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The first year of their labours having been brought to a period, the Editors of the Churchman's Magazine esteem it their duty to offer to their readers a few remarks, before they pass on to the field of exertion which yet lies before them.
They entered on their work, with the full conviction on their minds of the necessity that some periodical publication, conducted by members of their own communion, should be put into the hands of Episcopalians. They saw with what assiduity other denominations circulated their Magazines, which, however they might tend to general edification, were not calculated to enlighten Churchmen on those peculiar points of faith and discipline, which marked the early Church of Christ, and which we can never consent to surrender. They wished to become, as far as lay in their power, the humble instruments of shielding their brethren against the encroachments of false doctrine, heresy and schism-of instructing them in the spiritual use of their own formularies of devotion, and of promoting amongst them the cause of individual piety—the object for which all Christian institutions are ordained.
How far they have succeeded in accomplishing their desires of being useful, they cannot take upon them to decide : their readers must judge for themselves. But they may be permitted to state, in self-justification for the large number of Extracts which have appeared in their work, the great disadvantages under which it has been pursued. Most of the Editors are too deeply engaged in parochial duty, to allow them much time for original composition. Add to this, that they have received very few communications from their brethren of the clergy, and it will be seen, that by the operation of these two causes, they were compelled to resort to other publications for matter to supply their pages. They have constantly aimed, however, to insert such pieces as seemed most consonant with the design of the Churchman's Magazine, and flatter themselves that their readers will find no just cause of complaint of the selections which have been made.
On reviewing the ecclesiastical transactions of the past year, they think they are authorized to congratulate the friends of the Church on its increasing prosperity in most parts of the country. We have indeed yet to lament the want of a competent number of ministers of the Gospel, to supply our vacant churches, and to answer the loud and repeated calls from the Western States, for missionary assistance. A field of vast extent is open for those, who are willing to labour in it, for the reward which is pledged
to those who turn many to righteousness. These wants, we hope, will speedily meet with a remedy; and till the ranks of the ministry are better filled, the Editors of the Magazine will not cease, at proper intervals, to call the attention of pious and promising young men to the subject.
In the recent permanent establishment of the Theological Seminary, with so happy a concurrence of judgment and feeling in those who were concerned in its removal, the Editors find another subject of congratulation. Whatever fears they might have entertained for the peace and unity of the Church, while the two Seminaries remained separate, they have all been dispersed by the happy union of both in one, and the singular unanimity with which that measure was effected. They now look to this Institution as to a fountain, from which streams shall be annually sent forth to make glad the city of our God.
In looking back to the occurrences of the year, the Editors cannot avoid making mention of another Institution, in which the cause of humanity is deeply implicated. They allude to the projected Asylum for the Insane. They have so much confidence in the spirit and wisdom with which the cause of these unfortunate beings has been taken up, as to believe that it will be conducted to a prosperous issue, and a Retreat be provided for those whom God has visited with the heaviest of all calamities. They hope they shall be able to assure their readers, in the course of another year, that this benevolent design is so far advanced towards a completion, as to be secure against the possibility of failure.
In the hope that their efforts may be blessed in some humble degree, to the extension of piety and knowledge in the Church, the Editors cheerfully resume their labours, with the prayer that they may not be wholly in vain.
THE editors of the Churchman's are explained in the Articles of the Magazine enter upon the task as- Church, in her formularies of devosigned them by the Convention of tion, and in theological works of stanthe diocess, with a deep sense of the dard authority, for their constant importance of the undertaking, and guide and direction. And although it of the responsibility which they con- is intended to make the Magazine, as sequently incur. From this respon- far as practicable, an original work, , sibility, as well as the labour of con. its pages will occasionally be enrichducting such a work, they would wil- ed by extracts from cotemporaneous lingly excuse themselves. But, call- religious works of acknowledged mered as they are, by the highest eccle- it, both foreign and American. siastical authority of the diocess, to
It will be desirable to make the this interesting duty, and indulging a Magazine a repository of such sketchhope, that they may render some ser- es and facts relating to the Church, vice to the cause of Christianity, they as may furnish the materials for a will cheerfully continue to superin- history of her rise and progress in the tend the publication, until the same
United States. Many interesting parauthority shall commit the work to ticulars of this nature may be collectother and abler hands.
