« PreviousContinue »
The plan proposed, in the introduction to the first volume of this work, was "to give, perhaps in each number, a short sermon; to insert essays on doctrinal and practical subjects; to expound difficult and important passages of scripture; to admit a free, though somewhat limited discussion of controverted points in divinity; to review religious publications; to answer questions, soive cases of conscience and exemplify experimental and practical religion, by sketches of the lives of persons distinguished for piety and usefulness. For the gratification of such readers, as may not have access to other sources cf information, an abstract of Religious Intelligence is proposed, and the usual notices of Ordinations, Anniversaries of Charitable Societies, and new Publications."
The above plan the Editor has kept in his eye, and has endeavored to cxecute it, so far as his means and talents Lave enabled him. He is sensible, that the execution has been imperfect; perhaps more so, than his readers expected; certainly more so, then he could have wished. This has been owing, in addition to his own want of ability and leisure, to the limited aid he has received from correspondents and contributors to the work. It is hoped, however, that the contents of the first volume, are such, as to allord some satisfaction to that portion of the religious community, who have had opportunity to peruse it, and such as not altogether to disappoint their reasonable expectations. It will be a source of grateful reflection to the Editor, "if he may indulge the belief, that his labours have contributed, in any degree, to the instruction and edification of Christians, or that they have been instrumental, by a divine blessing, in any instance, of turning sinners from the error of their ways to the wisdom of the just.
The peculiar difficulties, attending the commencement of such a work, if not entirely removed, are greatly diminished. The impertance of a cheap, periodical publication, which shall admit a free discussion of all the essential doctrines of the gospel, is more and more felt by the friends of truth. The connection between principle and practice-between correct speculation in divinity and experimentol religion and vital godliness, is, by many, more clearly perceived and understood. It is believed, that the preju lices, so artfully excited, and so industriously spread, against the system of sentiments, denominated Hopkinsian, are gradually softening and melting away before the rays of truth; and that, ere long, it will be generally seen and ac'knowledged, that this system, so much vilified and contemned, is the only genuine, consistent and defencible Calvinism. And when this is seen and acknowledged, all objections against the name, will vanish away. That this appellation is less ambiguous and more discriminating, than any other, assumed by orthodox Christians, it is presumed, will not be questioned; and for this reason, it is both more offen