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equally so, is what no man can believe ; and hence that confusion and distraction which thousands of both ill and well-disposed persons feel on religious subjects. The unhappy result is, that, dissatisfied and perplexed, some take refuge in popery, and others in infidelity, and a much larger portion resign themselves over to a most lamentable state of indifference, and, in the true spirit of liberalism, are determined, like Gallio, to care for none of these things. This indifference to religion produces a corresponding indifference to good conduct; and we are consequently surrounded with abounding immorality.

Now, it is impossible for the Christian and benevolent mind to contemplate such a condition of things, without feeling the greatest anxiety to bring about an alteration; nor will it be questioned that the only certain method of effecting a sound cure for the prevailing evils of the times is by the implantation of correct religious principles in the mind, and engraving them upon the fleshly tables of the heart. This is to be done, under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God, by giving "precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line

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here a little, and there a little.” Men do not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles; and before we can have any reason to expect good fruit, we must make the tree good; and before we can reasonably anticipate a decrease of the prevailing licentiousness of conduct, we must circumscribe the prevailing licentiousness of opinion, and careless indifference upon religious matters. And this will be most effectually accomplished by showing the unscriptural nature of schism and sectarianism in general, and the erroneous character of the respective peculiarities of each sect in particular. The errors of the various systems of dissent must be pointed out clearly and distinctly, and contrasted and compared with the grand distinguishing principles of the Church of England, whose Scriptural nature, Catholicity, and generalexcellencies will thus be unfolded and esteemed, All this ought to be done—it must be done—the people have a right to demand that it shall be done. They have too long been left in comparative ignorance upon

these matters; the evil effects we see, and feel, and lament. At every step the Clergy find themselves thwarted, their efforts obstructed, and their labours counteracted. Too many of the people have been led astray from their rightful pastors, and taught to despise them; and by false teachers conducted into strange fields, and fed with husks instead of the bread of life which came down from Heaven. But if there be such a thing as truth in the world; if the Church established by law in this country be a true branch of the Church which Christ founded when on earth, and hold the truth as it is in Jesus; and if dissent from the Church be indeed a sin—a great and crying evil, as the Church herself declares, and her members at least profess to believe;-then it must follow that it is the duty of all Churchmen, in love and kindness to the souls of men, to use every effort to make these things known and believed amongst their relations, friends, neighbours, and fellowcreatures.

To render assistance in this work of faith and labour of love, is our grand object in establishing, and will be our constant aim in conducting, THE CHURCH MAGAZINE. Whilst we shall spread before our readers a considerable, and, we trust, interesting variety, we shall never lose sight of our great business of pointing out to them the value and importance of the Church of England, in contrast with the various religious societies with which she is surrounded, that her members may be thereby led to venerate and esteem her as of divine institutio n, and even her enemies induced to acknowledge that her defects are fewer, and her excellencies greater, than they had been accustomed to believe. The Bible shall be our standard ; and our authorised formularies, with the opinions of the first and purest ages of the Church, our

helps and guides towards a right interpretation thereof. And by bringing forth from our treasury things both new and old, we hope to please, if not instruct, every unprejudiced, well-disposed, and pious Christian. will cut short these introductory remarks, and add but little besides the subjoined Prospectus, which, notwithstanding that it has already been widely circulated, we put on record here, that our readers may hereafter test our practice by our professions :

“All sound and pious Churchmen agree, that if ever it were requisite to supply the favoured sons and daughters of the Church of England with facts and arguments in defence of those great Scriptural and Catholic principles, whereby they are broadly distinguished from the Romish Dissenters on the one hand, and the various divisions of Protestant dissenters on the other, it is especially so at the present time, when these numerous and conflicting sectaries, agreeing only in hatred of the Church, have combined their efforts for her utter subversion. Under this conviction, and for the express purpose of furnishing a platform on which to discuss, in a Christian, charitable, and devotional spirit, those points in dispute between the Church and her adversaries, THE CHURCH MAGAZINE is about to be commenced. The nature, constitution, government, doctrines, discipline, worship, and ritual of the Christian Church, together with the sins of heresy and schism, will furnish the more prominent topics of discussion. In this way the Scriptural foundation and character of the Church of England will be exemplified; her members established in their most holy faith ; provided with solid reasons for attachment to the communion of their forefathers; and armed against the ever-varying attacks to which they are now more than ever exposed.

As whatever is new in religion must be false, so, in opposition to the norelties of the age, the conductors of THE CHURCH MAGAZINE will constantly enforce the duty of inquiring for the old paths, and of walking therein; and to check the spirit of strife and division,' which so unhappily prevails in the religious world,' the duty of unity and the blessings of brotherly love will be zealously inculcated.

