« AnteriorContinuar »
P R E FACE
Addressed Respectfully to all CHRISTIAN FAMILIES
And the PUBLIÇ in general.
HE very favourable reception which the New CHRISTIAN'S MA,
GAZINE has met with from the most respectable characters, demands our grateful acknowledgments; while, at the same time, it is a powerful incitement, whereby we are encouraged to exert our utmost endeavours, to preserve a continuance of their patronage and support. Our numerous readers, subscribers, and correspondents, (far exceeding our most fanguine expectations, considering the short time of our probation,) and the increase of sale in the work itself, afford us the most pleasing of all proofs, that we have not laboured in vain ; and that we may appropriate, as our due, the many encomiums bestowed upon our productions, without draw. ing down upon us the censure of being under the influence of pedantiq pride. Neither this mean passion, nor a vain love of fame, nor a' meno cenary expectation of profit, we can with strict truth, affirm, are the springs of a&tion by which we are moved. There is a woe denounced against us if we do not preach Christ; and, while our hearts are directed to his grace and favour alone for assistance, approbation, and success, we truft, it is our sincere defire, and the principal aim we have in view, tą enforce that divine foul-saving TRUTH, which is equally diftant from the two dangerous extremes of Enthufiasm and Infidelity.
Influenced by these motives, and if thus supported, we may reasonably expect, that, in the progress of this important design, our fellowchristians will unite their endeavours with ours, that hereby the weak and unstable may be built up in their most holy faith, and wandering finners may be converted from the error of their ways. In this glorious cause, we hope the number of our affiftants will increase daily; and we affure the public, nothing shall be wanting as to composition or ornament, nor Thall any pains, or expence, be spared, that may contribute to render this universal repository of divine knowledge both entertaining and useful, The several divisions of the work, with the rich variety of subjects which are introduced under them, are sufficient to thew, without multiplying words, its utility, and latitude, which is calculated to comprehend ali
the arts and sciences included in Christian-knowledge, or which are necessary for the faithful servants of the Saviour of mankind to be acquainted with.
Here our thoughts naturally turn to our Correspondents ; to whom it is our very earnest request, to keep, in the choice of their fubje&s, a steady eye upon the feveral departments of that extensive plan, which, with the blessing of God, we propose always regularly to pursue. We have marked out for them a spacious tract of ground, wherein we wish to fee planted in beautiful order, all those feeds of sacred science, that not only merit commendation on account of their peculiar qualities, but which will produce fruits of immortal growth, inward peace, and everlasting life.
In the field of CHRISTIAN ANTIQUITies, the whole prospect of the conftitution and discipline of the church of England, with a variety of other important objects, are before them. The wonders of God in his creation may be comprized in the little garden of PHYSICO THEOLOGY. By affuming the character of our CHRISTIAN MONITOR, the good old aged divine has an opportunity offered him of instru&ing youth, of training them up in the way they should go, and of encouraging those who have trodden the fame path with himself, to hold out to the end. Our DiviNity walk we have laid out for our brethren the clergy. Inquisitive, active minds, the end of whose investigations and researches is the public good, are invited to cultivate an acquaintance with our CHRISTIAN PHI. L'Osopher,-ReligiouS INSTRUCTOR, -and SERIOUS TRAVELLER.The friendly GUARDIAN of CHRISTIANITY has entered the litt with a view of defending the inspired writings against the common place objections of infidels, and the modern corruptions of ungenerous Sceptics. This champion for a crucified Jesus, will think it an honour to fight under the banners of other Christian Knights, who may be disposed, for the sake of their common matter, to engage in the same important undertaking. Nor let the juvenile enquirer imagine he is overlooked ; we shall always, with pleasure contemplate the dawn of genius; and even our female correspondents, if ftill disposed to favour the defign of this performance, may exercise their talents for familiar compofitions, in which they generally excel, with our CHRISTIAN SPECTATOR and SENTIMENTAL COMPANION ; or may generously contribute a mo, ral Letter, Essay, or instructive Tale, to our CABINET of ENTERTAIN
In short, we have opened a spacious Repository in the New CHRISTIAN'S MAGAZINE, where worthy believers of all denominations may testify their love to Christ, by promoting the present and future feli, pity of the several members of his universal church.
