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THREE years have elapsed since "The Christian Herald" began to proclaim its messages of sacred intelligence and love.
The extensive circulation it has obtained, its cordial reception and support wherever it has gone, together with repeated expressions of commendation, have borne testimony of the value placed upon it by the religious community; and also to their high estimation of the piety, talent, and learning of its Editor, MR. CALDWELL.
His industry and zeal have been successfully employed in making this publication contribute, largely, to the satisfaction of “the earnest and increasing desire which has for some time past manifested itself throughout this country to obtain information concerning the progress of Christianity, and its influence upon the happiness of mankind."* And while his efforts have been the means of gratifying this desire, they have also been instrumental in promoting its extension and ardour; and, doubtless, are considered in different parts of our land as an occasion of excitement to the spread of truth and purity.
He, however, has finished his course; and left a name to be remembered with esteem, and an example worthy of studious imitation.
The plan upon which it is intended to proceed in the management of this work, is the same as was pursued by its former editor. "The diffusion of religious intelligence" is still "the main design of this publication. Short tracts tending to illustrate or enforce important truths" shall continue "to occupy a portion of our pages."
"Truths of a practical, in preference to those of a speculative nature" shall ever be considered "conformable to the general character of the publication." And "in pursuing this plan it will be the study of the" present "editor not to depart from the
CATHOLICK PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIANITY on which" Mr. C. "has hitherto endeavoured to conduct this miscellany."
Communications compatible with these sentiments will be re'ceived with thankfulness, and meet with due attention.
Subscribers may expect "The Christian Herald" to be issued regularly on the days already specified, and in a style of workmanship not inferior to that of the preceding numbers.
Extract of a letter to the Students of Divinity in the Seminary, of the Associate Reformed Church, New-York, from those in the Theological Institution of the same Church, at Selkirk, Scotland, dated 7th Oct. 1818.
"The instrumentality of christians is undoubtedly to be regarded as the proper means for extending the blessings of christianity. As one man depends upon another, for the supply of his ordinary wants, for the common blessings of life, for almost every pleasure and every enjoyment; so one man depends on another for the blessings of religion.-His dependance may be regarded as a distinctive character of the condition of man.-It runs throughout all the concerns of human life, and all the variety of circumstances in which man may be placed.
The instrumentality of others is the means of our subsistence, of our possessing the comforts of life and enjoying its pleasures. It would hence seem also to be the proper means for extending the blessings of religion; and who are to extend these blessings, but those who possess them, and have it in their power to impart them to others? In what way were we ourselves made partakers of the blessings of christianity? It was by the instrumentality of those who were before possessed of the Gospel.They sent the gospel of peace among us; they preached to us its glad tidings.
Perhaps some of those nations who are now sunk in ignorance and vice, were before the means of communicating christianity to those which are now enlightened by the light of the gospel.It becomes the duty then of christians, as far as they have it in their power, to impart the blessings of their religion to others. The obligations of christians to enlighten Heathen nations, have been scarcely recognized and seldom acted upon in former ages.
It gives us pleasure, and we doubt not, Brethren, but you rejoice along with us to see christians more aliye to a sense of that duty they owe to the Heathen world; to see them shaking off the apathy and the indifference of the centuries that are past; and diffusing far and wide that gospel which has brought to themselves salvation.
As to religion in Scotland, dear Brethren, we are happy to say that it seems to be flourishing.-Bigotry is passing away. The rage of party spirit seems to be subsiding. The different denominations of professing christians wear a more friendly aspect towards one another; and zeal for promoting the interests of the kingdom of Christ is cherished and is increasing.-The dark and neglected parts of our land are receiving considerable attention from the friends of religion; and that attention is not given in vain.
The condition of the Highlands of Scotland has, in particular, been of late much meliorated. Our countrymen there are in many places destitute of the means of religious knowledge.--They have parish churches indeed, established among them; but they are mostly in scattered villages, at a considerable distance from one another; the parish as usual extends over a considerable tract of country; and for this reason the most of them are at a great distance from any church.-They besides are in many parts but ill furnished with the means of education.-Circulating schools have long been among them, but these have of late been much increased.-Teachers have been sent to go from place to place with the view, particularly, to enable them to read the Scriptures both in the English and Gaelic languages. This circumstance together with the occasional itinerating of evangelical ministers in that part of the country, have tended much to improve the state of religion. Many have been awakened to a concern about salvation, have eagerly read the scriptures, and have evinced strong desires to know more and more the gospel of Christ.
We are happy to inform you of one circumstance, Brethren, that we hope will be very favourable to the interests of religion here and in England.-The Legislators have voted a million of money for the erection and endowment of churches in England, and a hundred thousand pounds for the same object in Scotland.This we hope will be followed with the happiest effects, and we rejoice that God is thus making kings nursing fathers and queens nursing mothers to his church."
