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worldly policy, can see it to be in accordance with the "nature and fitness of things." An irresistible argument this, to our mind, why the Religious Monitor should be sustained. The interests of the Redeemer's kingdom among inen, and the good of his chosen ones, demand its continuance.

It shall be our continued aim to impress upon the reader the vitally important difference between truc and false religion, between a human and a divine faith, between the

law and the testimony," and the traditions of men;" and to show the absolute necessity of knowledge in divine things; for “where no vision is the people perish;” and if we be doomed to perish, “a lack of knowledge" is the surest road to destruction. Too much, therefore, cannot be said in favour of circulating such works as are really intended to beget a more earnest desire for spiritual knowledge, and a more ardent love for the scriptures themselves. It is said of one of the early Christains," that though both his cyes were put out, and his body mangled with unheard of cruelty. yet he was able at any time to repeat any places or passages either out of the Old or New Testament; wbich, when I first heard him do in the public congregation, I supposed him (says Eusebius) to have been reading in a book, till coming near, and finding how it was, I was struck with great admiration at it."* Certainly,” continues the same writer, “ Christians then had no mean esteem of, and took no small delight in, the sacred volume. It was the mine where they enriched themselves with divine treasures, a book where they furnished themselves with a true stock of knowledge.” Thus preparing themselves to stand fast” in a public profession of the truth.

To be “established in the present truth,” is a matter of great importance at all times, hut it is particularly so at a time when the danger of being tossed about with every wind of doctrine is particularly great; when the popular current threatens to undermine the foundations and sweep away every distinct systein of Bible doctrine; when it is opposed, not under the name of error as in former ages, but the HOLDING of the truth, as such, is now the grand point of attack, and the very terms" established in the truth,holding it fast-contending earnestly for it,"&c.--are become

* Cave's Primitive Christianity.

PREFACE.

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odious, and declared treasonable to the interests of religion; and those who would stand for them are to be subjected to the highest censure of the religious public. If this tvere done by open and avowed enemies of Revelation, it would not be surprising, nor so dangerous, but it is by such as profess the greatest love to the cause of Christ, who believe they are rapidly coming up to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, and that this is a remarkable evidence of their attainments in meekness and charity. Is there not then a loud call to bestir ourselves; appearing honestly on the side of truth-diligently employing every means and exerting every power in its defence? We may well take a lesson in this from those who are endeavouring to pull dovon what former ages have done to bring the church to her destined perfection in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. Consider their zeal, their industry, their ingenuity, and the progress they are making ;-no pains are spared, no plans left un. tried-invention is exhausted to diversify the mode;schools, and school associations-societies, various in name and purpose, great and small-are all alive in the work. Then again, the tracts, the magazines, the reports, and the endless host of periodicals that issue from the press, breathing the same spirit, and disseminated throughout society to its minutest fibres, not only with diligence, but, in some cases, with the most obtrusive impudence;* and shall we sit still, while defection is thus coming up unto our windows, and breaking in upon us like a flood on every side? Surely not. Let us profit by their example-let us be up and standing in the border, with weapons of defence shaped to those with which the attack is made.

Our public Judicial Testimony is, indeed, the great bulwark of the profession against all error, open and professed; but it is noir no strange thing for churches to hold up to the world the Westminster Confession of Faitli, or some other l'orm at least comparatively sound, as the confession of their faith, while as individuals their members are fore

* It is a fact that some of those employed to distribute Tracts, &c. in this city, in the heat of their zeal to do good, went into the Roman Catholic Chape and strewed them about during the time of service. When we are calling our friends to imitate their diligence, we would be understood to make an **Acrption of this, as it is far beyond any precept or example that we can find in Scripture.

