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BY AN ASSOCIATION OF GENTLEMEN.
FOR THE YEAR
PUBLISHED BY HOWE & SPALDING
S. CONVERSE, PRINTER,
IT has been the misfortune of our country, that the efforts made to establish, and conduct periodical publications, especially those of a religious character, have been divided. These publications have, therefore, received but a partial support, have been of circumscribed usefulness, and of short continuance.
To avoid these evils, an attempt will now be made to attain a concentration of labours. A method in which it is supposed this object may be effected, is to allow a compen sation to those who contribute to the pages of the proposed work. To make such compensation, is not only necessary, but just. Those who will thus labour for the public good, are not rich, and will need the reward to which they are entitled.
It is with pleasure we inform those, who might otherwise fear that the proposed work will languish, for want of able, and pious writers, that such men have pledged themselves to its support; their time and talents will be devoted to the promotion of its interests, and while original communications will be made by those who are not thus pledged, it is not upon a precarious foundation, that this publication will rest.
The call of Christians for the work in question, has been loud and constant. It is true indeed, and it is a truth, for which we devoutly thank God, that the external conflict of the church is at an end. After a struggle for twenty years, the battle with infidelity has been won, and few men can be found, who deny the truth of the christian system. All, however, do not receive the truth in the love of it. The church is called to an internal conflict. Its attention must be directed to the dangers which now threaten it. It must be cautioned against an abandonment of the faith once delivered to the saints; and must be taught to guard against an amalgamation with the world. Let it be remembered, also, that in a day when uncommon exertions are made to diffuse religious knowledge, when many are, in the language of the scriptures, running to and fro, it is peculiarly important that the doctrines taught should indeed, be divine;-that error should not be propagated by charity. It shall therefore, be the high object of the proposed work, to inculcate truth. It is hoped that this object will be steadily pursued, with a due sense of obligation to Almighty God, and with a true regard to the souls of men. The doctrines inculcated will be
those which are termed "the doctrines of grace," and which have ever prevailed in the great body of the Congregational and Presbyterian churches. In the statement of controverted doctrines, errors must of course be noticed. We shall attempt to point them out with precision, but in the spirit of christian meekness.
One object of the proposed work, will be to second efforts for the propagation of the Gospel; to inform christians of missionary operations, in every part of the earth; and to animate them to exertion, in the cause of their Lord and Master.
As we have Bible Societies, claiming patronage, and defence, it will be an object of the publication to subserve their interests.
The literature of a country influences religious sentiment. As publications are daily issuing from the press, which require commendation or censure, we shall be attentive to their character.
Such, in short, are the objects of the work, the reasons for establishing it, and for believing that it will not languish. We cannot but hope, that those who wish well to the literature of their country, that christians, and especially christian ministers, will give their aid to extend its circulation; and we ask their prayers for Divine favour to crown with success, this attempt to promote the cause of truth.
Communications for the work are respectfully solicited. For such communications as are inserted, a compensation will be made. It is expected that alterations, if necessary, will be permitted in such communications. The unity of the work will require them. It is desirable, also, that the standard of taste should be elevated, rather than depressed, by the work in question. We would also observe, that in a work comprising communications from a great number of persons, and those too, of different shades of sentiment, It cannot be expected, that the conductors should be thought to adopt every sentiment of their correspondents. A proper latitude for discussion shall be allowed, but it is not designed to endanger the usefulness of the work by controversies; or to permit the work to inculcate what we deem essential error.
We submit the following
I. Religious Communications.
III. Review of Publications.
specification of the contents:
V. Notices of New Publications., VI. Religious Intelligence.
For the Christian Spectator.
who imagine, that a character thus un
Sketches of the Character of Miss folding for usefulness in the present
Julia A. Strong.
JULIA A. STRONG, youngest daughber of the Hon. Caleb Strong, late Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was born at Northampton on the first day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety three. In her early years she was distinguished from her young companions, by no other peculiarities, than those which mark the expansion of a decisive and vigorous mind. She was naturally cheerful, and inclined to active sports and employments; qualities which were happily tempered by modesty, sedateness, and a delicate sense of propriety. Having been early dedicated to God in baptism, she was trained up from infancy to fear Him, and was steadily directed to His service, as the source of all real good. By the united influence of parental example and instruction, she was early taught to cultivate the solid and valuable, rather than the attractive and imposing accomplishments of the intellect and taste. To the formation of a tender and enlightened conscience, was added, in her education, a successful culture of the natural affections and sympathies; which, destitute as they are of any claim to the character of virtue, should still be cherished by every parent with watchful solicitude, for their influence in softening the heart, and restraining the depravity of our nature.
There are, perhaps, in the circle of Miss Strong's acquaintance, those
life, could need only a more perfect developement of its amiable qualities, to secure the favor of God, and the felicity of heaven: that like the marble from the quarry, nothing but the hand of art was requisite, to draw forth its latent beauties, in their fairest forms, and loveliest tints. To such persons it may be interesting to learn, that Miss Strong judged very differently of herself. At the age of sixteen, while residing at New-Haven, and under the ministry of the late lamented Presi➡ dent Dwight, she became deeply concerned respecting her character, and her prospects for eternity. As she searched into the recesses of her heart, under the eye of her Judge, she be came daily more convinced, that' she was by nature, "an enemy of God and a child of wrath, even as others." The amiable qualities, and external morality, on which, perhaps, she had unconsciously relied, were now exposed in their utter insufficiency. Her own feelings taught her, that an entire renovation of soul-the commencement of a new spiritual existence was necessary to the performance of a single action,acceptable to God. Under these alarming apprehensions of her condition, she was left to struggle for a considerable time, in her own strength, and was thus daily taught more of her impotence and guilt; till by the subduing influence of the Holy Spirit, she was brought to cast herself unconditionally, on the mercy of God. To the period of serenity and hope, which followed this surrendry of her