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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 649017 A

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS R

1933 L

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The plan proposed, in the introduction to the first volume of this work, was "to give, perlaps in each number, a short sermon ; to insert essays on doctrinai and practical subjects; to expound difficult ard important passages of scripture ; to admit a free, though somiewhat limited discussion of controverted points in divinity ; to review religious publications ; to answer questions, soive cases of conscience and exemplify experiental and practical religion, by sketches of the lives of persons disuntuished for piety and usefulness. For the gatification of such readers, as may not have access to other sources ci information, an abstract of Religious lutelligence is proposed, and the usual notices of Ordinations, Amiversaries of Charitable Societics, and new Publications."

The above plan the Editor lias kept in his eye, and has endeavored to crecute it, so far as his means and talenis lave enabled him. IIe is sensible, that the execution has been imperfect; perhaps more so, than his readers expected ; certainiy more so, then he could have wished. This has been owing, in addition to his own want of ability and leisure, to the limited aid he has received from correspondents and contributors to the work. It is hoped, ho vever. that the contents of the first rolume, are such, as to allörd some satisfaction to that portion of the religious community, who have had opportunity to peruse it, and such as not altogether to disapp:int their reasonable expectations. It will be a source of grateful reflection to the Editor, if he may indulge the belief, that liis labours have contributed, in any degree, to the instruction and edification of Christians, or that they have been instrumental, by a divine blessing, in any instance, of

turning sinners from the error of their ways to the wisdom of the just.

The peculiar dificulties, attending the commencement of such a work, if not entirely removed, are greatly duninished. The imperStance of a cheap, periodical publication, which shell admit a free

discussion of all the essential doctrines of the gospel, is more and s more felt by the friends of truth. The connection between principle

and practice-between corruct speculation in divinity and erperimentel religion and vital colliness, is, by many, more clearly perceived and Junderstood. It is believed, that the prejudices, so arituly excited, and en industriously spread, against the system of sentiments, denominated Hopkinsinn, are gradually softening and melting away before the bis of truth ; and that, ere long, it will be generally seen and acknowledged, that this system, so much vilihed and contemned, is the only genuine, consistent and defencible Calvinism. And when this is seen and acknowledged, all objections against the name, will van

away. That this appellation is less ambiguons and more discriminating, ihan any other, assumed by orthodox Christians, it is presumed, will not be questioned ; and for this reason, it is both more oflen

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