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In tendering this tribute of respect to his patrons, the Editor has only to add, that as he has now two able and active brethren associated with bin in the editorial department, he cherishes the fond hope, that the work will continue increasingly, pleasing and useful, and that its circulation may be extended throughout the United States,



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Ar the commencement, of this new year, the Editors of the AMERICAN BAPTIST MAGAZINE take the liberty of tendering their sincere congratulations to the friends and patrons of this periodical work.

If we take a retrospect of the past, or glance at the prospect before us, we shall see much to encourage and animate us in our exertions for the spread of christian kuowledge. Our most sanguine expectations have, in some respects, been more than realized. That union in sentiment and design, so essentially necessary to support our hopes of success, seems to be happily extending through the different sections of our country. A laudable zeal for the missionary cause is every where apparent; and societies auxiliary to the “ Board of Foreign Missions," are forming from Maine to Georgia, and from the Atlantic to the Missisippi. Such a union was rather to be desired, than confidently expected. But this proves the truth of that excellent maxim, “ Attempt great things, and expect yreat things."

An attempt to subvert the long established rites of paganism, and plant the standard of the Cross, where Satan has for ages held his seat, requires no ordinary effort. Difficulties we must expect : But we have much to encourage the hope, that Christ is soon to have " the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession."

with an ancient governor of Judah, "we are engaged in a great work;" for the accomplishment of which we feel a deep solicitude. The present period is peculiarlv auspicious. The sound of the trumpet, and the alarm of war, are no longer heard. Wasting and destruction have ceased their ravages, and peace bas again spread her balmy wings over our highly favoured land. The nations of Europe, fatigued and exhausted by a long and bloody conflict, have at length consented to sheath the sword, and sufler the world to enjoy a short repose. Such, it is said, was the state of the world in the reign of Augustus, when the Son of God made his advent. This wonderful event was celebrated by the angelic hosts, who were heard to sing, “ GLORY. TO

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Shall such an interesting crisis as the present, pass unnoticed and unimproved by the friends of the Redeemer? Shall they remain unconcerned and inactive at such a season? Will it not rather exeite all their energies, and animate them to redouble their exertions to spread the knowledge of salvation far and wide? This we have reason to believe will be the effect. Indeed the work has already commenced. The world is in motion. Christians of every denomination are in different ways exerting themselves, “to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, and to guide their feet into the way of peace."

Attempts have already been made to introduce the gospel of the kingdom, in Greenland, in Labrador, in Tartary, in Hindostan, in China, in Burmah, in New Holland, in the Isles of the Pacif. ic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, in the African Deserts, and in South America. But still the work of evangelizing the heathen has but just commenced. The tidings of salvation are yet to be sounded out through more than half the globe. Six hundred millions of our race are still ignorant of Jesus Christ.

The “dispersed through the countries," the descendants of Abraham, are still to be gathered in, and with them the fulness of the Gentiles. From land to land, from sea to sea, the word of Jehovah must continue to run, and in all its divine career, shed light, and life, and happiness, on a benighted world.

The Editors of the American Baptist Magazine, in presenting their friends with this first Number of the New Series, feel a pleasure in being able to state, that this work, which commenced with only one thousand copies, has increased to more than four thousand. With each number the demand has increased. But notwithstanding the increasing demand for the Magazine, it is a fact, that only a small proportion of the churches which are now combining their efforts in the missionary cause, have ever taken this work, or any other of a similar nature.

How much may be effected, by a well conducted periodical work, we will not attempt to describe. How easily it may be circulated; how well it is adapted to attract attention by the recency of the intelligence it communicates; how interesting and profitable it may be made to every description of readers, by the variety it admits in matter and manner ; and how much more likely to be read than a larger book,—the case speaks for itself.

Nor will we attempt to describe how much may be done, not only to increase the respectability of the denomination, and to cherish among all classes, especially the young, a taste for useful read


ing, but what is more, to enkindle and keep alive the flame of piety, by exciting attention to the Bible and religious subjects; to enlighten private christians, and to increase the knowledge and real use fulness of ministers, even of the most able, as well as of those whose literary and theological attainments are small. In a word, to build up and adorn the churches.

As the present prosperous state of our country offers peculiar fas cilities for circulating periodical works throughout the United States, we hope soon to be able to dispose of double the present number.

From an impression that the former title, though proper at first, might give the Magazine too much of a local appearance, it has been determined to alter it to one more general, and appropriate to the whole denomination. As we have no local interests to serve, our object equally embraces the interests of the whole.

In order to render the Magazine both entertaining and profitable, the Editors pledge their best abilities for its execution. At the same time, they earnestly solicit the assistance of their literary friends throughout the Union, in farnishing materials for the different departments of the work. Interesting Memoirs, well written essays on any branch of christian doctrine, learned and ju dicious criticism on difficult texts of scripture, and generally any intelligence of a religious or literary nature, will be gratefully received.

THOMAS BALDWIN, Principal Editor.

