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that when we are departed, we may, if possible, stop the mouths of gainsayers, so that our work and labour of love might be duly appreciated. And we would observe, did our readers know the history of our long and extensively circulated Journal, and the many disadvantages it had been the subject of; the anxious wearisome hours we have devoted to it, in repeated exercises, borne down with the burthens and avocations of the day, and sometimes under severe trials and afflictions, they would pity and commiserate with us. But these heart-rendings have only been known to Him, who has been about our bed and about our paths, and must be left to the grand day of decison.
When we also take into consideration the many obstacles thrown in the way of our proceedings, in our testimony for the truths of the gospel, by men of perverse minds, they add to the dreary rehearseal; for our adversaries have been numerous, and of various grades and descriptions. Some have crept in privily, under the guise of friends, to spy out our liberty we have in Christ Jesus, who seemed to be somewhat, but turn out to be nothing; wavering, unsteadfast, and after a little time, quickly disappear, and are seen no more. Others have been open enemies to revelation, striking at once at the foundation. Some under a zeal for godliness, and superior sanctity, have corrupted the doctrines of the gospel, and made the souls of the righteous sad, and the hearts of the wicked to rejoice, so as to cause the heritage of the Lord to drink muddy waters. Added to these, we have had to encounter the narrow sectarian with his shackles, issuing out his bile from the precincts of his molehill. But that which has molested us most has been the cruel scourge of the tongue, upon the most unsullied reputation; not from the open profane, but the nominal professor of religion, with his base calumnies and hard speeches, arising from the deadly poison of asps, which at times have entered our souls, as bars of cut iron :Such has been our recompence of reward. But in the midst of these outrageous movements, God has graciously kept us in his pavilion, and in tender compassion, has staid the rough wind, in the day of the east wind; our
shoes have been as iron and brass, strength has been proportioned out to our various conflicts, and not only so, but the inward man has been renewed day by day.
IN taking a retrospective glance at our labours, we are happy to say they have been grounded on sound principles, like a city situated on a hill, the Work has stood as a way mark to truth, or like candles elevated to spread a light around; confessing at the same time, our light and usefulness, depended upon the presence of Christ, and the breathings of the Holy Spirit. The doctrines we have contended for, centres in this, that in the Lord alone we have righteousness and strengh, and not by works of righteousness which we have done, but through the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, that we can be saved. These are our first and last settled principles, and that he who loved his people before the world existed, brought them into being, preserves and calls them in time, and ultimately brings them safe home to glory.
FROM an honest and unbiassed regard to truth, as well as a sense of duty, we have kept nothing in the back ground, out of worldly policy, or prudence, not mincing or suppressing the doctrines of the gospel out of worldly fear. When we had occasion to expose error, ignorance, puerility, and fanaticism, as well as bigotry, absurdity, and nonsense, which have often come in upon us as a flood; we have then, and at all times, guarded against illiberality and rudeness in our strictures, avoiding all personalities; preferring the exercise of lenity, to severity. And here we challenge our opposers to point out a line we ever wrote, unbecoming the christian, the scholar or the gentleman. Not a sentence do we know, that we would wish to blot out, were we now upon our dying bed, and all that we have ever written were before
AND here we make a stop in thanking God, for crowning our feeble efforts with superabounding blessings to an incalculable number of our dear Lord's re
deemed family, not only in our own country, but the tidings regarding our Publication have reached to far distant lands. Many of these our dear Christian Brethren, have been gathered home to glory, and are in full possession of those realities, which have been the constant theme of our pages: others of the same household, who are left below, are fast journeying with us, to join their company, round the throne, in their continual songs of praise, and in beholding the unclouded vision of our God, with undiminished splendor; and then to be ever with the Lord. The prospect of the harbour rejoices, though the time of landing is not yet come.
In writing this Introduction we have to acknowledge with unbounded thankfulness, and the deepest gratitude, the mercy and loving-kindness of God which have surrounded us from the first breath we drew, until the present moment. Joshua could say, he served Moses forty and five years, we have a higher privilege, that we have been in the service of a greater than Moses forty and three years. He acknowledged he was as strong when eighty-five years of age, as he was forty-five years back, when he was sent out into the wilderness. We who are advancing very near him in years, can with uplifted hands use similar language, that at our advanced time of life, our age is by no means impaired, nor are our mental faculties the worse for time. But circumstances unavoidable in our secular concerns, of a temporary cast, have arisen, as to call for every minute of our leisure, so as scarcely to leave us an interval to superintend our Publication, which requires not only a large portion of time, but coolness, and deliberation of thought and rereflection. For where the mind is ruffled, it brings on a langour and intellectual lassitude, so as to incapacitate the subject thereof from performing those functionary proceedings, which were formerly the heart's delight. Indeed, we should be aware as much as possible, of all anxious cares pressing upon the mind, which disturb the cerebellum of action, producing nervous disorders, and diseases, which often quickly terminate in death. Blessed be God, the great engine of the mind is under his con
trol, and he can raise it when he thinks proper, superior to all difficulties; so that the most afflicted will be led to see that all their springs are in him.
We turn to our readers, and call upon them to join with us in rendering our tribute of thanks to the God of all love, the centre, object, and bestower of it, who remembered us in our low estate, for his mercy endureth for ever. To the Son of the Father, who was made flesh, obeyed, and suffered for us men, and for our salvation. To the Holy Spirit, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, and who hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. To the ETERNAL THREE, FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT, let us fall down with adoring gratitude, praying that we may be filled with all wisdom and knowledge of the Divine Will, in spiritual understanding. The time is fast approaching, when this will be our everlasting employment.
PROBABLY, we may never again have an opportunity, we would wish to leave an admonitory caution to the simple-hearted of the flock of Christ, it is the only legacy we have to give them, that is, to beware of the large group of Religious Professors, who are spreading around us like locusts-multitudes upon multitudes,—with swarms of preachers having the form of godliness, but no vital principle. It is true, they 'WALK," as the Apostle Paul remarks, while he WEPT, under the consideration, but he declares them to be ENEMIES to the Gospel of Christ. Let not this consideration, appear as if it were something strange. The flock of the redeemed were always a little flock, a remnant according to the election of grace. As such, the foundation standeth sure, the Lord knoweth them that are his.
As we have never been ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, blessed be God, the Gospel of Christ has not been ashamed of us in our conversation with the world; and that we have fulfilled our motto we first set off with,
"In doctrine shewing uucorruptness."
We will now come out of our ambuscade, wherein we have been hid these FORTY-THREE YEARS!!! and cast off the coverlet in which we have been wrapped for such a lengthened period, in signing ourselves an old veteran in the King of kings's service,
Great Marlborough Street,
Dec. 1, 1838.