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PREFACE.

The Editors are aware of the responsibility which attaches to them, in so conducting the Magazine as to renderit a vehicle of correct religious sentiments; and an antidote to those errors which exist, and are abounding, in this country. Judging of the approbation with which their labours are received by the religious public, from the increased demand for the work during the past year, they feel a fresh stimulus for exertion to promote its future credit; that the fund arising from its profits, for assisting the widows of ministers, may be abundantly enlarged. For this purpose, they respectfully solicit the zealous co-operation of their numerous and respectable correspondents, by future communications; and, at the same time, they take this opportunity of offering them their grateful acknowledgments for past favours.

As the object they have in view by their Essays is the diffusion of Evangelical truth, they will readily admit into that department of their work short and well written pieces, calculated to elucidate and establish the doctrines, or to delineate the spirit, and enforce the practice, of Christianity. The union of these they deem of high consideration, and cannot therefore witness in some persons, without much concern, a disposition to separate them. Yes they most sincerely lament, that any attempts should be made to lower the standard, and diminish the importance, of moral and Christian conduct, no less than to invalidate and decry the doctrines of Divine revelation.

The Editors rejoice, that by some recent valuable works, attention has been revived and excited to the cause of Nonconformity and religious liberty; and they most earnestly recommend to Dissenting Parents, the important duty of instructing their children in the knowledge of their distinguishing principles and practices.

The gradual progress of the gospel in the united kingdom, and in the islands surrounding its shores, the establishment of schools and itinerant preaching in Ireland ; the revivals of religion, and the multiplication of Bible and Missionary Societies in America ; together with the continued success of Missionary labours in all parts of the globe; are considerations which must cause the heart of every friend of God and man to exult for joy. These they have with pleasure recorded, which cannot have failed to have excited in the numerous readers emotions of thankfulness, as well as afforded motives of encouragement for exertion and prayer. .

Happy if all were actually employed in their respective spheres, and esteemed it the main business and honour of their lives to promote the interest of Christ! Time is short. What numbers, since the commencement of the year that is now drawing to a close, have finished their earthly career ! How loudly does the warning voice, even from the palace to the cottage, resound,“ Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

“How many sleep, who kept the world awake

With lustre! -Has death proclaim'd
A truce, and hung his sated lance on high?
"Tis brandish'd still. Nor shall the coming year
Be more tenacious of her human leaves,
Or spread of feeble life a thinner fall.”

The readers of the Magazine may expect a well executed Portrait to accompany the Numbers, as often as the proceeds from the work will defray the expense, without injury to the widows, to whose use the profits are exclusively appropriated.

THE

Baptist Magazine.

JANUARY, 1817.

ON THE NEW YEAR.

WhenCE COMÉST THOU ? WHITHER GOEST 'Thou?

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Eheu, fugaces, Posthume, Posthume,

Labuutur anni
Linquenda tellus, et domus, et placens
Uxor: neque' harum, quas colis, arborum,

Te, præter invisas cupressos,
797 911 Ulla brevem dominum sequetur. i

HOR.
How swiftly glide our Aying years
Alas!
Your pleasing consort must be left,
And you, of villasy lands, bereft, 1

Must to the shades descend;
The cypress only, hated tree !
Of all thy much lov'd groves, shall thee,
Its short liv'd lord, attend.

FRANCIS.
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At this interesting season of the year. That surrounding objects year, we usually look into our af might not improperly occupy my fairs; should we not, also, examine attention, 1 extinguished my our spiritual state, and ask our taper. I heard, or seemed to selves with the utmost solemnity hear, a small still voice ; it said, the important questions, How do Mortal! whence comest thou ? matters stand between God and A profound silence ensued, till our souls ? Are there not books again its accents broke upon that intimately affect our eternal mine ear; again it said, “ Morwelfare, about to be opened ? tal! whither goest thou?". I fell? Surely there are; 'how mindful prostrate before the present Deity. should we be of them!

I adored him who formed me; it The last evening of the event- involuntarily exclaimed, O my ful year which has been added God, teach me to review the to the periods of eternity, I with-past, and to look forward to the drew from the world to hold con- future, with every suitable emoverse with him “who seeth in tion of heart. Teach me, o secret.”. I entered my closet “ teach me to number my days, I closed the door. My mind and to apply my heart unto

1 was deeply solemnized with the wisdom.” thought, that, perhaps, I should The solemn questions thus adnever see the close of another dressed to me, awakened every"

VOL, IX.

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faculty of my soul to serious and the tyger. Ambition, infernal, devout reflection; idea crowded accursed fiend, what hast thou on me after idea, till my heart done! The blood of niurdered was full, and

knew not how to millions rises against thee to the avoid at least attempting a reply throne of the Creator. But to the momentous queries of my

“ where shall fancy find invisible, but present and be- A proper name to call thee bý, expresloved Monitor.

!

sive I come, Lord, said I,

1, from wit

Of all thy horrors? pregnant womb of

ills! nessing thy hand in the afflic, of temper so transcendentły malign, tions of my poor impoverished That toads, and serpents of most deadly neighbours. I have seen many fa

kind milies once affluent, and numerous Compar’d to thee are harmless.” others who resided in decent and O God of peace! thou hast comfortable circumstances, sud- affected the mighty work. Speak denly reduced to penury and dis- again, give but the mandate, and tress. I had fondly hoped that the they are closed for ever. return of peace to my long afflict- Suffer me, also, to plead with ed country, would have been the thee, O thou Father of mercies, harbinger of commercial and do- for the afflicted, the poor, and mestic prosperity: but, alas ! I the destitute. 0 let not thine have found that “ thy hand is anger endure for ever. Hast stretched out still.” An unpro- thou not said “the needy shall ductive harvest, and a dimi- not always be forgotten that nished trade, have taught me the expectation of the poor shall that thou hast other rods with not perish for ever!” Let the which to chastise the nation, be- cries of the destitute labourer, sides that of war! Still I would and of the distressed artizan, bless thee, O my God, that thy" enter into the ears of the Lord almighty voice has been heard, of Sabaoth.” I magnify thy name, stilling the fury and madness of 0 God, that thou hast inclined the nations. At thy command, the hearts of the rich to be bounthe đevouring sword is univer- tiful, and that many of the poor sally sheathed : let it be drawn that cried, are partaking of the no more for ever. No more let' blessings of their liberality, Teacha the fields of Europe be covered them, also, by thy Holy Spirit, with torrents , of human blood, 0, Lord, that they build too low Let her golden harvests be no who build below the skies;" and more trampled to pieces by con- let thy 'goodness lead them to tending armies, or be consumed by repentance," that by patient the conflagration kindled by the continuance in well doing, they fiery breath of war. Let not the may seek for glory, and honour, cries of the orphan andthe widow and immortality, eteryal life." the lamentations of brother for I come, Lord, to express myri. brother of the father for the reigned joy, that the past season son of the son for the father, has been an eventful one to the again pierce our ears, or pain our interests of the divine Redeemer. hearts. Ah! where is the much New churches (to the pious heart, vaunted dignity of man--where how inexpressibly pleasing the his boasted natural propensities transition from the sanguinary: to virtue! The tyger of the forest triumphs of the rapacious conspares his kind, he preys not on queror, to the bloodless con-.:

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