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generally know to take with a large discount,-we have no hesitation in declaring our confident hope, founded on a growing acquaintance with the literary resources on which we are permitted to rely, that the Magazine will, in the approaching year, become increasingly worthy of the place it holds among the Christian Families of our church, and of the country at large.
The events which thicken around us, bearing closely on the interests of evangelical truth and christian freedom, render more obvious and imperative than ever the necessity for such periodicals as our own. The liberation of our Public Educational Institutes from the control of a party whose diminished numbers make their assumption in the case almost as ridiculous as it is mischievous, is a work still demanding the earnest attention of the religious journalist. The dissemination of right views regarding the relations of Church and State is also within his peculiar province, as distinguished from that of the preacher, whose influence as a religious instructor is apt to suffer when he introduces such topics into the ordinary ministrations of the pulpit. At the present day, it would seem that we have a special duty to perform in watching and reporting on the operations of the Roman Usurper. The battle of the Reformation, which was never fought out even in Protestant Britain, has, during the past year, been waged with an amount of zeal unsurpassed within the last two centuries. At the beginning of the year, the battle ground was shifting from one law court to another, the combatants on both sides being nominally members of the Church of England. Latterly the field has been widened, and the Pope's emissaries, who had previously been eager onlookers, have come in to take the ground to which the internal contests of the English Church, and the strongly manifested sympathies of a large portion of its clergy, plainly invited them. Amidst such scenes as these, it is meet that God's people should be awake to observation, prayer, and activity; and to keep them so will be our aim in the future, as it has been in the past.
An intelligent right-principled man dence may be viewed as a continued must often feel surprised that any creation. No created thing can have should doubt the doctrine of a parti- the least power to continue its existcular providence,-an immediate Di- ence and influence for the next mivine interposition,-in all the occur- nute. There must be a continual exrences which take place. The plan ertion of the Divine power, on which of all his operations must have been all is dependent, or created objects before the infinite mind from eter- would return to the nothing from nity, and all so arranged that, with- which they came, and their operaout confusion or jarring, every part tions would cease. The great object of it should infallibly be executed. for which all was formed can never The Apostle Paul gives us a happy be gained, unless the same wisdom illustration of this in a very comfort- and power by which all was created, able case : “ We know that all things superintend, and direct, and overrule work together for good to them that every event. The objections brought love God,—to them who are the against the doctrine, from the im' called according to his purpose ; for mense multiplicity of objects and whom he did foreknow, he also did events,-from the supposition of its predestinate to be conformed to the making God the author of sin, and image of his Son, that he might be from its alleged inconsistency with the the first-born among many brethren: liberty and responsibility of rational moreover, whom he did predestinate, creatures, have the same origin as the them he also called; and whom he unbelief of the Sadducees, and are decalled, them he also justified; and prived of their weight by a proper conwhom he justified, them he also glo- templation of the character of him rified.” The whole machinery of who says—“If it be marvellous in the the universe, in its material and spi- eyes of the remnant of this people in ritual departments, must have been these days, should it also be marveladmirably fitted for going on with lous in mine eyes, saith the Lord of regularity and continuance. But it Hosts ?” could not be left to itself. There is But we leave these reasonings with nothing independent of God. Provi- pleasure, to come to the Holy Scrip
NO. I. VOL. IV.
