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NEW JERUSALEM MAGAZINE.
VOL. IX.-ENLARGED SERIES.
PUBLISHED BY THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW CHURCH,
SIGNIFIED BY THE NEW JERUSALEM IN THE REVELATION:
AND SOLD BY
C. P. ALVEY, 36, BLOOMSBURY STREET, W.C.
Ir is not without a feeling of self-distrust that we enter on the duties of an office which has been held for five-and-twenty years by such a man as Mr. Smithson. Acting in accordance with a rule which we long since adopted for our guidance, never to seek office, but never, except for urgent reasons, to refuse it when freely and fairly offered, we have undertaken this work in obedience to the call of the Church. Sensible of the importance and responsibility of the trust which has been committed to us, it will be our endeavour, in dependence on Divine assistance, to discharge its duties with fidelity, according to the best of our ability. It will be our aim so to conduct the Magazine, that it may be a faithful exponent of the principles of the church of which it is the recognised organ; that it may not only reflect but improve the moral and intellectual character of her members; and that it may secure the approval of those within the church, and the respect of those who are without. We are not so vain as to cherish or hold out the hope that we can do more for the magazine in this respect than our estimable and able predecessor has done. Indeed, we fear that, if thrown, as much as he has been, upon our own resources, we should find ourselves unable to do nearly as much as he has done. Convinced of this, and satisfied that it indicates an unhealthy state of things when the main burden of supporting our Periodical rests on the shoulders of the Editor himself, our first efforts, as the time for commencing our labours drew near, were to secure the coöperation of friends in the Church who were known to us to possess the abilities requisite for maintaining the usefulness and character of the magazine.
[Enl. Series.-No. 97, vol. ix.]
We are happy to be able to say, that our efforts, so far as they have yet been made, have been attended with very encouraging success, of which the present number affords satisfactory evidence. Besides those friends to whom we have already applied, or may apply, there are no doubt others, not known to us, who are well qualified to render us assistance. These we respectfully invite to favour us with their contributions, however few and far between, and so assist in a work which cannot be carried on successfully without variety as well as unity. With a view to induce competent writers to give the Repository the benefit of their services, the Conference has set aside a small fund, which has been increased by the liberality of two of its members, "to pay for papers calculated to raise the tone and increase the usefulness of the Magazine.” This is but the partial introduction of a practice which, it is to be hoped, will ultimately, and at no distant period, become a general rule, that of remunerating contributors,—which is only carrying out the Scripture principle, that "the labourer is worthy of his hire." Till this practice be established, remuneration may, in certain cases, be a necessity, since without it some whose time and talents are their capital, may not be able, however willing, to give their labour even to the best of causes.
As the Magazine is intended to be a medium of information relating to the Church, as well as of instruction in her principles, we have thought it desirable to seek supplies from other sources besides those of our own social connection. With this view we have entered into communication with several intelligent members of the Church abroad, and we expect to be supplied by our correspondents, from time to time, with such information relating to the Church and to the progress of opinion in other lands as may be interesting to the readers of the Repository; while their communications will bring us into agreeable and profitable communion with our distant brethren, who are labouring in the same cause with ourselves. Dr. Tafel, it will be seen, heartily responds to our invitation, and in his first letter gives us an earnest of what we may look for in future.
With this assistance, present and prospective, at home and abroad, we have some good reason to hope that the Repository will be plentifully supplied with suitable and valuable matter. The periodical of the Church has important work to perform, and it is highly desirable that it should be done with earnestness and intelligence, with zeal and discretion. The first and greatest object is the edification of the Church; and this is to be effected by the united improvement of the hearts and understandings of her members, or the equal growth of charity and faith. To do this adequately, it is necessary to aid the soul in its pious
aspirations, as well as to direct the mind in its intellectual inquiries,to bring the affections under the influence of genuine goodness, as well as to bring the thoughts under the direction of genuine truths.
As the general principles of charity and faith are made up of numerous graces and virtues, the mind can only grow in charity and faith in proportion as their constituent elements are nourished and strengthened. Poverty of spirit, godly sorrow, meekness, mercifulness, purity of heart, peace-making,—these are among the graces to which our Lord attached the blessing of eternal life. To assist the members of the Church to cultivate these graces, is the best way to promote the advancement of the Lord's Church in genuine and pure religion; these, therefore, are fit themes for the pages of a publication whose leading aim it is to "feed the Church of God." A second, and secondary, object of our periodical is to extend the influences and disseminate the principles of the Church to those beyond her pale. This is a work which it can most successfully perform-not so much by refuting the errors of others as by exhibiting in their light and beauty the truths which we ourselves possess; or, if it is expedient to point out the false doctrines that are opposed to the truth, by doing so in the spirit of charity.
It must not be supposed that the character and usefulness and success of the Magazine depend on the Editor and Contributors alone. The members of the Church generally have, in all these respects, a large share of influence over it. To a great extent, the character of the work is in their own hands. The supply of matter, in quality, and even in quantity, is very much regulated by the demand. The minds of the readers react upon those of the writers. Authors compose under a not obsure perception of the appreciation of their work by those for whom they write. The tone and intelligence embodied in their articles by writers for the Magazine, must find a response in the tone and intelligence of its readers, or they cannot be sustained. Readers have, therefore, their duties as well as their privileges. One of their duties is to cultivate that state of mind which appreciates what is excellent; and this will have its effect in producing the excellence which they estimate and crave.
All parties in this matter are influenced by each other. It is, therefore, the duty of us all alike to do our best to make the Magazine what we all alike abstractly desire it to be-an instrument of usefulness to ourselves, as Christians seeking advancement in the heavenly life, and to the holy and blessed cause which is the only means of restoring order, peace, and happiness in the earth.