“With this view, those points upon which Churchmen may be found to differ, if not altogether avoided, will be less frequently discussed ; and more space thus devoted to the dissemination and defence of those sacred and eternal principles held forth by that spiritually flourishing, and most important branch of Christ's • One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,' the Church 'established by law in these realms.'

As The Church MAGAZINE is designed for extensive circulation throughout the great body of Churchmen, the arguments, and statements, and information will be brought forward in pointed, clear language, and in a popular style. And as the Press is most extensively used against the best interests of our ancient and venerable Church, and her children thereby alienated from the sacred fold, it is confidently hoped that the members of the Church will render their cordial assistance to the present undertaking, by purchasing THE CHURCH MAGAZINE themselves, and recommending it to their friends.

“ The conductors of THE CHURCH MAGAZINE, being in constant communication with eminent Clergymen in the British Colonies, as well as with Episcopal Clergymen in Scotland and America, will be enabled frequently to give

original and other important information respecting those branches of the Christian Church.

"The Proprietor intends frequently to present to the readers of The CHURCH MAGAZINE, a well-executed PORTRAIT of some eminent living Clergyman; and should his design meet with the approbation which he confidently anticipates, he will give a Portrait with each Number worth much more than the whole price of the Magazine."

On the subject of the paragraph immediately preceding, there will be possibly a difference of opinion, but it is not a matter of great concern, and we shall therefore only say that the Portraits shall be good, and such as we doubt not will interest many, and procure admission for the great truths which we are so anxious to see universally received and consistently practised.

Little remains now to be added ; except that we shall be glad of literary assistance from the Clergy and others, in the shape of essays, letters, or reviews of books, which parties may have read, and feel deserving of being known to Churchmen, as containing excellent or dangerous matter. Discussion of important points of Church government and discipline, involving as they will questions relating to union and schism, we especially court. We desire to see the members generally of our Scriptural Church able to give a solid reason why they prefer communion with the Church to association with any other body of professing Christians; and we hope to do something towards furnishing them with that ability, trusting that our views will meet with the approbation and support of every true Churchman in the land. At all events, if we obtain not that support, we will endeavour to enjoy the consciousness of deserving it. We have a wide field of usefulness before us, and shall strive to occupy it with a single eye to the glory of God: and while we earnestly solicit the aid of the Clergy and Churchmen generally in promoting the circulation of the work, we would humbly entreat their to the Great Head of the Church for His continued blessing upon our labours

prayers and upon ourselves, that we may be assisted with grace and strength from on high to serve His glorious cause in our day and generation. Our heart's desire is, “that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in UNITY of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.”

THE STATE OF “THE RELIGIOUS WORLD.”

In the conversation and writings of a certain description of "religious professors,” we very frequently hear and read of “The Religious World;" and it may be neither uninstructive nor uninteresting to make some little inquiry into the meaning of the phrase, as well as into the composition and state of that which it is intended to signify. We think the consideration of this subject the more proper for the commencement of our first number, because it is the lamentably divided and distracted state of “the religious world,” in connexion with our solemn duty to Almighty God, which furnishes the reasons for such an undertaking, and induces us to use our utmost exertions to abate evils which Christians of all denominations deplore. The expression, “the religious world," taken strictly, is clearly paradoxical ; for the assertion that the world is religious, is unhappily much too far from being true. In Scriptural language, the world is described as directly opposed to Christianity, and the term is used to distinguish those who were not religious from those who were ; as in 1 John v. 19, where the apostle, speaking of himself and his Christian or religious brethren, says,

“ We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” Viewed in this light, therefore, the two words convey two opposite ideas, which is not intended by those who use them.

The phrase, however, appears to be used in the same sense as the fashionable world,” which is the expression currently employed to describe all those who shape their dress and manners according to the newest fashions, in contradistinction to those who pay much less or very little attention to

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such matters. The expression “the religious world,” therefore, seems to be used to embrace within its signification all those who make a profession of religion, no matter by what names they may be subdivisionally distinguished from each other. But we question whether this exactly hits the idea which many persons intend to convey by the phrase; for we have reason to believe that some would hesitate to include therein the Jews, or the Papists, or the Socinians, while others would even exclude also the high Churchmen. Indeed, with no inconsiderable portion of Christian professors, “the religious world” is employed to describe those only who are designated “ Evangelical,” and who manifest great activity and zeal, and make much noise and bustle about religious societies of their own complexion, and about religion generally, without confining their notions or activity to any denomination exclusively, provided only it be “Evangelical,” or be considered so : so that with such persons the religious world embraces within its limits only the “Evangelical" or "pious" of every denomination But here we are at a loss again ; for the term “ Evangelical” was not long since principally used to distinguish those who held the doctrines of God's election and predestination, from the Arminians who deny them; but now it includes them, or at least the more zealous of them; and its meaning is thus rendered far more indefinite than it once was: so that, in our further observations upon “the religious world,” we shall consider it in its more extended and general sense, as signifying all those who profess and call themselves Christians.

