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fined readers will allow this motive to operate, remembering that the young and the
of the flock are the individuals whom we would ever keep in view; although well aware that our small publication is honoured by the perusal of many of higher rank and of riper years.
In adverting to the Review department, we feel we are touching upon a point on which considerable difference of opinion has been entertained. The return to our original system has been approved so uniformly, that we cannot for one moment entertain a doubt of its propriety. We have in fact only heard of one or two persons who have objected to it, while an overwhelming majority have testified their approbation : on the nature of the review, however, various observations have been made; and it may illustrate the circumstances in which we are often placed, to advert to some of these different remarks.
It has been said that our Review is too long—that it is too short --that it is too lenient—that it is too severe—too liberal to dissenters, and too blindly attached to our present constitution in Church and State. For our own parts we must confess, that these various objections clearly demonstrate to us that we have adopted that plan which, upon the whole, is most expedient; and that line of conduct which we ought to have adopted. When persons require long reviews, we would venture to remind them, that a sixpenny publication cannot possibly find room for lengthened disquisitions on the various books which it may reasonably be expected to notice, and that where such criticisms are desired, recourse must be had to those larger and more expensive publications whose object, in great measure, seems to be to supersede the perusal of the book itself, by presenting in a few pages an abstract of all it contains, or even compressing into narrow limits a larger portion of information than the writer himself professes to afford. Those who require short characters of books may be reminded, that a material curtailment of our Review would necessarily preclude the insertion of any important extracts from the works reviewed: it would substitute our own assertion, unsupported by any evidence by which the correctness of that assertion might be estimated, and would deprive us of the opportunity of adorning our pages with many of the most striking and instructive passages which the interesting works under review contain. We would ask, what can be more appropriate to the season of Advent, than the extract from Buddicom in the present number; or who is there that would wish the interesting extracts from the Lives of Hey and of Scott, from the Sermons of Cunningham, or Hoare, or Martyn, from the Travels of Jowett, the Letters of Ward, &c. to have been abridged ? For our own parts we cannot but feel that such extracts are amongst the most valuable and useful parts of our publication, they are so valuable and so useful, that, had we no review, we should insert them to stimulate our readers to high and holy exercises. With respect to the other observations, our answer lies in very narrow compass; the question of forbearance or severity is so much a matter of feeling and of opinion, that the very same article is not unfrequently condemned by different persons on opposite grounds; our object is to avoid both extremes, but at the same time to remember, that justice to the public demands a decided opinion, while regard for the feelings of an author should cause that opinion to be expressed as mildly as possible. We need scarcely repeat that we are firmly and decidedly attached to our Constitution in Church and Statewe consider the interests of religion as most intimately connected with the welfare of our present establishment: every year's experience convinces us more deeply of this important truth; and all that we hear,
and all that we learn of our dissenting brethren, only attaches us more firmly and decidedly to the Church : but we are not conscious of -being actuated by the least feeling of hostility to those who differ from us-we wish not to abridge their privileges —it ever affords us pleasu to hear of the progress of religion among them; and fully as we are convinced that ours is the more excellent way, we can still most unfeignedly rejoice, that Christ is preached and his word is rendered effectual among those who follow not with us. We are not aware of one single passage calculated to give them offence, certainly nothing of the kind was ever intended; though, at the same time, it is obvious, that as decided and consistent Churchmen, we must occasionally advance positions which they cannot approve; and it were unwise as well as degrading, to purchase the approbation of any, by shrinking from a mánly avowal of our principles.
This general answer to the remarks made on our Review, compels us to notice some controversies in which we have been most reluctantly engaged. The strictures which were inserted in our number for January, on the disorganizing and fearful sentiments which were incautiously advanced under the sanction of a great name, being reprinted in a provincial newspaper without our knowledge, excited a controversy between the writer of the original pamphlet, the writer of the review, and various other persons, which has grown into a separate publication : of this we have no hesitation in saying, that it most decidedly establishes the mischief and absurdity of those principles which excited our reprehension. Our remarks on a new society, whose-conduct appeared to us somewhat incorrect, would possibly have excited another lengthened contention, had we been disposed to pursue the subject : and a few strictures inserted in our number for August on an alleged Popish miracle, have called forth no less than ten pages of remark in the last Catholic Miscellany, with a promise of more in future numbers.