In the Seminary from which the above was communicated, there are fifty-three students :-Two of whom are under the superintendence of the Edinburgh Missionary Society, and sail this Spring for some of its stations.
Mr. Flavel being in London in 1673, his old bookseller Mr. Balter, gave him the following relation, viz.
That some time before, there came into his shop a sparkish
gentleman to enquire for some play books; Mr. Boulter told him he had none, but showed him Mr. Flavel's little treatise of" Keeping the Heart," entreated him to read it, and assured him that it would do him more good than play books.' The gentleman read the title, and glancing upon several pages here and there, broke out into these and such other expressions, what a damnable fanatick was he who made this book!' Mr. Boulter begged of him to buy and read it, and told him he had no cause to censure it so bitterly;' at last he bought it, but told him he would not read it.' 'What will you do with it then? said Mr. Boulter. 'I will tear and burn it, said he, and send it to the devil.' Mr. Boulter told him, then he should not have it;' upon this the gentleman promised to read it; and Mr. Boulter told him, 'If he disliked it upon reading, he would return him his money.' Almost a month after, the gentleman came to the shop again in a very modest habit, and, with, a serious countenance, bespeaks Mr. Boulter thus: Sir, I must heartily thank you for putting this book into my hands; I bless God that moved you to do it, it hath saved my soul; blessed be God that ever I came into your shop.' And then he bought an hundred more of those books of him, told him he would give them to the poor who could not buy them, and so left him, praising and admiring the goodness of God."
The following" Survey of the Protestant Missionary Stations throughout the world, in their geographical order," taken from the Missionary Register for January 1819, will, doubtless, be gratifying to our readers; and its insertion, in this place, is intended to present a summary of the Missionary Intelligence already published in this work; and also to serve as an introduction to the more detailed accounts which may be given hereafter, in the Christian Herald, of transactions within the limits of this "Survey."
ARRANGEMENT OF THE FOLLOWING SURVEY.
It has been found expedient, not to follow the usual division of the Four Quarters of the World; but to adopt that Order of the Stations which any one, desiring to visit them in succession, might be supposed to follow with the greatest convenience. In the circumnavigation of the Globe here sketched out for him, he would visit, by sea or by land, all the principal Ancient Christian Churches, as well as the Mahomedan and Pagan Nations.
His course might first be directed to WEST AFRICA, comprehending that portion of the Continent which lies between Morocco and
the Line. Crossing the Line, he would enter on that part of Africa which, lying south of the Line, may be classed in Missionary Records as SOUTH AFRICA; and which should be considered as including the Islands that lie off its south-eastern coast. Passing up the coast of EASTERN AFRICA, the Christian beholds, with hope of better days, as he works his way up the Red Sea, on the one hand Abyssinia and Nubia and Upper Egypt, and ARABIA on the other. On entering the MEDITERRANEAN, after surveying Syria and the Holy Land, he passes, by Lower Egypt, throughout the Barbary States; and then taking his station, for a time, in Malta, as the centre of this great scene of holy labour, he visits, in succession, the Ionian Islands, Greece, the Archipe lago, and the Lesser Asia. Passing into the BLACK SEA, and contemplating, as promising spheres of Christian Exertion, its Turkish and Russia Shores, he may make his way, by the Russian Provinces lying between the Black and the Caspian Seas-while he anticipates the final happiness of PERSIA, partly through these Provinces and partly by means of the maritime and continental access to that kingdom from Western India-into the almost boundless plains of NORTHERN ASIA, comprehending the Provinces of that quarter belonging to Russia, with the widely-extended regions inhabited by Tartar and other Tribes, whether independent or connected with any of the neighbouring Powers. By the great Country of THIBET, he may proceed to CHINA; connected with which vast sphere of labour is INDIA BEYOND THE GANGES; whence, returning to the great scene of British Influence and Power, INDIA WITHIN THE GANGES, he may afterwards traverse the whole series of ASIATIC ISLANDS, from Laccadive and Maldive to Japan. From thest, his course would lie through the Insular Continents, as they may be denominated, of AUSTRALASIA, and the numerous groupes of POLYNESIA. Passing on, and contemplating the great Continent of SOUTH AMERICA, with earnest prayers for the rising of the Sun of Righteousness on that dreary region, he may reach Guiana, the solitary portion of that Quarter of the World where Protestant Christians are labouring for the good of the Heathen; and then, winding his course among the Islands and Shores of the WEST INDIES, and passing through the Tribes of the NORTHAMERICAN INDIANS, he may finish his vast survey, by contemplating, with admiration, the Triumphs of the Cross on the inhospitabe shores of LABRADOR and of GREENLAND.
In tas curcumna tion of the Globe, we have marked those Divisions, under w all the present and future exertions for the Conversion of thrid may probably be arranged with ad
Under each of these Divisions, the Societies which maintain Missions therein are arranged alphabetically in the following