, to whom our thanks are sincerely presented,—we trust that our efforts will not be unsuccessful.
November 19th, 1842.
FOR JANUARY, 1842.
MEMOIR OF SIR WILLIAM CHARLES ELLIS, M.D.,
Of Southall-Park, Middlesex:
BY THE REV. JOHN HANNAH, D.D. Sir WILLIAM CHARLES ELLIS was descended from an ancient and respectable family. He was the eldest son of the Rev. William Ellis, M. A., Rector of All-Hallows, Steyning, and author of “ A Collection of English Exercises, translated from the Writings of Cicero, for Schoolboys to re-translate into Latin,”-a valuable compilation, which Fet retains its use and reputation in the best seminaries of this country. The Rev. William Ellis enjoyed an honourable fame as a man of literary attainments; and was also the personal friend of several distinguished men, of whom it is sufficient to name Sir William Jones, and Edmund Burke, Esq. For some years he was Master of the Grammar-School at Alford, in Lincolnshire ; and in that place the subject of these memorials was born, March 10th, 1780.
From his father he received, in early life, the elements of a sound classical education. He discovered so great an aptitude for the acquisition of learning, that, when only five years old, he is said to have commenced writing Latin, most probably according to the plan of the Exercises already named, which have rendered more than ordinary assistance to many other young people. Before he left school, he had passed through the usual course of Latin and Greek authors, and had committed to memory considerable portions of Homer, Horace, and Virgil. Some of these he never forgot; and, to the end of his life, he retained a taste for poetry and polite letters. It was his father's intention to train him for the bar; but, from an inadequacy of pecuniary means, he was constrained to relinquish that scheme; and was induced to avail himself of an opportunity of introducing his son into the medical profession. In pursuance of this more attainable object, young Ellis was placed in a situation at Hull.
Shortly after his arrival in that town, and when he was about fifteen years of age, he was deeply affected by the powerful preaching of the Rev. Joseph Milner, whose name deserves to be had in grateful remembrance as an exemplary Christian teacher and Pastor, as well as a pious historian of the church of Christ. He earnestly desired to Vol. XXI. Third Series. JANUARY, 1842.