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ALL thy works shall praise thee, O Lord ; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.
PSALM CXLV. 10, 11.
Saturday, March 30, 1816.
PREFACE. 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, indicates a growing interest of feeling in favour of the sublime objects of the true religion.
In proportion to the extent of such a disposition, will be its tendency to counteract the taste which has so long and so generally prevailed, to gratify curiosity about things of a much less important and less interesting nature.
Were that the only benefit produced by publications of this sort, no time nor labour bestowed upon them should be deemed an employment unbecoming a Christian.
To such as love the prosperity of Zion above their chief joy, the intelligence of its boundaries being enlarged, the number of its citizens augmented, its waste pláces built up, its work revived, its cause flourishing, must be a source of joy, thanksgiving, and praise, and tend to enkindle zeal, and give activity to exertions in promoting the interests of that kingdom which endureth for ever.
In the desire to advance these ends, the design of attempting such a publication as this originated. If they shall in any good degree be attained by it, the best feelings of the heart will be gratified, and fresh motives afforded for continuing the work. The subscriptions to the paper having filled up
with a rapidity far exceeding the expectation of the editor, he has been induced to commence the publication at a much earlier period than was anticipated.
This circumstance, while it exhibits an auspicious indication of the opinion of the religious public in favour of works of this kind, will be an additional incentive to make the paper deserving of their encouragement and support.
A more ample explanation of its plan than is given in the prospectus, is considered unnecessary at present.
The communication of general reports of the proeeedings of religious and charitable institutions and authentic statements of facts tending to further the objects of this paper, are respectfully solicited, will be thankfully received, and meet suitable attention.