tures, where the doctrine of a parti- supplying them with influence. Some cular providence is taught in the maintain, that the structure of the fullest and most instructive form. world in which we dwell arose from We have there the history of the the operation of second causes, and Jewish church, given by the God of that it has reached its present improvidence, and it presents to us ir proved condition after a succession of rational agents, and all the nations many ages, and after passing through around Canaan, as instruments in a multitude of important changes. his hand, for the correction or the We are told, that by a great law of comfort of his people. “He giveth nature, the heavenly bodies are mainthe sun for a light by day, and the tained in their places and moveordinances of the moon and of the ments; that they influence the tides ; stars for a light by night, and divideth that heat, and the absence of it, with the sea when the waves thereof roar.” some influence from the structure - The preparations of the heart in of the earth, produce the winds; that man, and the answer of the tongue, cold and warm winds, with the aid is from the Lord.” “ The locust and of electricity, seem to be the
causes the canker-worm, and the caterpil- of rain, and hail, and snow. lar and the palmer-worm, are his that moisture and heat produce vegegreat army." The creatures which tation by sea and land, which is ultiare above us are as much under his mately the support of all living creacontrol as those which are below us. tures. Many of them live upon The prince of evil spirits acknow- others which, for this purpose, are ledged, that there was a hedge set multiplied to extraordinary around Job, through which he could amount, and the arrangement is not break without Divine permission productive of benefit. By .cultiva-the better angels, that “excel in ting the soil and manufacturing its strength, that do his commandments, produce, man provides for himself and hearken unto the voice of his food, and raiment, and medicine; word.” Things which appear the and commercial intercourse carries most aocidental are all under his di- the produce of every climate to the rection, and it was he that guided to place, where it is needed. When the heart of Ahab the arrow which a terrestrial instruments are insufficient Syrian shot at a venture.
for the work, a superior agency is It is deserving of particular consi- introduced. The angels who kept deration, that all this providential not their first estate, are often, under agency, so far as it comes under ob- Divine direction and control, emservation, is carried on by the inter- ployed in executing works of judgvention of means. By reason and ment. Upon the inhabitants of revealed religion we come to a fixed Egypt, God “cast the fierceness of belief, that the first and influential his anger, wrath, and indignation, movement must be from the hand of and trouble, by sending evil angels the Omnipotent; but, before we among them.” The holy angels who reach this, we must ascend through acted such an important part in the an immense series of instrumentality. age of revelation, are still all minisIndeed, the agents whom he employs tering spirits sent forth to minister are so numerous, many of them so for them who shall be heirs of salvalittle known, and they have such a tion. It is a rational and edifying reciprocal influence on each other, employment to observe this endless that we cannot regularly ascend variety of agency, and the exactness in our thoughts through them to with which the operations are carGod, but must rather view God in ried on, if, at the same time, we give every one of them, supporting and due honour to him by whom it is all
provided, and supported, and rendered him.” “God hath given him power efficient.
over all flesh, that he should give Nor even in contemplating all eternal life to as many as he hath these numerous and varied agents, given him.” No servant of God have we reached the highest agency has such an extent of influence as employed by the Supreme Ruler. this, but He is possessed of wisdom At an immeasurable height above and power adequate to the exercise the most exalted mere creature, of it. “ In him are hid all the treastånds the glorious person who has a sures of wisdom and knowledge.”
name given him which is above “ As the Father hath life in himself, so every name. In fulfilment of the hath he given to the Son to have life plan of infinite wisdom and love, he in himself, and hath given him aytook human nature into union with thority to execute judgment also, behis divine person, dwelt with men cause he is the Son of man.” Thus upon earth, and by becoming obe- we can rise up through the unidient unto death, even the death of verse, -the animate, the human, the the cross-has wrought out a great angelic worlds, good and bad-and salvation, the application of which see a continued agency carrying on has introduced corresponding the operations of God through the agency, a series of wonderful opera- different parts of the universe, till we tions. His church is connected with come to a glorious person who preall parts of the universe, and he sides over and directs the whole. exerts an influence by which he can This is the agent nearest to the Supmake “ all things to work together for
