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CCORDING to the original filan of this Magazine, it is to contain,
Essays on the doctrines of Christianity, and on religious, experimental and moral subjects:—Occasional remarks on the fulfilment of scripture prophecies in the present day, and expositions of difficult and doubtful passages of scripture :—Religious intelligence concerning the state of Christ's kingdom, throughout the Christian world, and sketches of the original ecclesiastical concerns of this country :—Information respecting Missions to the new settlements in the United States and among Heathen nations:—Narratives of revivals of religion in particular places together with the distinguishing marks of true and false religion :-Accounts of remarkable dispensations of divine Providence :-Biographical sketches of persons eminent for piety :—Original hymns on evangelical subjects —Together with whatever else on the subject of religion and morals may contribute to the advancement of genuine piety and pure morality.
This work will consist of original pieces and of extracts from the best European and American publications. As the Magazine is designed for the promotion of vital Christianity, and of a knowledge of the great and essential truths of the gospel, Essays which are merely controversial or deeply metaphysical, it will be seen, come not within the object of this publication; nevertheless, should any such be sent which, in the opinion of the Editors, are highly meritorious, they will be admitted. The Magazine will be open to receive communications from all denominations of Christians who believe in the peculiar principles of Christianity; but if written upon the distinguishing tenets of their respective sects, they will be excluded. The profits arising from the sale of this publication will be appropria ed to the support of Missionaries to the Heathen or among the inhabitants of the new settlements.
In fursuance of the above filan, four volumes of this work, have been fublished ; and the Editors now enter on a fifth ; hosting the Jormer fatrons of the work will continue to encourage it 5 and that their Corresfondents will seasonably furnish them with such materials that the firesent volume may not be inferior to those which have fireceded it. The Editors deem it unnecessary to ersatiate usion the utility of such a sublication, if judiciously conducted, or usion the imfortance of the object to which the firofits of this Magazine are affirofiriated. These will readily strike every serious, reflecting mind; and a confidence is entertained that the work will not be suffered to stop for want of the liberal flatronage offiurchasers, or suitable materials from correspondents to render it interesting and instructive to the Reader.
.M Missionary Sermon, delivered at Hartford on the Evening of the Election Day, May 10, 1804, by the Rev. AMos BAssET, of Hebron.
John v111. 56. Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it and was glad.
HE Sacred Scriptures bear ample testimony to the high esteem in which Abraham was held by the only wise God, who is never deceived in characters. Such an esteem must have been occasioned by some excellent spirit discerned in him, which rendered him totally different from his idolatrous cotemporaries, from the men of the world in all ages, and particularly from his degenerate posterity, the carnal Jews. Christ in conversation with these Jews denied their right to call Abraham their spiritual father. He referred them to several things wherein this father of the faithful essentially differed from them: the sum of which things may be considered as given in the text.
It is believed, brethren, that the character of this patriarch may with propriety be brought into view on the present occasion, since the Holy Ghost has testified that, “what is written of him was not written for his sake alone, but for us also"— since we of the Gentiles partake of the blessings promised in his seed—and since, with the high approbation of his maker, he joyfully devoted his heart and life to the same cause which we now profess to have in view, and which we hope we “prefer above our chief joy.” Your attention is invited, l. To the view which Abraham had of the day of Christ. 2. To the influence which this view had upon his heart and life. 1. The view which Abraham had of the day of Christ. The promise made to Abraham signified, that in his “seed i. e. Christ, all nations of the earth should be biessed.” We are informed, that “God preached the Gospel to Abraham.— Gal. iii. 8. That which constitutes the chief excellence of the Gospel, constituted the chief excellence of the view referred to in the text. It may, accordingly, be observed, that the most interesting part of the view which this friend of God and of mankind had of the day of Christ, was his appearance upon earth to reveal the gracious counsels of his Father; and as the author of everlasting happiness to multitudes besides his own posterity; and eventually to all the nations of the earth. 1. The perfections of the most High were then to be fully and clearly displayed. The unsearchable love of God would then shine upon the carth with a brightness before unknown—accompanied by his sovereign wisdom and power, justice and faithfulness, mercy and truth. At that day God would publicly manifest himself in the flesh. “The only begotten Son who was in the bosom of the Father, would proceed forth and conne down to this world to “declare him,” so that men and Angels might “see his glory.”