We have no love for controversy: in every case it is our object to leave off contention; but we should act a traitorous part to the cause in which we are engaged, if, when men make use of any influence they may have acquired from religious character, principles, or professions, to propagate false or dangerous doctrines, or to countenance improperand erroneous practices, we were deterred, through fear of any remarks which might be made upon our conduct, from pointing out the real danger. Be it ever remembered, that erroneous principles propagated under the sanction of a revered name and an estimable character, are doubly dangerous.
Of some other controversies which have taken place in the past year it is scarcely necessary that we should speak. The Peterborough Questions are, we trust, set at rest; and he will be a hardy man who ventures, after such a decided expression of public feeling as was exhibited during the discussion, to attempt to revive them. The attack commenced in the Christian Remembrancer, on the subject of the Bible Society's French Testament, terminated, as every other attempt of that nature has hitherto done, in the discomfiture of the opponents of the Bible cause; and our present number contains a review of the answer of the Rev. J. Scholefield to Mr. Norris, which shows, that however God may see fit to remove one able champion from the field, he can raise
others fully qualified to sustain the honour of his cause against all who oppose.
The Religious Intelligence of the year has been of a highly interesting nature. Bible and Missionary Societies are proceeding with increased effect: grateful intelligence of their success arrives from various quarters; and up to this period their incomes are found to be advancing. Notwithstanding the distresses of the times, we are not aware of any religious institution experiencing any material defalcation in its funds; and while new institutions are forming, the old continue to prosper. All attempts, indeed, for the conversion of the nations, whether Jews or Gentiles, must experience, to a certain extent, alternations of success and disappointment; and some of our valuable institutions are not without their trials; as, for instance, strong fears are at this moment entertained that the New Zealand mission must be for a time partially relinquished; but meanwhile the work of God proceeds in other quarters, subduing opposition, and preparing the way for the Saviour's universal reign. The progress of true religion indeed is visible, not merely in the success of our Bible and Missionary Societies, but in the progress of various other important institutions. The great work of educating the rising generation in the principles of true religion, by means of the National Society and the British and Foreign School Society, is proceeding with the utmost rapidity. The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge is liberally exerting itself, as in the support of foreign missions, so in supplying the seminaries of religious instruction with Bibles, Prayer-Books, and other valuable publications :-while the Society for building Churches is extending its beneficent labours in various directions, and providing additional places of worship in populous and important situations. Nor are the interests of the sister country disregarded :-we hail with cordial satisfaction the commencement of a Society for instructing those Irish who are unacquainted with the English language, in their own tongue; and have been highly gratified by the various statements of the benefits resulting from the labours of Irish readers, the reports of the Irish schools, and the different Hibernian societies. Nor should the noble exertions made for the relief of their temporal wants be lost sight of in this brief review, especially since we are well assured they have produced an indelible impression on the grateful hearts of that warm and generous people.
Did our limits allow, we should rejoice at being able to state more fully the actual degree of success with which the various institutions are proceeding: this may, indeed, be conjectured from the statement of their funds inserted in a preceding number—for though that statement included only a part of these institutions, it may serve as a specimen of the extent of Christian charity.
