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yang mengalam From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be
great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering : for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi i. 11. . sempre
per primera parte
PUBLISHED FOR THE EDITOR,
AT THE BOOKSTORE OF
58* NOTICE OF THE EDITOR.
In No. 25 of the last Volume of " The Christian Herald," the editor announced his design to make some alteration as to the mode of publishing it; an arrangement which his other avocations rendered indispensable. He also intimated his intention to increase in this Volume the quantity of serious and edifying compositions, either original or selected. On this latter point, some further explanation may be requisite.
Though the diffusion of religious intelligence has always been -the main design of this publication, still it was deemed not incompatible with that object to occupy a portion of our pages with short tracts tending to illustrate or enforce important truths. These, besides imparting that additional interest which variety of matter is calculated to produce, may likewise render the work more extensively useful and more generally acceptable. In pursuing this plan it will be the study of the editor not to depart from the catholic principles of Christianity on which he has hitherto endeavoured to conduct this miscellany. He will also consider it conformable to the general character of the publication to aim at inculcating truths of a practical, in preference to those of a speculative nature.
Communications comporting with the above views will be thankfully received and duly attended to.
Several of our readers have suggested the propriety of using a larger type than that on which the last three volumes have generally been printed. In complying with this suggestion, it has been deemed proper to increase also the size of the page, in order to insert about the same quantity of matter in one Number of the present volume as was contained in two of the preceding.
1818 THE CHRISTIAN HERALD.
The following remarks on the twofold duty of circulating, and of studying, the Holy Scriptures, we have extracted from a late Number of a British Magazine, and hope they will prove both acceptable and edifying.. . It is now allowed on all hands, by the Protestant body, with scarcely a dissenting voice, that it is the duty of Christians, collectively, in their several societies, and individually, in private life, to exert their influence and ability in endeavouring to disseininate the knowledge of religion, by communicating the Bible to those who are in want of this precious treasure. This truly catholic principle of charity has taken deep root in the public mind for several years past, and has spread itself extensively among all descriptions of persons. While the eye of an intelligent and sagacious observer of the world discerns much that is of an ominous character in the signs of the times, the almost universal prevalence of so generous and philanthropic a spirit presents a subject of grateful reflection and pleasing anticipation. The word of divine truth is a sweet antidote to the evils that abound in the earth. Like the salt cast into the waters by the prophet, it becomes, by the blessing of God, of healing efficacy to the noxious fountain of human nature. The unparalleled exertions that have been made by Christians within a few years, in printing and circulating translations of the sacred books among different nations, in their own proper tongues, are beyond all praise, and may be reasonably expected to produce a rich
and abundant increase of invaluable benefits to mankind. - Wherever the Scriptures are received and believed, they will
turn men from idols to serve the living God, who made the I heavens and the earth, the seas and the fountains of water. In They will introduce order, peace, and liberty, into those re
gions that are full of the habitations of horrid cruelty, oppression, and barbarous despotism, and will accelerate, with rapid motion, the progress of the human mind in the acquisition of all useful knowledge and convenient arts. He, there. fore, who contributes to diffuse the word of life among the
benighted tribes of the earth, not only consults the eternal interests of his fellow-creatures, which, indeed, ought to be the paramount object of his consideration, but he sows the seeds of civilization, learning, and liberty, which will certain ly, though perhaps but slowly, spring up, and cover the face of the world with fruit.
There can, in reality, be no dispute about the excellence and propriety of this species of benevolence, of this labour of love, among those who believe the Scriptures to be the word of God, and to contain those doctrines, the knowledge and belief of which are necessary to the salvation of men. It is no unusual thing, indeed, to hear ignorant and conceited persons, who have never given themselves any trouble to read and understand the Bible, declaim against the spirit of evangelizing the nations, which has gone forth among all classes of Christians. The abuses made of the charitable donations of Bible Societies, the great difficulties in the way of removing the prejudices of stupid and bigoted pagans, are the usual topics on which these persons are accustomed to enlarge, forgetting that all great and permanent effects are slowly produced, and that the employment of the best means of attaining an object is often unavoidably accompanied with partial inconveniences. When the husbandman casts his seed into the ground at the proper season, trusting in the superintending power and providence of God, who rules the course of nature, and produces the return of spring, summer, and harvest, in their regular order, by an established law, he acts the part which sacred philosophy, as well as religion, enjoins. He knows that it is probable the birds of the air may devour a part of the seed, that some part of it may die away beneath the clod, or that the rapacious reptile may nip the opening blade ; but he sows his seed, notwithstanding, in the hope and the assurance of a certain increase. Whatever objections may be raised by those who are disaffected to the cause of truth and religion, all those who consider it to be their duty to cherish and promote this laudable zeal for the propagation of true religion, are anxious to extend the sphere of its operations far and wide. .
There is something apparently incongruous, and really painful, in stating any circumstances that tend to diminish the feeling of pleasure that naturally arises in the breast of a beneyolent man, on contemplating this general inoyement of
the public mind in favour of imparting the Scriptures to the uninstructed nations of the world. It cannot however, have escaped the notice of the most superficial observer, that many persons show an active zeal in the support of Bible Societies, who get do not appear to give any practical and substantial evidence that they are themselyes lovers of the Sacred Book. That charity which thinketh no evil, would incline us to believe that every individual who contributes a part of his wealth, to convey the Bible to distant regions for the benefit of their poor and idolatrous inhabitants, should duly estimate the worth of that gift which he is desirous of communicating, as his most valuable donation, to others. The present which he thus makes may do much good; and it would be criminal in him to withhold it, when it is in his power to bestow such a blessing; but experience and observation tell us, that the donor is often ignorant of the value of the boon which he confer$. ! · Is it to be supposed that we esteem this book highly, when we seldom or never look into its contents? On the contrary, would we not rather, if our admiration of it were great, sedulously, patiently, and cheerfully, devote ourselves to the reading of it, that we might thoroughly understand what information it conveys, what sentiments it inculcates, and what spirit it breathes, that our whole souls might be filled, influenced, and moulded into a proper state and temper, by the doctrines and principles which it contains ? Without knowledge the heart is not good, and the divine knowledge which the word of God coinmunicates, must be sought for as for hid treasures. Those who are inspired with a love of secular learning, and have no other aim than the gratification of an awakened and ardent curiosity, or the obtaining a place in the records of fame, consider no sacrifice too great in order to accomplish these purposes. The dedication of time, health, recreation, and sleep, are all too little, when put into competition with the attainments of those stores of knowledge which they are so earnestly desirous of acquiring.
This devotedness of scholars and philosophers to the objects of their pursuits is so natural, that the world augurs unfavourably of any person who pretends to addict himself to the study of letters or science, and who does not exhibit in bis conduct more or less of this ardour and application, It seems, however, to be a pretty general opinion, that no