Assistant Boston, Jan. 1817. JAMES M. WINCHELL,



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MEMOIR OF MR. ROGER WILLIAMS, The first American Baptist,- Minister of the Gospel,--and first Governor

of the Colony of Rhode Island. The subject of this Memoir tive country, and came into this was born in Wales, 1599, and ed. American wilderness. Here, he ucated at the university of Oxford, hoped to enjoy, without restraint under the patronage of Sir Ed- from the civil power, that entire ward Coke. The occasion of Mr. liberty of thinking and acting on Williams' receiving the favour of religious subjects, which he so arthat distinguished lawyer was very dently desired. But he soon singular. Sir Edward one day at found to his great disappointment, church observing a youth taking that he had miscouceived the rignotes from the sermon, beckoned id sentiments of the clerical leadand received bim into his pew. ers of this new theocracy. He obtained a sight of the lad's At the age of thirty-two, Mr. minutes, which were exceedingly Williams embarked for America, judicious, being a collection of the and arrived in Boston in the most striking sentiments delivered month of February, 1631, A by the preacher. This, with Mr. few weeks after his arrival, he was Williams' great modesty, so en- invited to preach in Salem ; but gaged Sir Edward in his favour, as he had previously refused to as to induce him to solicit his commune with the churches at parents to let him have the care Boston ; "objecting to the oaths of their son ; which they readily which they took when they came granted.

out from England, and to the Soon after completing his col- force which they exercised in relegiate education, Mr. W. enter- Tigious affairs, the Court at Bosed on the study of the law, and ton wrote to Salem against him."* received all possible assistance

In order to avoid difficulty, from his generous patron. But, Mr. W. left Salem, and went to finding this employment not alto- Plymouth; which, at this time, gether agreeable to his taste, he was under a separate jurisdiction. turned his attention to divinity, in Here he resided for more than two which he made such proficiency, years,“ teaching the things conas encouraged Sir Edward to ob- tained in the New Testament ;"+ tain for him episcopal orders. also freely and openly speak!ng His preaching was highly esteem- his own opinions on religious subed, and his private character re- jects, without giving offence to vered. Bat disliking the form the brethren of that church. and government of the Episcopal During this time, it is said, he Church, and having early imbibed was highly esteemed by Governor an unconquerable aversion to re- Bradford and others. Although ligious domination, he left his na- as a preacher he was peculiarly

• Backus. † Hist. Coll. $ Eliot's Am. Biog.


gifted, yet such were his potions conld not convince him of his ale of religious liberty, that he was leged errors. Hence they ordered willing that the brethren should bim out of the Jurisdiction. It speak in their publick, as well as will appear somewhat singular to in their private meetings. Hence many of our readers, that christian they became inuch attached to discipline should have been adhim, and were ready to assist bim ministered by the authority of the in the time of his greatest neces- civil magistrate ; but this was a sities,*

peculiar feature in the character Notwithstanding the liberty and of those early times. friendship which Mr. W. enjoyed The ejection of Mr. Williams in Plymouth, he was unwilling to was in the following words : settle with that church. About “ Whereas Mr. Roger Williams, this time he received an invitation one of the elders of the church of from the church at Salem, to come 'Salem, hath broached and divulgand supply then, their Pastor be- ed divers new and dangerous opining sick. With this request he ions against the authority of magreadily complied, and obtained a istrates, as also writ letters of dedismission for this purpose in the famation both of the magistrates Summer of 1633. Here he con- and churches here, and that betinued bis labours as a supply, fore any conviction, and yet mainuntil the death of Mr. Skelton, in taineth the same, without any re163,4; after which he was ordain- traction : It is therefore ordered, ed to the pastoral office in this that the said Mr. Williams shall church. His settlement, however, depart out of this Jurisdiction gave offence to the government of within six weeks now next enstle the Colony. It was the opinion of ing, which if he neglect to perthe ministers of the Bay, that if form, it shall be lawful for the Mr. Williams were allowed to pro- governor and two magistrates, to pagate his opinions, the churches send him to some place out of the might run into heresy and aposta- Jurisdiction, not to return any sy, and the people might be led to more without leave from the defy the authority of the civil Court.” magistrate. † The church at Sa- Determined to get rid of a man, lem was therefore censured, as who in the face of civil authority, well as their pastor.

had the courage to avow his sentiWhen the Court met at Boston ments of christian liberty, and to the ensuing fall, Mr. Williams was oppose their unscriptural mode of ordered to appear before them. discipline, they sent for him (Jan. The charges against him were, for 1636,) to come to Boston. Probhaving written two letters ; one ably suspecting their design, he to the churches, complaining of did not go, but sent an excuse. the magistrates for injustice, er- Whereupon they sent an officer to treme oppression, &c.; the other, take him, and convey him on to his own church, persuading board a ship bound to England. them to renounce communion with But when the officer arrived at all the neighbouring churches, "us Salem, he found he had left the being full of antichristian pollu. place three days before. tions."

As Mr. Williams jourveyed When before the Court, Mr. south from Boston, he first stopw.justified the opinions asserted ed at a place called Seekhonk. in these letters, and ofiered to de But Governor Winslow wrote him, fend them in a public dispote. that he was then within the Mr. Hooker was accordingly clo- Plymouth colony, but if he would seu to dispute with him ; but only go over the river, he would • Erit.

+ As having a right to interfere in matters of religion.

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