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Vol. III.] JANUARY, 1887. [No. 1.

NOTICE AND APPEAL.

We send out many sample copies of this first number of a new volume, and specially to two classes.

1. To leading Presbyterians, Ministers and others. We seek to arouse them to the importance of honest dealing by our church with the great questions of human destiny. The church binds the conscience, and fetters liberty of investigation, by statements so severe that her ministers recoil from preaching them, and the large majority of both ministers and members Ho not fairly believe them. A church that is not honest before God and man vacates its right to speak for Him. This is the only publication that is urging upon our church the duty of revising these statements. We ask all honest men within the church to support us in this effort. They are

not bound to accept our explanations of these mysteries, ✓ although we believe God has given us much light upon them. But they ought to help to keep the church and its ministry honest and upright and free. To subscribe for this journal, or to contribute towards its free circulation, gives aid to a work for which the need is vital, and which must needs be prosecuted amid much discouragement. We invite also from our brethren criticisms and suggestions in the line of this movement.

2. To those who are interested in the unity of the

church, as necessary to the accomplishment of her divine mission. Our interest in the Presbyterian Church is subordinate to our desire for the perfection of the whole body. Other journals are interested in church union. But none have sought out so deeply the underlying cause of these divisions, nor proposed so radical a remedy. The Church stands to-day shorn of power in the face of portentous evils that threaten the foundations of society. Even the great enterprise of modern missions lags, and the results accomplished are most meagre, compared with those to which she would be entitled were she properly equipped. A fragmentary Church cannot receive nor convey life from God to men in its fullness. We know of no other journal that is seeking to tell the Church the whole truth about this matter. We therefore ask for the support of all those who believe in the one Church of the one Lord, and who desire to see her become a fit temple for His abode, and the vehicle of His life and glory.

WORDS OF CHEER.

From a Presbyterian Pastor: "Whatever foot-hold Words Of Reconciliation gains in Presbyterian circles I rejoice in most heartily. The December number I have read with much pleasure. Have hardly been able to believe that you would make the headway you have, but am re-assured.

The way you suggest of meeting that resolution of Dr. Pierson's in the last Pennsylvania Synod is the very one that I determined at the time I would have adopted if I had been a member of that body. Instead of adhering to the Standards by a general pronunciamento let them do it .ipsissima verba, and that will best show whether they mean what their resolutions say.

I enclose five dollars—let the surplus from my subscription go to the circulation of the magazine."

From a Lady of hign social position: "It has given me much pleasure to commend your magazine to my friends, some of whom have become subscribers. Its teachings have been a source of interest and profit to me, and I am most thankful for the light you have been able to give us upon that dark and terrific point in our church's creed. I think there must be ' joy in the presence of the angels of God'—that His glory in the redemption of our race is being manifested to His church."

AN OUTLOOK UPON THE CHURCH.

The beginning of a new year is a time for outlook. Instead of glancing at the condition of the world, as we have been wont to do, let us look upon the Church. We find her at this time grappling with two great questions which relate to her life and progress. The first relates to her mission to the world. The second, to that unity of faith and life which is the the condition of her success.

I. For centuries past the Church has understood that her mission to mankind was to save them from going down to an eternal hell. During this century she has had a clearer apprehension than before that sin breeds hell. She has, therefore, been slowly accepting it as her primary mission, to save men from sin. If this be the purpose of God in her calling, in this world, she is naturally raising the question whether it may not reach over into the world to come, and whether the grace of God in redemption is necessarily restricted to the opportunities of this present life, especially in the case of those countless myriads who have died in their sins without any knowledge of Christ. A Church that builds hospitals and asylums, that seeks to carry Christ's consolation to the wretched sons of want, and to the battered and wounded outcasts in this world-struggle against sin, and that grows up into the life of Christ by so doing, will not long remain content with a doctrine that makes death the limit of all the resources in God's eternal purposes of grace toward lost men, and which gives it power to stop the church from any further exercise of her royal priesthood in their behalf The honor of the God she worships, and of the Christ who has redeemed her by His blood, and who gave Himself a ransom for the forfeited lives of all men, is involved in this question. The current theories about a future probation are not signs of growing unbelief, but of this outcry from Christian hearts for a better knowledge of God,—one that shall bring into harmony all that His Spirit has taught her of His character and ways. In all the Reformed churches of Europe and America this question is coming to the front. And it cannot be cried down, nor hushed down, by a timid expediency. Twenty years ago the publication for two years by a Presby

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