fity; and enquiries of this kind tend both to our instruction and amusement. In contemplating the features of a good citizen, a good man, and a good Chriftian, we become interested in their history ; the view is an incentive, whereby we are urged to perform actions worthy of being transmitted down to pofa terity; and the same become a check upon our own conduct both in public and private.
It must be owned however these introductory remarks have very little connection with the subject now before us; tor, after the most diligent enquiries, Dr. Markham is one, among the few, of whom we can fly little more, than what the pompous titles of a high dignitary inake known.
We know, indeed, he is a GREAT MAN, We have been informed also, that his grace was born in
9720 ; admitted king's scholar of Westminster 1724 ; elected to Chrift church, Oxford, 1738. That he was head mafter of Westminster fchool, before the appointment of Dr. Hinchcliffe, the present worthy bishop of Peterborough in 1753 ; prebend of Durham 1759; dean of Rocheiter 1765, the deanery, house of which he beautified and erected the two wings ; dean of Christ church, Oxford, 1767; bishop of Chester 1771; but what is all this to Me, the
poor humble cu. rate may say, who preaches three times on a Sunday, and at two parish churches, situated, perhaps, ten miles apart for the valuable living, (if it may be called a liv. ing) from his rector and employer, of 201. per annum? And to Me, says every Lay-christian ! 'Tell us of those actions that are worthy to be recorded, by having an influence upon public affairs, and which are productive of public good. Yet, it must be confessed, the more private circumstances in the lives of great and good men are not less interesting than their public conduct, seeing they offer to our obfervation more frequent occafions of improvement and instructiun.
Hence the utility of biography appears, which, having the history of an individual for its subject, re. lates every remarkable circumstance of the life of that individual ; confiders his private as well as public conduct ; his behaviour among the circle of his friends, as well as how he appears
in a cathedral, or on a wool-pack; views him at the head of a family, as well as that of the clergy and the church ; follows him from the senate house to his study ; and endeavours to draw the real character of the man, as well as the profeffional Christian. It muft be owned, the happiness of society depends no less upon the conduct of men in their private than in their public capacities. Indeed, they who, by their high stations, have
it in their power to become emi: nently serviceable, have at the fame time a large sphere in which they may exercise private virtue; and become a blefling or scourge, and contribute to the prosperity or misery of their fellow Christians. This species of writing then, in which we are engaged, that can enlarge upon the amiable qualities of illustrious men, and, by drawing a pleasing picture of their virtues, incite others to imitate them in their goodness, must have a friendly influence upon human affairs, and be highly useful. And, certainly they muit be insensible of every virtuous emotion, who never felt their hearts fired with a love of religion, and an admiration of the Chriftian graces, when reading the the lives of great and good men; wrote by the pen of impartiality and candour.
If there is any truth in these remarks, the disdainful silence of the archbishop of York to our letters, (a copy of the first of which we published in a former number, and a copy of the second we shall now lay before our numerous readers) is reprehensible, we may say, highly culpable : for fuppofing it to have sprung from the extreme modesty of Dr. Markham, yet the primate of England should have confidered, that true grace, humility and genuine piety, however they may fhun the applause of men, are ever ready with Chriftian condescension, on every occasion, and when any opportunity offers, to promote the growth of true religion, and the honour of God the Saviour; or at least to return a civil answer to a reasonable request made in respectful terms.
Dr. Markham, and Dr. Hurd. have the pleasing fatisfaction to be alone fingular in this uncivil business, as we are ready to confess that we have no occafion as yet to complain of any other to whom we have made similar applications.