« PreviousContinue »
HAD a Work, like the Evangelical Magazine, been commenced at the memorable era of the Reformation, how rich a fund of materials would the ecclesiastical historian have found for the Annals of the Protestant Church! and what an invaluable source of enter. tainment would it have furnished for the intelligent Christian! But it was reserved for the inventive and eventful days in which we live to provide such a desirable and useful 'Miscellany ; and it affords the Editors of this Work no small satisfaction to be able to present to their numerous readers The Twentieth Volume of a publication conducted, they trust, on the same useful plan, and on the same liberal principles, which were proposed and avowed by its first projectors; of whom the greater part survive to witness, with gratitude and pleasure, the remarkable success with which God has been pleased to crown their endeavours.
In the course of the year which is now closing, four of our re, spected brethren, of the Anti-pædobaptist denomination, being offended with a passage in the Supplement of 1810, have withdrawn, and have lent their aid to another work, particularly calculated for their own class of Christians, the profits of which are to be devoted to the Widows of Baptist Ministers only. The separation, which on some accounts is reciprocally lamented, has, however, been effected in a friendly manner, accompanied by expressions of mutual esteem, and with a Donation from us towards the immediate assistance of Baptist Widows. The places of the four seceding brethren have been supplied by the Rev. Dr. Winter, Mr. Thorp, Mr. Raffles, and Mr. H. F. Burder.
In the present volume we have had the pleasure of recording an act of the British Legislature, highly honourable to the mild spirit of our government, exceedingly beneficial to the cause of trnth, and which cannot be contemplated without grateful emotions of heart by all who prize the Gospel and value religious freedom : we refer to 'An Act to repeal certain Acts, and amend other Acts, relating to Religious Worship and Assemblies, and Persons teaching or preaching therein.' We need not here enumerate the advantages afforded by this Act, as they are pointed out in the body of our Work, page 360, suffice it to say, That while we thankfully adore the Great Ruler of the Church and of the World, who has the hearts of all men in his hard, for this enlargement of our religious privileges, we are grateful also to his Majesty's Ministers for their polite and friendly attention to the suggestions of our friends ; to both Houses of Parliament, who so readily adopted the bill ; and to the several Bodies of our Brethren, of various classes, who, ever since the late attempt to curtail our privileges, have been indefatigable in exertions to obtain their enlarge ment.
The Proceedings of the MissionARY SOCIETY constitute a very interesting part of our successive Numbers. The Ordination of pious and able Missionaries, their voyages, their reception in distant regions, their journals and correspondence, and especially their suc. cess in the conversion of blind and idolatrous Heathens, occupy many of our pages, and afford to thousands of our fellow - Christians the