Understood, then, in this sense, of what is the religious world” composed ? Is it one united, harmonious body, holding and acting upon principles clearly laid down and easily to be discovered in the Word of the living God, which every member thereof professes to believe and obey as his sole rule of faith and practice? Unfortunately for itself, and for the “ irreligious world," upon which it endeavours to make a favourable impression, its constituent parts are of the most heterogeneous character, professing to agree, or to wish to agree, on "fundamentals;" yet positively disagreeing and disputing upon every point, fundamental or otherwise; save and excepting only the existence of a Supreme Being. And instead of being united either in thought, word, or deed, "the religious world” is composed of separate and distinct parties, respectively known as Churchmen or Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Moravians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Whitfieldites, Wesleyans, Socinians, Papists, Ranters, Kilhamites, Bryanites, Warrenites, Irvingites, Quakers, and Swedenborgians, with sundry other divisions and denominations “ too numerous to mention"

Comparing, therefore, this divided state of “the religious world” with the Sacred Scriptures, the standard of eternal truth, what, we ask, can possibly be conceived more at variance with the whole tenor of the revealed will of God? What can be more grievous and more afflicting to the mind of the observing and pious Christian? No one principle, doctrine, or precept is more strongly insisted on by the inspired writers than union and brotherly love; nor are there any sins more frequently or more emphatically denounced than strife, contentions, and divisions. They are described as carnal, as works of the flesh; and the followers of Christ are called upon to “ markthose who cause them, and to “ avoid them.” Our blessed Lord prayed for His disciples, “ that they all might be ONE,” “that the world might believe that the Father had sent Him ;” but the state of “the religious world” is directly opposed to the spirit and object of the Saviour's prayer.

And as the visible union of Christians was also to operate to the conviction of the world, that the Father hath sent the Son, so their present miserably divided state goes to show that the Father hath not sent the Son; and that

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it has this awful effect upon the minds of many, is an evident and lamentable fact. It is remarked of the first Christians, that they continued in “ the apostles' FELLOWSHIP” as well as doctrine ; but “ the religious world” has no fellowship of any kind in it. The only point upon which the largest portion of it

appears to unite together, is that of hatred and opposition to the Church. Union is the sure effect of love; and hence the multitude of constantly recurring exhortations to Christians, to love one another, in the Word of God. “ If ye love me,” says Christ, “ keep my commandments." And the one great commandment given by our Lord to His disciples, is, that they should love one another : it has indeed been designated the eleventh commandment, because Christ says, A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.” (John xiii. 34.) “ This is any commandment, that ye

love one another as I have loved you,” (John xv. 12,) which was even unto death. “ These things I command you, that ye love one another.” (John xv. 17.) “ This is the message that ye have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John iij. 11.) “ This is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” (1 John iii. 23.) “This commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.” (1 John iv. 21.)

It is useless to multiply quotations on a point so evident, and so well understood by all who read their Bibles, whether they practise it or not. Love to the brethren is, in short, expressly stated to be so essential to the Christian character, that, without possessing it and showing it, no man is a Christian. “ If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar : for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen ?” (1 John iv. 21.) “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.(1 John iii. 14.) This is awfully strong, and worthy of the deepest consideration. And as love to the brethren is essential to the existence of vital Christianity in the heart, so it is also necessary, as evidence to the world that we are the disciples of Christ. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John xiii. 35.) And as love cannot be seen or known to exist only by the deeds, the fruits which it produceth, and as union is the principal and most decisive fruit or evidence of love, so a visible union is necessary, to let all men know that we are Christ's disciples, and without this visible union we can give little or no evidence of our Christianity. And if all menshould conclude, from the divided state of those who profess and call themselves Christians, that many of them are not so in reality, and urge in their support the text last quoted, we see not what solid answer can be given.

Now, without at this moment pretending to decide where the sin rests, it is beyond all dispute that sin there is, somewhere, in “ the religious world.” All the different sects into which it is split cannot possibly be right; nay, each sect is ready to acknowledge and lament that the present state of things is most deplorable, and ought to be remedied without delay. But, although some say that to accomplish so desirable and necessary an object as the union of all parties in the bonds of Christian fellowship, they are willing to give up something, yet none will allow that they are much in fault, and therefore attempt to throw upon one or all the other divisions the great weight of the evil. And on reviewing the elements of " the religious world,” and examining the controversies which are continually springing up between one portion of it and another, we are indeed grieved to be obliged to confess that we have no hopes whatever of any reduction of

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