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cellany, in which living writers, and particularly those of our own church, may give utterance to their thoughts on subjects affecting the highest welfare of the Christian community. Our readers would be surprised were we to tell them how many writers known to us, and now eminent in the literature of our country, have had the Magazines for their first field of authorship; and, but for this exercise and proof of their powers, would probably not have ventured on the bolder flights by which they have risen to their present distinction. Not a few authors, of whom this remark is true, we have the high satisfaction to number among the stated contributors to our pages. To afford a platform for the maturing or matured gifts of such writers, we believe to be one of the most valuable services which such a periodical as our own can render to the church; and we are strongly disinclined to impair or lessen the good service thus rendered, by giving way, to any considerable extent, to the practice of making up our pages by culled from books.
We solicit from contributors brief papers-extending over a
page or two -on subjects of present and practical importance. Thoughts struck out in the course of studying the biographical and historical portions of the Divine Word, and stated, not as elaborate exercitations, but in a brief and simple form, would, we are sure, be read with interest and profit in the family circles of our church.
Inscribing this Volume, with sentiments of cordial esteen, to the Ministers and Members of the United Presbyterian Church, we go forward to another year's labours in their service, in prayerful dependence on that Spirit of truth and love,—that Spirit of holiness, peace, and power, without whose guidance and support, we cannot hope to advance in the right way to the great ends we propose,--the honour of our Divine Master, and the increase and edification of His people.
EDINBURGH, December 1851.
A NEW YEAR AND ITS WORK. aiah
1, W211 0:Most cordially we greet our readers at the commencement of a new year and 14, new, half century, Health and salutation” to you all. There are
Obvious reasons why a christian community should seek to observe this as a notable day. Our earth has completed another of its revolutions round the
It has run another stage of that course which was meted out to it of old by Him who suspended it on nothing, and flung it along its path through the infinitude of space. After serving long as a chronometer to man, marksing the times and the seasons, and measuring out the days and the years of eshis (sojourning, it has begun to describe anew that mighty annual circle yhich it has to traverse but a few times more ere it indicate the grand
when time shall be no longer. If, when“ the bell strikes one,” it is felt to be a solemn sound, as “the knell of a departed hour,” how much more should it not induce to take note of time, when the dial-plate tells of another year-another half century-departed with the years beyond the flood?
in general, need to look at time in the mass before they learn to gestimate
it aright. They allow moments and hours and days to slide away odvithout note, just as if these did not soon run up to weeks, and weeks to months, and months to years, and years to a life-time. It is a rare talent for 100 our days, we may apply our unto wisdom.”
entreats the author of all mercies, saying, “So teach us to of But what is it which makes man's time on earth so precious, that we - reckon it courteous to congratulate our friends on their being spared to enter on a new year? Not anything in time itself; for what time is, we cannot define. But its preciousness arises from the importance of the work, which, during his time on earth, and not after, man may accomplish. And what is that work? It is, speaking comprehensively, to promote and extend the honour of God: and the first step, which each individual has to take in advancing the honour of God, is to seek for himself reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ.
But not dwelling on this first step of the christian course, or on the ordinary duties of life connected with it, we are led by the occasion and circumstances of our present address, to speak of a great work which is now going forward on earth, and which, more than any other, deserves to be called God's work—the work of subduing the world under the power of the Gospel. Christian readers ! you have been preserved alive to begin another year, that ye may take a share of this service; for each Christian has his share allotted him in this service as certainly as his portion is assigned in the inheritance of the saints.
VOL. V. NO. I.