ed; and more especially in the state As great latitude is usually allow- of Connecticut a state which had ed to the conductors of works of this the distinguished honour of receiving description, in the selection and ar- the first Bishop of the American rangement of materials, no particular Church. To this end, the editors sodetail of the plan of the present un- licit the aged members of the Church, dertaking will be attempted. On and others who may be in possession this head, it is sufficient to say, that of documents or facts of this descripthe leading objects of the publication tion, to communicate them for publiwill be, to communicate religious in- cation. formation and instruction, and to dc
The editors, being severally engafend and explain the doctrines and ged in extensive and laborious proprinciples of the Protestant Episco- fessional duties, will probably find pal Church. In doing this, the edi- but little leisure to bestow on this tors will take the Scriptures, as they work. They must confidently de
Vol. I. No.l.
nd, therefore, on the aid of their was oppressed by enactments scarcebrethren, both of the clergy and lai- ly less severe than those, which, in ty; and they will feel particularly former ages, had been levelled against
the conventicles of the Covenanters. grateful for well written communica- It is true, the severest of these laws tions, tending to illustrate the various were gradually disused, as the danger points of Christian belief and prac- to be apprehended from the Pretendtice-biographical sketches of indi- er subsided ; but they still stood unviduals, eminent for talents and piety repealed among the acts of Parlia-obituary notices—religious anec- Church in Scotland, till the year
ment, to the great detriment of the dotes-sacred poetry-and, in short, 1788 ; when, the last male heir of whatever may be calculated to pro- the house of Stuart having expired at mote the cause of true religion, to ex- Rome, the Bishops and Clergy of tend the knowledge of the truth, and Scotland resolved to acquiesce in to enlarge the boundaries of the the government of the kingdom, inChurch of Christ.
vested in the person of George the T. C. BROWNELL,
third, and to testify their compliance T. BRONSON,
by praying for him by name in their D. BURHANS,
public worship.” This step was preH. CROSWELL.
paratory to an application to ParliaB. G. NOBLE,
ment for relief, which was made in N. S. WHEATON,
the following year, and granted after
a three years' delay. G. SUMNER.
When Doct. Seabury found that
legal disabilities opposed his conseIt is well known to the readers of cration in England, he addressed our Ecclesiastical History, that when himself to the remnant of a suffering Doct. Seabury was sent to England, Church, where no oaths of allegito be invested with the Episcopal of- ance were exacted, and was consefice, certain Parliamentary difficulties crated at Aberdeen in 1784, by the stood in the way of his consecration, Primus, assisted by his coadjutor, which were subsequently removed, and the Bishop of Ross and Moray. however, by an act of the Legisla- On his return to America, he brought ture. In this predicament, he recol- with him an address from the conselected that there still existed in Scot- crating Bishops to the Clergy of Conland“ a Catholic Remainder of the necticut, which, for the Christian Antient Church ;" which was so far spirit it breathes, and the anxiety from being connected with the civil it expresses for the welfare of this power, that it was the subject of po- new branch of the Episcopal Church litical oppression, for its attachment in this western world, deserves a to the exiled house of Stuart. The place in our pages. It is written on Scottish Bishops had been deprived parchment, and from comparing the of their Sees at the time of the revo- hand-writing of the signature with lution; and although some mitigation that of the address, it seems to have of their sentence had been obtained been from the pen of Bishop Skinunder the reign of Queen Anne, yet, ner. The “ Concordate" referred in consequence of the rebellion exci- to, we believe, is still in existence; ted in Scotland in favour of the Pre- and should we be so fortunate as to tender, soon after the accession of meet with it, we shall be happy in George the first, heavier penalties giving it to our readers in a subsewere inflicted and the Scottish Church quent number.