This is the Supreme good to them who love God.” “He Ruler himself united to a creature that descended, is the same also that united to humanity. At the head of ascended up far above all heavens, the whole creation, at the source of that he might fill all things; and he universal influence, there is one congave some apostles, and some pro- nected with our race, but who thinks phets, and some evangelists, and some it no robbery to be equal with God, pastors and teachers for the perfect- whose wisdom and power guide the ing of the saints, for the work of the whole creation with such exactness ministry, for the edifying of the body and regularity, that all the purposes of Christ, till we all come, in the of God are fulfilled. This adminisunity of the faith and of the know- tration of God is glorious, and still ledge of the Son of God, unto a per
more wonderful is the person whom fect man, unto the measure of the he has appointed to preside over and stature of the fulness of Christ.” direct the whole. That he may gain this great object, This must be the best plan of ad“all power is given unto him in ministration, as it is that which inheaven and on earth.” The Father finite wisdom has adopted. While it is ^ bạth set him at his own right hand admired on this account, it is proper in the heavenly places, far above all to observe many other important principality and power and might objects, which it is fitted to gain. and dominion, and every name that It brings into view more clearly is named, not only in this world, but and impressively the perfections of also in that which is to come, and God, and the claims which he has hath put all things under his feet, to our admiration, reverence, gratiand given him to be the head over tude, affection, confidence, and serall things to the church.” “He is vice. Had he been pleased to form gone into heaven, and is on the right a world in which all the operations hand of God, angels, and authorities were to be carried on by his own and powers being made subject unto direct and immediate agency, we
would have had the effect produced, he is now exalted to occupy a place, and would have known that all arose corresponding to the glory of his from the Great First Cause.
“ Being in the form of God, how small a portion would have been he thought it not robbery to be equal seen of him ? When, however, we be with God; but made himself of no hold' such a' multitude of creatures, reputation, and took upon him the differing from each other, yet all con- form of a servant, and was made in nected, every one influenced by and the likeness of men, and being found influencing another, and after an in fashion as a man, he humbled him extensive co-operation, the plan of self, and became obedient unto death, Heaven fulfilled in creating, support- even the death of the cross; where, ing, and directing such a complicated fore God also hath highly exalted agency, much of the glory of God ap- him, and given him a name which is pears. He is kept continually be- above every name, that, at the name fore us, and in such a variety of waysof Jesus, every knee should bow, of that he must be very inattentive, who things in heaven, and things in earth, does not observe the operations of his and things under the earth, and that hands. If God were to prevent our
every tongue should confess that raiment from waxing old, and every Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of night to rain down manna around God the Father.”
God the Father." Corresponding to our habitations, we would be clothed the honour to which he is exalted, is and fed, but we would see little of the part which he acts in the Divine his perfections in comparison with administration ; for all things are put what we observe in his giving fruit- under him, and by his wisdom and fulness to the soil, and influence to power he so manages them, that they the seasons, and ingenuity and ac- all contribute to the advantage of the tivity to man in carrying on the church. “ God hath set him at his various operations by which his sup- own right hand in the heavenly plies are provided. There is now so places, far above all principality, and much of God to be seen in every power, and might, and dominion, and object, and in all his providential every name that is named, not only administrations, that a spiritual mind in this world, but also in that which feels itself at all times, and in all is to come; and hath put all things places, in the midst of instruction, under his feet, and given him to be the
The view of providence presented head over all things to the church, above, leads us to “ trust in God, and which is his body.” Thus he in whom do good.” If God were to do all the divine and human natures are things directly himself, it would lead united, stands between God and the to faith without exertion; if there whole creation. It is a plan for which was an independent agency, it would we should be thankful ; it is fitted to lead to exertion without faith. promote our improvement and com
It presents the Redeemer in a po- fort. It is consoling to contemplate sition which it is suitable for him to a Divine providence, unerring and occupy, and which is admirably fitted omnipotent; but it is more delightto promote the benefit and welfare ful still to contemplate a mediatorial of the church. For this most providence, to look at all things as benevolent and important purpose he under the management of one who assumed our nature, and it was sub- is a partaker of our nature, and whose jected to dishonour, and suffering, and love is so great that he laid down his death. But it was united to a na- life in our stead. It should make us tuire infinitely exalted above the high- more patient and resigned under the est order of creatures. As a reward tribulations of life when we consider for the dyreat work he has performed, that they all come to us under the