« PreviousContinue »
PUBLISHED BY JOHN MASON,
AND SOLD AT 66, PATERNOSTER-ROW,
TO CORRESPONDENTS AND READERS.
With the close of 1850, the Conductors of this Magazine cannot but be reminded, the half-century will be completed. A more important period History has not recorded; and it seems not inappropriate here to refer to those brightest features—amid many that are far less encouraging—which the times derive from an unexampled spread of Christian knowledge. It is most cheerfully conceded, that this view extends far beyond any denominational limits. Candour, on the other hand, will allow that, by the blessing of God, Wesleyan Methodism has contributed, in some important degree, to the result which is brought out by Christian and Protestant statists. Not merely, or even chiefly, to refer to progress at home, every lover of God and man is gladdened on finding Holy Scripture circulated in half the languages of the globe, and thousands of churches rising on Missionary ground, during the last fifty years. To look at the state of things in our United Societies when the nineteenth century opened, and then to review the changes that have since issued in the consolidation and general extension of this work of God, can scarcely fail to awaken kindred sentiments of joy and thankfulness. From such topics Christian literature draws some of its most acceptable materials; and THE OLDEST OF RELIGIOUS PERIODICALS may claim to have been, during more than seventy years, a record of Providence and Grace.
Christian success has not been achieved, indeed, without a continual struggle. In a fallen world the cause of right is militant. As in other respects, so in this, lights are reflected from the past which glance on the future. The ancient enemies of Christ and His church are even now putting forth their utmost energy. But we fear not for the event. A religious view of the Protestant controversy must be steadily maintained. It is but due to those who have been charged in other years with the conduct of this Magazine, to say that their “trumpet” has given no “uncertain sound." Against Romanism, whether disguised or patent, they have renewed the undying protest of martyrs and confessors. Nor shall “ Truth be silent” in these pages“ because folly frowns,” or because apathy, and treason to pure and ancient Christianity, combine to remonstrate.