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PUBLISHED BY PETER B. GLEASON AND CO.
PETER B. GLEASON AND CO. PRINTERS.
HE Editor and Publishers of a periodical Religious Intelligencer, ought to consider themselves in a very responsible situation. They are not at liberty to publish every thing which may contribute to their personal gain; they have to watch against the secret designs of Errorists and Infidels of every description.But while it is their duty, to watch against errors which they honestly believe will subvert the doctrines and kingdom of Christ; it is not for them, in their humble capacity, to exercise the office of universal censors of truth. Good men, and those whom we presume to call orthodox, may differ on minor points of truth. By minor points of truth, we mean those, that are not essential to salvation. We firmly believe that the Presbyterian, the Episcopalian, the Baptist, and the Methodist may be travelling in the road to life, although in some things they think differently concerning the doctrines, and especially concerning the ceremonies of religion. While we avoid courting the applause of parties, we would be careful, not to place them at a further distance from each other and to break those slender bonds of charity, that are found between different denominations of Christians.-Every good man will endeavor to strengthen these bonds. To the Infidel, the Arian and Socinian, the Arminian, and men of unholy principles and practice, we cannot extend our charity. We know that a spirit, which denies the divine glory of Christ, or that encourages unholiness, can never enter into the kingdom of Heaven. We believe that errors of opinion concerning the nature of a saving faith, and of Christian sanctification are inconsistent with piety. We believe that the gospel of Christ requires faith in him as a Divine Redeemer, and dependence on his righteousness as the only ground on which we can be justified; and also that a true faith will be productive of good works. Whatever opinion darkens the glory of the God-man Mediator, or weakens the obligations on men to be holy, as God is holy, must be essentially adverse to the gospel, and cannot be espoused by an evangelical believer. Yet there are minor points on which evangelical believers will think differently; concerning which, this Magazine will never, with design, engage in controversy.
As a preparation for what will probably be found in the future pages of this work, we ask our readers to look on the present state of the earth.
We naturally begin, with what hath been called the old Christian World. Beginning with this, we find the whole to be engaged in war.- -While the greatest part of the heathen world is in a state of peace; the professedly Christian is in a state of war. This is a strange event in Christendom, which claims to be a kingdom of peace. While it deserves serious observation, and deep humility in those who call themselves Christians, it is a demonstrative evidence, that the time is come, long foretold in the prophecies, when God would punish an idolatrous, backsliding Church.If heathen idolatry deserved the vengeance of God, how much more doth the idolatry of professed Christians? His word hath said this vengeance should be executed, and that the instruments of it should arise from the corruption of the church. His word is now awfully fulfilling. Christian idolatry hath degenerated into its natural offspring Infidelity; and this Infidelity, according to its nature, is now "making its parent desolate, eating her flesh, and burning her with fire."
Which was eminently the seat of the idolatrous church, is now the servant of servants and petty-tyrants. Her Pontiff, whose word made thrones and even the world to tremble, is now numbered with the menials of the avenger of God's wrath; her powers are gone; her creeds are ridiculed, and she is sunk as a millstone into the sea.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL,
Have been distinguished for cruel bigotry and shedding the blood of the saints.-Racks, tortures and inquisition, have marked their government in Europe, and in every other country where it was established. The blood of the saints, and the blood of millions of slaughtered Indians in the East and West, cries for vengeance. God hath heard the cry, and is now giving them blood to drink. That apparently successful struggle which they are making for their independence is probably intended, by divine justice, to continue and complete their torments. The fuel on which divine anger feeds is not yet consumed, in those countries.
After Rome had sunk under the weight of her own sin, and her religious institutions were debauched by the pride and sensuality of courts, the name IMPERIAL appeared in France and Germany; a name that hath ever been fatal to civil and religious liberty.
For many ages hath been the seat of Imperial power. She hath exhibited to the world, a motly collection of States, that called themselves sovereign, but were indeed only branches of one tyrannical head. In her imperial state, she hath often contended with the Papal churches of Rome, and often joined with them to favor her own intrenchments on the civil liberties of the people.The imperial claims of Germany are now debased, almost as much as Rome; she is now enslaved, ostensibly by one of her own branches.