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doing,” to “ take unto them the whole armour of GOD,” and with one heart and one soul to “ contend earnestly for the faith, once delivered to the saints."
The PANOPLIST rises in support of this faith. At a period like this, when through various channels, and under various forms, principles are disseminated, subversive of christian piety and morality, and hostile to revealed religion and general happiness, the Editors of the Panoplist feel it incumbent on them, to cooperate with the conductors of similar periodical works, both at home and abroad, in detecting the corruptions of modern literature, in opposing the progress of dangerous principles, in strip ping skepticism and imposture of their artful disguise, and in exposing libertinism and impiety, in all their deformity, to deserved contempt and abhorrence. They will cordially and zealously unite, not only to defend “the outworks of christianity,” but more especially “to promote the increase of sound theological knowledge, and to delineate the character of primitive and unadul. terated christianity."*
That the publick may entertain no doubts concerning the religious faith of the Editors, or what doctrines and views of christianity they mean to support, they explicitly avow their firm adherence, generally and for subStance, to what have been called the Doctrines of the Ref. ormation. These doctrines, with modifications and retrenchments, which affect not their essence, are 'recognized in the articles of the Church of England, in the Confessions of the Presbyterian churches in Scotland and the United States of America, and in the great body of the New England churches. These constituted the re
• See the " Address" of the Conductors of the
ligious faith of our venerable forefathers; and by the Ed. itors are embraced, as the truths of God revealed in the holy Scriptures. Nothing, manifestly inconsistent with these doctrines, can ever be admitted into the Panoplist.
At the same time that they make this declaration, they feel no inconsistency nor hesitancy in expressing a sincere disposition to imitate the example of that great and good man, Dr. Jeremy Taylor, bishop of Dromore, as exhibited in his funeral sermon by Dr. Rust. “He was,” says his biographer," one of the EKAEKTIKOI, a sort of brave philosophers, that Laertius speaks of, that did not addict themselves to any particular sect, but in. geniously sought for Truth among all the wrangling schools, This was the spirit of that great man ; he weighed men's reasons, and not their names; and was not scared with the ugly visors, men usually put upon persons they dislike. He considered, that it is not likely any one party should wholly engross truth to themselves ; that obedience is the only way to knowledge ; that God always teaches docile and ingenuous minds, that are willing to hear, and ready to obey according to their light. Such considera. tions as these, made him impartial in his disquisitions, and induced him to give a due allowance to the reasons of his adversary, and contend for truth, and not for victory." Upon these principles the Panoplist will be conducted. The sentiments of no sect or party will be indiscriminately admitted or rejected. The Editors invite a candid and sober discussion of important subjects, and will readily admit whatever, in their opinion, is sanction. ed by christian experience, or correspondent with the scriptures. .. . ?
It will be their aim, as has already been announced in their proposals, that the Panoplist, “ so far as religion is concerned, shall contain nothing but pure truth, flowing from the sacred fountain of the scriptures; nothing of the SHIBBOL ETH of a sect; nothing to recommend one denomination of christians, or to throw odium on another ; nothing of the acrimony of contending parties against those, who differ from them ; but pure genuine christianity, in which all the followers of the Lamb, who are looking for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, can unite with pleasure, as in one great com. mon cause.”
Their professed object is to promote general happi. ness, to do good to the souls of their fellow men; and in order to this, to enlighten their minds with useful knowl. edge, to explain the doctrines, and to recommend and enforce the precepts of the gospel ; to exhibit sober and correct views of undefiled religion, to take the veil from the eyes of prejudice, to soften the rancour of party spirit, to " disturb the security of guilt,” to administer encouragement to the penitent, and comfort to the afflicted.
In accomplishing these objects the Editors will introduce, in such proportions, as may give interest to the work, dissertations and essays on the doctrines and duties of christianity, biblical criticisms, biographical memoirs, moral and religious anecdotes, poetry, such views of ancient and modern literature, history, and geography, as are adapted to confirm the truth, and illustrate the mean. ing of the sacred scriptures. A part of every number will be allotted to impartial reviews and notices of those books, which come within the nain design of the Panoplist, and to information of new and valuable religious and literary publications. It will be among the primary objects of the Editors, to collect, condense, and dissemi. nate the latest and best intelligence, particularly of the state and progress of religion throughout the world.
It is the fixed determination of the Editors, that so far as controversy shall be admitted into the Panoplist, it shall be conducted with christian candour. They cordially subscribe to the following sentiments of the pious Bishop Hall. “God abides none, but char. itable dissensions : those that are well grounded, and well governed ; grounded upon just causes, and governed with christian charity and wise moderation : if we must differ, let these be the conditions ; let every of God's ministers be ambitious of that praise, which Greg. ory Nazianzen gives to Athanasius, to be an adamant to them, that strike him, and a loadstone to those that dissent from him; the one not to be moved with wrong ; the other to draw those hearts which disagree.”
In the review of publications it is not the intention of the Editors to extol every thing which accords with their own opinions and views, and to decry every thing of an opposite nature. On this subject they can entirely adopt the language of the Editors of the
Eclectic Review. “ While we disdain to sacrifice the most certain and important truths to a spurious and affected moderation ; we wish to evince a genuine and universal candour respecting subjects on which the best and the wisest of mankind are divided. The temper and argument, the composition and expression of the works they review, will be calmly appreciated, without regard to the party from which they originate.”
The Editors are not insensible of the delicacy, arduousness and responsibility of their undertaking, nor of the obstacles which oppose their success. But beliey.
ing that the cause, in which they are engaged, is the cause of truth; conscious, that in thus publickly maintaining it, they are influenced by no sinister motives, and humbly depending on the blessing of God, they are unappalled by opposition. They rely not wholly on their own resources, nor on the occasional contributions of the respectable literary friends and patrons of the work from whom they expect much aid. The pages of the Panoplist will be enriched with selections of the best pieces from the numerous periodical and other new publications of the day,both foreignanddomestick,which are supported by some of the ablest writers in Christendom. To extend the circulation of the best parts of these valuable productions, whose utility would be very limited in this coun. try, but for their republication in some periodical work, will, it is conceived, be rendering an essential service to the readers of the Panoplist; and, no doubt, will meet the entire approbation of their candid and judicious patrons.
This work is not intended to enrich either its Editors or its pecuniary supporters. Should any profits arise from its sale, after the expenses of it shall have been dis. charged, they are pledged to some charitable uses under the direction of a board of Trustees. It is intended that the profits, if any arise from the work, shall be devoted to Missionary purposes, and to other such like uses.
The concluding paragraph of the “ Address” of the conductors of the “ Christian Observer” so perfectly expresses the views and determination of the Editors of the Panoplist, that they adopt it as their own.
" The materials for this work will be subiect, before publication, to the review of a committee. It is hoped therefore, that correspondents will permit slight altera