Now, that the church of Christ is starting on a new period of the enterprise committed to her, we would seek to enlist the earnest zeal of all professing Christians. You have not all, indeed, the same kind, or the same amount, of service to render. You have not all the same gifts, graces, opportunities ; nor is it intended that ye should. The difference, in these respects, is required for the completeness of the work contemplated. industrial arts to reap the well-known advantages arising from the distribution of labour, variety of talent is indispensable. If all had the same rank, skill, wealth, influence, where would be our various craftsmen and professional men, with each their peculiar qualities and attainments, fitting them to excel in their peculiar work? If all were qualified for the same department, other departments must be neglected, or be insufficiently attended to. And so it is in the church's work. We need men of worldly substance; but these alone will not suffice. We need men of calm deliberation and prudent foresight,-men like “ the children of Issachar, who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” We need men of courage and eloquence, by whose example and persuasion the hosts of the Lord may be roused to action and led forward to victory. We need men of cool indomitable perseverance, to bear up against long-continued and seemingly unfruitful effort. We need persons of lively, cheerful, hopeful temper, to cheer on the flagging zeal of their neighbours, whose souls are often “much discouraged because of the way.” But while these are specially demanded, no Christian can be spared without loss to the cause. The young David was of service in the wars of Israel, when he could only carry the basket of loaves to his brothers in the camp, as well as when he led on the host to conquest. The children of the Sabbath schools of England and Scotland, when they sent out the “ John Williams” to the South Seas, the “Calabar” to Western Africa, or the missionary waggon to Caffreland, did more for the missionary cause, by animating the hearts of its friends at home and abroad, than a contribution of many times greater amount, from a more influential class, could possibly have done. If each Christian but knew his place, and would keep it faithfully and use it diligently, how much might be done eren in the compass of a year, for the great undertaking to which the church is called ! How is it to fare with the Lord's work throughout the year
which now opens upon us? No man who remembers the sudden and unexpected turns of Providence during the last three years, will be fond to venture on a detailed answer to this question; and yet, few amongst us who allow themselves to reflect upon the stirring events which have been crowded into the concluding weeks of the past year, can have failed to speculate with painful anxiety on the coming twelvemonths. One object looms ominously in the immediate future. The Man of Sin, exalting himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, has just recovered from the consternation in which he fled, disguised as a lackey, from his own capital ; and, as if to make the world forget the shame of his flight, he has been pushing his pretensions in this realm, to an extent unknown since the era of the Reformation, In every attempt which a British Protestant makes to forecaste the year 1851, the image of the Pope of Rome is prominent to the view.
It is a year of suspense and apprehension. While it opens, the principles of the Reformation, as they affect this empire, are again in the crucible; and in what form they shall come out, under the moulding hand of our government and legislature, it would be adventurous to say. The proceedings of her Majesty's ministers, for some time back, do not encourage us to trust im
plicitly in their attachment to protestant truth or christian liberty. In the hour of their extremity with what has long been known as their “chief difficulty," the government of Ireland, they have shown a disposition to defer to the counsels of the worst enemies whom truth and liberty ever had to encounterthe Pope and his Jesuit advisers. Were we not warned against trusting in an arm of flesh, we might draw confidence from the consistency and thoroughly protestant feeling of the Sovereign ; and, indeed, we heartily bless God for such a Queen at such a crisis. When we remember the mischief caused, even in our reformed Scotland, by the governments of Mary of Guise, and Mary Stuart, we feel that we owe much in Providence to our gracious Queen Victoria. Yet we rejoice with trembling. The fact that we have such a Sovereign is apt to make our countrymen trust to worldly policy for their defence against Romish aggression; instead of learning and using the power of christian truth and christian example. We cannot divest ourselves of anxious concern in the prospect of the coming year.
And yet it is, with us, a year of hope. In the agitation, amidst which it commences, there is an influence at work which can hardly fail to operate for good. At the time of the Reformation in England, the mind of the people, at large, had not undergone the preparation needed for the reception of gospel doetrine; and notwithstanding the labours of the Puritans and the Methodists, a great mass of the population remained as fallow ground, the precious seed lying on the surface, without taking firm hold of the soil. At present there is an up-ploughing of the English mind; and if the present occasion be seized by the friends of evangelical truth, both within and without the church establishment, the doctrine of the kingdom may sink deeper than ever it has done before. Romanists themselves are beginning to see the inconsistency of papal pretensions, with civil liberty or dutiful allegiance to a lawful sovereign. In reference to the recent aggression of popery in England, we find a Roman Catholic duke, and two other Roman Catholic peers, joining in a declaration that “ the Pope, by his ill advised measures, has placed the Roman Catholics in this country in a position where they must either break with Rome, or violate their allegiance to the constitution of these realms." Such sentiments, it is true, may be far enough from any feeling of attachment to sound religious principle; yet, if the spell of papal infallibility be broken, by whatever means, we should have more hope, humanly speaking, of truth finding its way and doing its work in the hearts of Roman Catholics.
