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36, 72, 108, 144, 215, 232,288, 324
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Recollections of a Retired Clergyman,
259, 329, 410
Smyth, Rev. Thomas, Ordination of
Tuckerman, Dr. Letter by
PROSPECTUS. It is intended to publish a New Series of the Bible Christian, the first number of which will appear on Monday, the first of February. The Conductors desire to lay before the Christian Public the principles and object of the Periodical.
The former Series, of which the Sixth Volume is now completed, was put forth to advocate the Sufficiency of Scripture and the Right of Private Judgment, at a period in the religious history of Ulster, when these great principles of Protestantism were assailed and nigh-hand overwhelmed—when their advocates were aspersed with calumny, and their vindication was deemed a crime. We have reason to bless God that the storm which then raged has now, in a great measure, passed away; and the cause of the Non-subscribing Presbyterians has survived its shock-nay, has been strengthened by its fury. In the scenes to which we refer, the Bible Christian faithfully did its part ;-and we think we may safely say, that in the war of controversy which was forced on it, it never forgot the spirit that became its name.
But while a change of circumstances has lessened, it has by no means removed the necessity of such a publication. Error still prevails among Christians—Superstition still holds the place of “pure and undefiled religion" -and, in this eventful period of the Church's history, when the public mind is moving towards a second Reformation, Priestcraft is clinging to its strong-holds with a more determined grasp. A New Series of the Bible Christian will therefore be published, in which the Doctrines of Primitive Christianity may be maintained and extended-by which a spirit of fearless free inquiry may be cherished and through which knowledge may go forth to war against ignorance and sin. Our Holy Faith has not yet shaken off all the chains with which, in a dark age, it was bound.
It behoves us to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the Saints,” and we fondly trust that, under the blessing of Heaven, our little work may lend its aid to complete a Reformation that was nobly begun by. Wickliffe and Luther, Calvin, Melancthon and Knox.
Taking for our motto the words of Chillingworth, THE BIBLE AND THE BIBLE ONLY—which is the Essence of Protestantism,-it will be our object to oppose Human Creeds, Confessions and Articles of Faith_which have engendered strife and kindled persecution; and to vindicate the full supremacy of Scripture-the undivided mastership of the Lord Jesus.
Our watchword will be FREEDOM-Freedom of Thought-Freedom of Speech-and we will expose Religious Tyranny in every form, whenever and wherever it shows its iron hoof. We trust that our feeble exertions will be seconded by the countenance and cooperation of the brethren-May they be strengthened by the favour of our God, and may they tend to the glory of his name !
As our chief desire is to circulate the Bible Christian extensively among all classes, care will be taken to make every number simple, interesting and instructive, while the price will be so very trifling that the poorest may possess himself of the work.
It will be punctually published at the Bible Christian Office, No. 28, Rosemary Street, on the first day of every month, and will be promptly forwarded to the country.
The Editors request the aid of their friends, both lay and clerical, in furnishing articles, local intelligence, &c. &c.
Each number will contain 36 pages. Yearly subscription only 2s. 6d., or 2 d. per number. As the circulation of the New Series of the Bible Christian, from its low price, will be very extensive, it will be a desirable channel for advertisements which will be inserted on extremely moderate terms. Bible Christian Office, 28, Rosemary Sireet,
January 18, 1836.
MISSIONS TO THE POOR. In the days of Christ, the Poor had the Gospel preached unto them; and well was the Gospel suited to their wants-for it told them of their dignity and their rights, their nature and their hopes. While the world trampled on them, and in Pharisaic pride commanded them to stand off, the Saviour raised them from the depths in which they were sunk, and lifted their hearts to Heaven.
How welcome to the Poor must have been so meek, and gentle, and heavenly a Teacher! By their fellowcreatures—worms of the earth like themselves—they are despised and insulted; taught to believe that they are of another species ; deprived of all interest in society. When they walk abroad from their abodes of misery, they may see their fellow-men, but they know them not; they have no communion with them; if they dare to speak to them, it is in the language of slaves and sycophants. If distress presses sore on them, and hunger drives them from their dreary homes to seek alms of their wealthy neighbours, they are repulsed with coldness : or, if a mite is doled out from their plenty, it is given with the look and language of insult -aye, and sometimes with imprecations, which nought but necessity could enable them to bear. Such is the state of the Poor in our own day; such no doubt it was in the days of Christ. And do we wonder that to such as these the Saviour delighted to teach his divine doctrine. Surely it is not strange, that he turned away from the pride and pomp of rank—that he did not dwell in Kings' houses-that he mingled not with those that were clothed in purple, and fared sumptuously every day. It better suited the tenderness of his spirit to go into the wilderness of poverty, and seek the lost sheep that were wandering there. He came to save the immortal soul; and he could look beyond the accidental distinctions of rank, and the trappings of wealth he could see beneath the squalid form and the tattered raiment, the germ of a spiritual and immortal being-a soul as precious in the eye of God and of angels, as that of the mightiest monarch. And where does Christ show himself more truly the Son of God, than when he mingles with the poor and the distressed; when he opens to them the hopes and promises of the Gospel; when in accents of mercy he invites the unfortunate Mary to repentance, and wins her from a life of shame to duty and to Heaven?
We are too apt to think that the great evil under which the Poor groan, is poverty. It is indeed a great. and trying evil. Those that live in a higher rank, know little of the ills their brethren endure; they are living, as it were, in another world. But poverty is not the greatest evil. There is a moral evil that is infi. nitely worse. They see men struggling for property. Property gains respect and importance with the world; and they are thus led to regard it as their chief good; and to think that without it they must be wretched. And then there is the burning desire, the brooding discontent, the envy and hatred which such feelings must produce; and there is the scorn too, and mockery, and insult of their fellows, that weighs down their spirit, and paralyses their moral nature. Can we wonder that in such a state of things vice prevails among them ? Can we wonder that they are sunk in degradation ? Oh! let us not reproach the poor with vice, and hate them for their crimes; we know little of the temptations they meet. Their faults may be great, but their misfortune is greater still.
To the Poor then the Gospel is preached-it comes with a tenfold interest to them. In the word of life they learn what otherwise they might never have known, that holiness, not wealth, is the only true and lasting good-holiness-to which they have the same claim as their proud brethren ; that the great Father of all who makes bis sun to shine as brightly into the hut as the palace, has made the Sun of righteousness to beam for the enlightening of their darkness-for the vivifying of their spiritual death.
And has this gospel, teeming with promises so rich for the unfortunate Poor, has it been published to them? Alas! no.
In the crowded haunts of society, where sin and crime so awfully prevail, the gospel of Jesus is but little known to the obscure and wretched poor. “In the best city of Christendom one-fourth, at least, of its inhabitants are without the pale of all its provisions for religious instruction. In other large towns and cities, one-third, and in some, one-half of their inhabitants cannot, if they would, be accommodated in the places of worship. One-third or one-half of the inhabitants are unknown to the recognized