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A HE present state of the .world presents a prospect, highly interesting to the philosopher and statesman— and not less so to the real christian. The eneouraging and gloomy seenes are so mingled together, as alternately <o exeite emotions of hope and fear. When the christian looks abroad on the earth, he diseovers, comparatively few, who profess to belicve and practice the precepts of the gospel.* The extensive continents of Asia and Africa are almost wholly immersed in the darkness of Pagan superstition and idolatry, or led away by the delusions of Mahomet. Europe has for many years bcen a field of blood; and our own beloved country has lately engaged in a sanguinary conflict with a powerful nation. *
In the midst of this gloom and confusion, there is still something that gives to the christian an animating hope
* The following ingenious calculation will serve to shew of what small extent the christian religion is, when compared with those many and vast countrics, that are overspread with Paganism or Mahometanism. Supposing the inhabited world to be divided into thirty parts, only thrce of those parts are possessed by christians of the Protestantand Roman Catholick communion—two by christians of the Grcek church—six by Jews and Mahometans—and the remaining Xiseteeh by Pagans.
It is to be observed that this calculation was made before the late diseoverics of the north west part of America, the north cast part of Asia, the vast tract of New-Holland, New-Guinea, and the numerous other islands in the Pacific ocean—How much greater then must the numerical differenee appear at the present day betwcen that part of mankind who enjoy the light of Christianity, and that prat who are now groping in Pagan darkness'!
Miss Hannah Adams' vitio of religions, p. 496.
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that the time is not far distant, when heavenly light and peace will be diffused through this dark and troubled world.
The inereasing number of young men who are willing to devote themselves to the work of the gospel ministry —the numerous Missionary and Bible Socictics that have bcen established in G. Britain and America within a few years past—the lively interest taken in our own country in the establishment of Thcological seminarics—the spirit of liberality that has bcen manifested by all denominations of christians, in sending the Scriptures and a preached gospel among the Heathen—the avidity with which books on religious subjects are sought for and, read, give us reason to hope that the dawning of a brighter day is near at hand;
Surrounded by such seenes, it surely becomes the duty of professing christians, and more espeeially of the ministers of the gospel, to be diligent and zealous in promoting the interests of the Redcemer's kingdom. There is no object of greater magnitude—there is nothing on which the peace and happiness of mankind so much depend as the diffusion of the knowledge of a crueificd Saviour. The universal practice of the truths and precepts of the gospel would put an effectual stop to fraud and injustice—to deadly feuds and animositics betwcen nations, and individuals, and make this world a peaceful abode where the great Creator would delight to dwell with the workmanship of his own hands. It is the gospel of Christ that raises man to that dignity in the seale of beings for which his nature is designed—it is this that throws light on the darknes of the grave, and chcers us with the enlivening prospect of a glorious immortality,
To spread the knowledge of divine truth; to coneentrate the excrtions of many in holding forth the word of life in a plain, foreible and engaging manner ; to give (if possible) some check to the progress of iniquity ; and to stir up professing christians to diligenee and fidelity, are among the great objects that have induced the editors to engage in the publication of this volume.
We belicved that a work of this kind, consisting of sermons, by ministers of the gospel residing in the State of New-Jersey, on practical and important subjects— adapted to be read in famil ics or in religious socictics—preserved frce from useless and unedifying controversy— and recommended by its novelty and varicty to the laudable curiosity of individuals, could not fail to exeite a lively interest through the churches in this state, and contribute largely to the edification and improvement of christians.
Our devout and humble prayer is, that the great Head of the church would give a blessing to this work, that it may serve to promote his glory, and the salvation of our fellow-men.
We cannot close these observations without returning our thanks to our Reverend fathers and brethren, who have so promptly complicd with our requcst, in contributing materials for this volume.
If sufficicnt eneouragement be given, to warrant the undertaking, we hope at no distant period to present to the public another volume of the "New-Jersey Preacher."
GEORGE S. WOODHULL,
New-jebsey, July 24, 1813.
Page 49, line 8 from the bottom, for creation read creature 57, fine 14 from the top, for healingread fceling 66, line 8 tVom the bottom, Sot feint read faint do. line 3 do. for pefect read perfect
68, line 4 do. for purse read pure
56, line 7 do. for intrusted read instructed
164, line 4 from the top, for promise is read premises are
185, line 3 from the bottom, for few read many
348, line 2 from the bottom, for I. read II.
The sinner blinded to truth, &cc.—John xii. 39, 40.—Therefore they could nor