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With pleasure we obferve, that the efforts, which have been so successfully made to fend the Gospel to the South Seas, and which are now making to carry the fame bleffed truths into Africa, have had the most powerful tendency to unite the devoted fervants of Chrift, of every denomination, in the endearing bands of brotherly love, and to awaken the zeal of the faithful to commiferate and help the perifhing multitudes of unenlightened perfons in our own country.
Some congregations are beginning to send out fix or eight of their beft qualified members to converse with the poor in their neighbourhood, where the Gospel is not preached, with the view of teaching them the va lue of their fouls, the condition they are in, and perfuading them to attend the means of grace, where the distance renders it practicable; or elfe, to meet together, and read the Scriptures, praying with them, and for them, to the Father of mercies.
By the munificence of an individual, an itinerancy also is establishing, under the fuperintendence of one of our own body, that promises extenfive usefulness, by making fome poor congregation, that cannot maintain a fettled ministry, the place of head-quarters, or central point, whence each minifter iffues forth into the adjacent towns and villages with the glad tidings of falvation; having all his expences defrayed, and a fufficient falary allowed to keep himself decent and respectable: And when a few other faithful labourers can be found willing, and well qualified to engage in this work, they will be accepted. We fincerely hope that wealthy perfons, of both fexes, will be found to follow this laudible example; fince two or three preachers may thus be supported in gathering many precious fouls to Chrift, at a lefs expence than the frequently vain and troublesome gratification of keeping a pair of horfes and a chariot. We fhall be willing to correfpond on this fubject with any perfons who wish to
come forward and devote fome part of their property to this profitable fervice; or to receive hints from ministers, or others, refpecting populous places where itinerancies of this kind can be established.
Nor is it with small fatisfaction, we inform a fenfible correfpondent, whose paper, recommending attention to the state of the Jews, was lately inferted, that several able Ministers of the Gofpel have engaged to preach a Sunday evening lecture to that long-neglected people, at Bury-ftreet meeting-house, near Duke's Place, for a trial of one year at leaft; the refult of their labours we hope to be able, with thankfulness, to record.
It has likewife been proposed to connect, with the lecture, a fociety analogous to the Sick Man's Friend, for their exclufive benefit: hoping that God will bless the efforts of Chriftian kindness, in opening their ears to the voice of Christ, on a bed of fickness, and in the profpect of death.
In the progress of our work, we truft, we shall be able to ftate to our readers the vast utility of these societies, and the means by which all the preceding efforts, for fpreading the Gofpel, may be improved or enlarged. We fhall probably take occafion alfo to recommend the catechifing of children and young perfons, and fuggeft fome things respecting the more extenfive circulation of pamphlets: At the fame time we shall be thankful to any individual for his thoughts on these subjects, or on any other method of doing good that can be devised, that fo every practicable and defirable propofal may be well digested, in order to be presented to the Public.
We have many acknowledgments to make to our kind correfpondents for the valuable affistance they have given us. The prefent vaft fale of the Magazine is the best evidence of the high eftimation in which
their favours are held by the Public, and confequently of the great obligations under which we ourselves are laid.
It is from this vaft fale we are enabled, notwithstanding the heavy duties laid on paper, which have diminished or crushed several periodical publications, to continue our ufual quantity of letter-prefs, and to begin the year with an improved paper, with entire new types, and without leffening our charitable diftributions; and, we flatter ourselves, fuch care will be taken by our printer, in future, in the execution of the Work, as to preclude every poffible reason of complaint.
Here it may be needful to obferve, that though it be customary with all periodical works to advertise, both for the benefit of the printer and the increase of the revenue, books and other things, we hope it will be understood that this by no means implies our recommendation of what is there advertised. Our opinion will be given in the Review; and fuch books as are not there spoken of with approbation, our readers may be fure, we think, are not worth their notice. We will, however, take the greateft poffible care that nothing indelicate or immoral fhall difgrace the covers, or be diffeminated with the Work; but fhould any thing of the kind be stitched in after it comes from the printing-office, on information given us, we will endeavour to trace the evil, and fupprefs it.