But, if much good is to be done, it must be a year of watchful and prayerful effort. A dignitary of the church of England has testified that the perversion of Protestants to the Romish faith, so frequent in our day, has been confined almost wholly to members of the English Established Church. And this witness is true. The practice of Dissenters in appealing to Scripture as the only final standard in religious doctrine, leads them to become conversant with the best means of defence against popery. Dissenters, therefore, must labour to spread this great Protestant principle. “ The surest method,” says the Dean of Bristol just referred to, “ by which we can oppose such aggression and preserve ourselves from such domination, is to diffuse as widely as possible these truths on which our Protestant church is founded, resting, as they do, on the pure word of God, without addition or adulteration.” Even among dissenting Christians there are too many who have need to learn the value of their principles; and these must acquire the lesson soon, if they would take their part honourably to themselves, and profitably for their Lord's cause, in THE WORK OF THE YEAR.
gas stist12 1081 od SKETCH OF THE RISE AND ESTABLISHMENT OF POPERY.1979 We intend to give a brief narrative of the progress of Popery, from its earliest
10 rise in the days of the apostles, to its complete establishment in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The subject is interesting, and may be highly instructive. Even to a mere philosopher, it must be interesting to trace the progress of a power which, from such small beginnings, grew into an empire, spiritual indeed in its nature, but rivalling in authority and wealth, in extent and splendour, the empire of the Cæsars, and rendered Rome papal, what Rome pagan had been, the mistress of the nations, and the metropolis of the world. To a Christian, however, it is an especially interesting, though a painfully interesting exercise, to trace the progress of a corruption which has so changed, wherever it has prevailed, the entire system of Christianity, and the whole framework of the church, as to transform the greatest good into the greatest evil, and turn Heaven's best gift to a sinful world, into a universal plague and curse. Such is Popery: the mystery of iniquity, the mother of harlots, and abomination of the earth.
TO THOQOT9LI ception of what Popery really is, that thus we may detect it in its incipient state, as well as when completely formed and fully grown. Before entering on our narrative, we would state generally, therefore, what we understand by Popery. In common language,
the term is employed to describe a very complex system of corruption in doctrine, worship, government, and discipline—the system, that is, which we find actually professed and exemplified by the Church of Rome at the present day. But every system ha its first principles—the radical elements of its existence—that which it was from the very beginning, and which continues to be the centre and animating soul of it; and this is the case, too, with Popery. That which is its radical element, its animating soul-that which constituted Popery in its simplest form, and is still its central principle of operation-is, we apprehend, lust of power, spiritual domination, clerical ambition. Regard this as the centre, and there is not a corruption of Christianty, doctrinal, ritual, or ecclesiastical, which goes to make up the popish system, which may not be shown distinctly crystalising around this middle point. All was either invented in order to, or so brought to bear as to support, the spiritual power. Now, keeping the radical idea of Popery before our minds, we shall cursorily but plainly trace its progress in the page of ecclesiastical history, as it gradually developes itself in the different periods, till at last, having reached the maturity of corruption, it stands forth revealed the perfect man of sin, o tom,
We begin with the first, or primitive period, comprehending the times of the apostles, and those immediately succeeding. Then Popery took its rise. The Apostle Paul tells us that the mystery of iniquity had begun to work even in his days—not exclusively at Rome—but throughout the churches generally. The corrupt humours were diffused throughout the body at large, before they came to a head, and broke out locally at Rome in the ulcerous form of the Papacy. Its first manifestation, and to this we doubt the Apostle Paul refers in the passage alluded to, was the spiritual power which the clergy early claimed and exercised over the laity. Instead of being satisfied with being merely ministers, they claimed to be a kind of
suliter, and submisfind Peter
the elders, even of his early day, not to act as lords over God's heritage toa plain intimation that
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