That much still remains to be done, every feeling mind must be deeply sensible. We mourn over various abominations :--the profanation of the Sabbath; the vile and hateful practices which still exist; the licentious, and infidel, and demoralizing principles which are so openly avowed, are most distressing to the true Christian, and should stimulate us to increasing exertion. But notwithstanding all the evils over which we lament, we are fully satisfied that the cause of God and of truth is advancing ; that the number of true Christians is increasing ; and that a more solid, judicious, and practical species of religion prevails among us: and we found our conviction of this progressive increase in religious feeling on the unquestionable fact, that, notwithstanding all the efforts of infidelity, the demand for religious publications is great beyond precedent-not only for Bibles, and Testaments, and Prayer-Books, but for publications of a plain, serious, and practical nature; so that editions of works which formerly would have supplied the public for a considerable time are now often disposed of in the space of a very few weeks. Such was the case with a late edition of Scott's Bible, of Horne's Introduction, of Scott's Life; not to mention numerous publications of inferior size.
From this brief review of the volume we now close, some intimations may be expected of our future purpose. On this point, however, it is scarcely necessary to repeat our former declarations. Our object is still the same-we labour to promote pure and undefiled religion-to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood
- to instruct the young—to awaken the careless-to lead the inquirer to Jesus—to establish the believer in his holy faith and fear-to warn of approaching and impending dangers—to expose the subtlety of Satan, and the devices of weak, misguided, or wicked men. We would wish that every succeeding volume, every succeeding number, might excel its predecessor; and in proportion as the public favour rewards, as the blessing of God smiles upon our exertions, so are we bound not to be weary in well doing-not to shrink or relax in our efforts, but to press forward with increasing diligence and resolution in our holy cause.
Ever, however, be it remembered, that as our success must depend upon the blessing of Almighty God, so the means of that success must be derived from the kind co-operation and assistance of our fellowChristians. We need their aid to supply us continually with new and interesting communications. We need their assistance in recommending our work, and putting it into the hands of persons who are as yet unacquainted with it. We have reason to think, that, extensive as our sale is, it might be very much increased by the exertion of our kind friends : and when it is considered that every Number contains somewhat especially calculated for the instruction of the poor and of the young—some narrative of the gracious dealings of God with his departed servants-some papers of an evangelical, practical, and experimental nature—some information of the great work that God is carrying on in the earth, we trust we are not exalting ourselves above measure in saying, that no cotemporary publication of similar magnitude contains an equal share of pious, and edifying, and useful information with that monthly inserted in the Christian Guardian.
But we need not merely communications; we need not merely recommendations ; we need wisdom to direct, we need a divine blessing to rest upon us.
We ask, therefore, the friendly advice, and caution, and correction of our brethren. We would ask for the Spirit to be poured out from on high, and we would therefore earnestly request all our readers, and friends, and contributors, to strive with us in fervent prayer to Almighty God for this inestimable gift. If the minister, in his ordinary ministrations to a few hundreds of his fellow men, calls upon them to pray that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified; that he may open his mouth, and speak boldly as he ought to speak; we, whose pages are monthly read by many thousands of our brethren, may well call
them to unite in fervent prayer for divine wisdom and grace. Their prayers, be it remembered, shall not be in vain; they shall redound to the glory of God, to the benefit of their own immortal souls.
To that divine blessing we commend the present volume. May the holy Spirit of God rest upon it! May the truths it contains be impressed upon
the hearts of all into whose hands it comes ! May an abundant influence of the divine grace rest, upon every contributor, upon every reader! May our future efforts be more simple and holy, more calculated to promote the glory of God and the welfare of men;
this small publication be an honoured instrument in turning many to righteousness! “ Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children; and let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it."
TO BIOGRAPHY, RELIGIOUS COMMUNICATIONS, &c. &c. &c.
of Rev. P. Roe 135
of Rev. J. Richards 471
Collect for first Sunday ip ......489
22, 144, 468
Letter on Irish
Baxter, the Rev. Richard, original 501
199, 239, 279
. 316, 376
Jesus, foundation of happiness 141
- meanness of outward ap-
and verses on tombstone of.. 12, 393
. 40, 79
22, 144, 468
234, 277, 394, 435,
Anniversary of British
.. 33, 74
Earl of Liverpool's
- 74, 113
Naval and Military 156,277
Archbishop of Tuam's
- City of London Auxiliary 507