most in undermining all confessions, and all the sound principles of any confession, by numberless periodicals of all kinds, filled with latitudinarianism in its fairest gloss and often gross error in its most insinuating form; these in particular, our testimony cannot reach—they are like ambuscades behind us, that are stealing in, and will, if not counteracted, soon overwhelm us; and in no other way can this be done with such effect as by a Periodical. Such a work is the RELIGIOUS MONITOR, and such is its design ;and we have the satisfaction to think that it has not been altogether ineffectual. It has not stemmed the torrentthis we do not expect, it would be looking for miracles ; but it has been a witness against the increasing defection and error; it has been the voice of warning to those who are not entirely carried away with the stream; it is the response of the watchman on our walls, “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night ?" It is a channel of intercourse and intimacy between the different sections of our church, exciting a deeper interest for the common cause throughout, as the general experience and observation can attest. It is also a great means of encouraging and confirming those who are destitute of an ordinary fixed ministry, by clearing and defending points on whiclı they are peculiarly liable to be assailed ; and it furnishes food to the hungry soul of the exercised Christian, in the opening up of close, practical, and heart searching subjects.

Let those, then, who are endeavouring to stand in the gap, consider here, not the execution merely, or the celebrity of the work, but the principle and design on which it proceeds, and we think they must feel constrained, by every circumstance that has been named, to patronize it; and by this additional one, that it is the only work of the kind! in our church, or any other, so far as we know.

We doubt not but the eye of a critic may discover many blemishes in it; but it is not for such that it is intended, nor is it by such persons we expect it to be supported; we address ourselves to those who are hearty in the cause and willing to set ther shoulder to the work, correct what may be amiss, and strive to make it that it should be.

We feel that our great strengtiris in the goodness of that which we support, and not in our abilities in manas

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ing it; no, we desire ever to keep in view our own weakness, and to attribute whatever measure of good it has done, or may do, to the blessing of Him, who has chosen the weak, the foolish, the base things of the world, to confound the mighty, the wise, and the noble; that the power may be seen to be wholly of Him, and not in such instruments.

We are, at all times, ready to listen to candid and honest remark, and would cheerfully receive a hint of direction from any quarter. Even the wisest may at times err through ignorance, may be mistaken, or in darkness in some particular; we are, therefore, to have a care one for another, -“looking diligently lest any man fail, exhorting and admenishing one another in love." We are to be very watchiul over ourselves, and over one another, no less than over Priemies from without; lest the truth of the gospel be reproached on our account.

We lay our account with opposition of all kinds, and from all quarters; for whoever will be faithful on the side st truth, must be reproached by the world : in confirmation of this we may bring forward our own experience since we commenced the work. We bave, indeed, received encouragement when we scarcely looked for it, but we have also found opposition whence there was least just reason, and nemies where we might have expected friends. We would, therefore, warn all who are, or may be, engaged in its support, that they are not taking the course to gain the applause of men; on the contrary, they may expect to be discouraged, dissuaded, and opposed, as well by professed tiends as by open enemies; but let them not regard men's words, keeping steadily in view the ground we occupy, the cause we maintain. Our sole dependence ought to be on the Captain of Salvation, whose the battle is.

It is our sincere purpose and desire to avoid the language and spirit of party, and whatever is sectarian ; but as this is now the watchword on all sides, it may be well 10 xplain what we mean by it. We mean not to say that it shall contain such abstract Christianity, as not to be the peculiar views of any one denomination, nor to clash with those of any other; for we cannot find such a Christianily in the Scriptures-it is an impossibility, an absurdity; for bore is no point in the w!.co.of Merclation, cren the most

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essential, (to use popular language,) which is not impugned and rejected by one sect or other; and if we avoid all these we shall have nothing left; but we mean to say, with the Apostle, Gal. vi. 14. God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not the honour and support of a party, the increase of numbers, or the triumph of our side, that we aim at, or rejoice in; but in the lefence and spread of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as it is in Jesus; which we desire to speak in lore and in the spirit of meekness, using only sober, scriptural argument, avoiding raillery, satire, and all "vain jangling."

In conclusion, we trust all who would not see the church tloat down the stream of defection till all becomes confusion, and uncertainty, will, with vigour, come to our help, that they may strengthen the weak hands, in attempting to repair the wastes of Zion, even in these troublous times. Be of good courage, and let us be valiant for the house of our God, and the Lord do that which is good in his sight. It is casy with him to save by many or by few; what are we against so great a multitude ? “Except the Lord do build the house they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city the watchman wakeih in vain."

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