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DEVOTED TO THE
Spread of Primitive Christianity.
“I saw another messenger flying through the midst of heaven, having everlasting good news
VOLUME IV. THIRD SERIES.
In commencing another volume with the New Year, a Preface of some kind or other is generally expected. Why such expectation should be entertained, is one thing-to satisfy it by any introductory remarks, is another. We confess the latter to be somewhat difficult ; and therefore, what we have to say in the shape of preliminary observations must be brief and pointed.
The primary object contemplated in the establishment of this periodical, was that of calling the attention of its readers, as much as possible, to that pure and benevolent system of truth and love, of social organization and good order, propounded to the world by the Great Author of the Christian religion, not only as every way adapted to the nature, responsibility, and present capacity of man, but as calculated to promote his future happiness and well-being. Of course, in making this remark, we are taking it for granted, the reader believes that God has spoken to man. Then, as a consequence, conversion to the knowledge and love of Him is to be sought after, with a willingness of mind to do all things whatsoever He has commanded, regardless of human inventions or traditions.
The power of God to bless and save the world, is deposited alone in His truth and institutions. Every departure from this truth, in spirit or practice, renders its bearing upon individual character and society at large less efficacious and salutary ; while entire departure from it results in the utmost depravity and wickedness, and final separation from God. If impurity and discord exist in the church and the world, it is because the truth is neither believed nor practiced. The delinquents, however-whether the unbelievers of the world, or the lovers of strife in the church are alone responsible. But a perpetuity of discord is impossible. Whatever comes short of unity and holiness, tends to decomposition ; and therefore, sooner or later it will be removed from the presence of God, before whom union, happiness, and good order, can alone exist.
How important, then, is union among the disciples of Jesus ! For this He prayed : “ That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” Jesus came to testify the truth to the world, and to oppose