« ÎnapoiContinuați »
WE little thought when we addressed our readers last year, that we should have to renew another in the service of the sanctuary. Many occurring circumstances had arisen as led us to suppose that our labours were brought to a close, and that we should retire into the citadel, and lay aside our armour. We did not flinch from our stand. ing, but had to encounter some unforeseen difficulties, which absorbed a great part of our time, so as to leave us little for reflection. However, by the good hand of God
upon us, we were insensibly drawn on month after month, and have now concluded our FORTY-SECOND VOLUME, and entered upon another year. Here let our readers, and fellow-travellers to the kingdom of heaven, join with us in one song of praise, to Him who has perserved us to the present moment, in our work and labour of love, standing as a burning bush, unconsumed. Support has been conferred upon us equal to the day, so that while leaning upon our pilgrim's staff, the cruse of oil has not failed, nor the barrel of meal wasted. We publicly acknowledge that nothing less than the Arm of Omnipotence, and Divine Love, could have preserved us to the present period. All that we can do in return is, to thank our covenant God for his mercies in a general manner; the time is fast approaching when we shall look back with wondering and adoring gratitude, and praise him who has so often been our refuge and defence on earth.
And here it is incumbent upon us to say, that our Publication, from its first appearance, has been carried on under great disadvantages, and many privations, nor will it be known until that day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be opened,—the numerous acute feelings it has produced. Indeed, our post has not been a pleasant one; we have not only had to combat with various religious sectaries, but with the vituperations of the tongue, which
have often made inroads upon an unsullied reputation, to the detriment of our secular interests.
Our readers, when they take into consideration such disagreeable appendages which belong to our department, need not wonder if we should be weary and faint by the way. A cotemporary, putting out of the account, the prejudice and malevolence of party, well describes our situation, when he tells us,—“I know, says he, how a Monthly Periodical will wear down your exertions. In itself it appears nothing, the labour is not manifest, nor is it the labour of itself, it is the continual attention it requires. Your life becomes, as it were, the Magazine One month is no sooner corrected and printed, than on comes another. It is the stone of Stypus, an endless repetition of toil, a constant weight upon the mind, ą continual wearing upon the intellects and spirits, demanding all the exertions of your faculties, at the same time you are compelled to do the severest drudgery. To write for a Magazine is very well, but to edit one, is, as it were, to condemn yourself to slavery."
?? We have rehearsed these particulars, so that our read ers may be put in full possession of the state of our Pub. lication. And we leave it upon record that it may be known when we are departed, that our superintendence of these pages for Forty-two years, have been purely disinterested, and as the apostle Paul says on a similar matter, that if any man will boast, he will boast also. And we say with him, "We have touched no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. For these hands have ministered to our necessities. Nor shall any one stop us from this boasting. To the religious world we are personally strangers, they neither know us, nor do we know them; we never have received the smallest obligation from them, not so much as a cup of cold water, as an acknowledgment for our voluntary services, our only end and aim have been to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. To exhibit man as insolvent, having contracted a debt he never can pay, of original and actual guilt. A load which can never be discharged, unless he is made to see he has nothing to pay, so as to be led to Christ by the Holy Spirit, as the great paymaster of his mystic Israel,
Belonging to no party, each party is hostile to us; they do not like spiritual wickedness exposed in high places; the gate is too strait, and the road too narrow, for them to walk with us. Prophecy, they say, smooth things, and deceit is immediately promulgated. As it were in olden times, so it is now ; Baal had his prophets, and God had his. It is dreadful to reflect, that the very men who are set up for a defence of the gospel, are many of them the characters, who are doing all in their power to vilify and corrupt it.
Hence it is, that we have truth amalgamated with errors of every kind, by instructors who ought to be instructed. We need not go to the papistical Church of Rome, in Italy, to point out delusions, we have enough in our Protestant Churches in England. Antichrists of every kind, and impositions under the garb of piety and sanctity, are practised with impunity upon the credulous and weakminded. Not only are their pockets disturbed and ransacked, but they are blinded to their immortal interests, and led on to their own destruction.
We well know, the term Religion, is bandied about with impunity on every occasion,--a mere stalking horse, too often made to answer interested purposes. But the phrase as used at the present day, is merely equivocal, for it means nothing. The Mahometan at his mosque-and the Jew at his synagogue, both are deemed religious, though they discard the Lord of Life and Glory. So it is with swarms of sectaries, as varied in their creeds as in their coutenances ; one denies the Divinity of Christ and the efficacy of his blood-shedding, he is also religious ; so is the declaimer upon the uiversal love of the Deity, universal redemption with its offspring, universal salvation, he is also grouped as a religionist. The host of freewillers, which form the whole cavalcade, under whatever party they may rank, are all religionists. And as with the people, so with the priest, every one speaks in his own tongue wherein he was born-one language, and agree in one general sentiment,—that man, if he pleases, may quicken his own soul, and make himself a new heart, and create a right spirit within him. This is the reli, gion of the day, when we come to sift it, though an