« ZurückWeiter »
duce ;—though even these, we hope, will always be found consistent with those which are more directly religious, and often subsidiary to them ;--but when we look at our Biographical” and “Divinity" departments, as well as at numerous articles among our “Miscellanies, together with the valuable notices of Missionary operations, we again say, that we are thankful that while preserving the expected miscellaneous character of the work, and giving to the whole a decidedly religious bearing, so large a portion is decidedly spiritual. And, we hope we shall be allowed to say,-spiritual on just principles, as being the development of Christ's truth, applied to the heart by Christ's Spirit. And such, we trust, is the spirituality described and recommended in the Numbers of the Wesleyan Magazine. It implies the belief of those exalted tenets which have been considered, from the beginning of the church, as constituting Catholic orthodoxy; and likewise of those grand and spirit-stirring evangelical doctrines, the revival of which through the instrumentality of Luther, by the blessing of God, effected the Protestant Reformation.
And never was it more necessary explicitly to declare these truths, and earnestly to contend for them, than at the present day. Were there nothing remarkable in the signs of the times, there are the alwaysexisting wants of the church ; and these can only be supplied, whether they refer to individual members, or the collective aggregate, by the faithful enunciation of truth, both from the pulpit and the press. But the signs of the times are more than remarkable: they are ominous. Vital Christianity is threatened with opposition from various sources. And one occurrence is more than ordinarily portentous. Herod and Pontius Pilate became friends when they met for the condemnation of Christ. And he must be blind who does not see that parties, whose principles are diametrically opposed, are united in their hostility to evangelical religion. On the one hand, we perceive the abettors of spiritual despotism, the friends of Rome and Romanism ; and on the other, Latitudinarians, Rationalists, and Infidels. Yet do they seem to have found a position which they can unitedly occupy, each for the furtherance of their own purposes, but both in opposing the “ Methodism of Christianity,” wherever they may find it.
It is by the maintenance of spiritual religion, issuing from truth, and supported by it, that these assailants must be met; and by the same instrumentality alone can the churches be edified. Whether, therefore, the labours to which the coming year calls us, will have to aim at the religious benefit of individuals, or at the defence of the Gospel, the means employed must be the same.
Mysterious as are some of the aspects of the church at home, abroad they are such as to awaken devout and even triumphant gratitude. Our readers will be glad to be informed that in future, our Numbers will include the whole of the monthly “Notices” of the Wesleyan Missionary Society. We are willing to hope that the additional expense thus unavoidably occasioned, will be fully realized by the increasing patronage which, for this reason, as well as for others, we respectfully and earnestly solicit.
London, Nov. 17, 1847.