— And finally he would close his public appearance upon earth by such an exhibition of love as the universe had never beheld before, “the Son of the Highest” offering his life a ransom for enemies. Then would the law of God be highly magnified, Satan vanquished, and an everlasting righteousness brought in. 2. The extensive spread of happiness. Abraham delighted to contemplate the divine persections. He wished all the world to behold them and be happy. The day of Christ would introduce this most desirable event. Then should the “word go forth—the day spring from on high should spread;" till it
should reach the uttermost parts of the earth, and all nations taste the salvation of God. Deity displayed—all his perfections seen to harmonize—millions and millions made happy—a Paradise upon earth—a revenue of glory to the great Author of all this happiness' My Christian friends, can there be a doubt that a view of the day of Christ was a very justifiable ground of joy Let our attention be directed, 2. To the influence which this view had upon the heart and life of Abraham. He rejoiced, saith the Saviour, that he was permitted to see this day. He rejoiced with an eager desire to obtain as perfect a view as possible; and in proportion to the clearness of the view, his holy, benevolent heart glowed with delight. A strong affectionate faith nnited him to the Messsiah and to his cause by an inviolable attachment. In full confidence that God was immutably faithful, he “staggered not through unbelief” at any difficulties or apparent impossibilities in the way of duty. In him we observe that sure mark of true religion, a tender regard for the Divine honor.— How evident did this appear in his intercession with the Deity, on the plains of Mamre. How evident also, in his refusal of the goods offered him in the valley of Shaveh, lest any, except Jehovah, should have the honor of making him rich. Assured that the Messiah should come in his family, and the true religion be entrusted with them, he was strict to regulate his household according to the precepts of God. While other families went into idolatry, he laboured to fix upon his the character of piety. All his worldly arrangements were made subservient to the cause of religion. There was no particular spot where he settled, but what he held himself in readiness to leave at the Diwine call. Seperate from Christ and the promotion of religion he avowed no interests, no pursuits, no treasures. The promises belonging to the day of Christ, though “afar off,” were realized, and sweetly engaged the ardent attention of his soul. And having his will entirely swallowed up in the will of God, he stood continually in the attitude of one listening to the voice of his sovereignThis voice was the supreme law of his heart. Did this voice direct him “Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee 3’” Immediately “he went out not knowing whither he went.” Did the same voice command him, “ Abraham take now thy son—thine only son Isaac-whom thou lovest—offer him for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee?” To him it was sufficient to be assured that GOD had given this command. He arose. He took his beloved Isaac with full purpose of heart to obey; knowing, that tho' Isaac should be offered, God would easily fulfil his promises. When the same authority commanded him to “stay his hand” he desisted, and not till then.— His obedience was implicit, prompt and persevering. He was not afraid nor ashamed to appear on the side of Jehovah, tho' in the midst of idola
ters. Wherever we follow him in his pilgrimage from place to place, we easily trace his footsteps by the monuments of his piety and devotion—altars erected—where “he called upon the name of the LoRD.” He publicly honored the Messiah with his substance, in the person of “Melchisedek—a priest of the most high God” after a peculiar order—the noted representative
of Christ in that day. To this,
illustrious character the patriarch imparted a “tythe of all,” as a pledge that his substance was consecrated to the service of one who was to be made a “priest according to the power of an endless life.” He wished the world to know that Jehovah was his shield. He obtained his wish. The princes around him, struck with the evidences of its truth made to him this acknowledgment, “God is with thee in all thou dost.” Such was the influence which a view of the day of Christ had upon the heart and life of Abraham. Attracted by the glory of that day, which in his view shone with a lustre superior to all earthly things, he lived “a pilgrim and stranger on the earth.” His time, his possessions, his habitation, his worldly arrangements, yea, his tender attachment to a beloved son, were all made to subserve the cause of that Saviour, whose day he saw, and in whose day he rejoiced. He persevered in faith and obedience till his life and his trials were in the same moment finished—successfolly finished. “He died in the faith, seeing the promises afar off.” fully persuaded that he who had promised would assuredly perform, and leaving behind him