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of MONTHLY PUBLICATION,
I my another messenger lying through the midst of heaven, having overlasting mo
NEW SERIES* VOL. II.
BETIIAN Y, VA.
PRINTXD AND PEBLISHED BY A. CAMPBELL.
Tas theory and practice of Christianity are as distinct as the theory and practice of medicine. Few persons are eminent in both. The busy theorist has not time to practise; and the busy practitioner has not time to theorize. We teach that right thinking must precede right speaking and right acting; but should we stop at the end of right thinking, and be satisfied with ourselves, we should prove ourselves to be wrong thinkers of no ordinary type.
We have had the Gospel and Christianity restored on paper and in speech: we want to see them living, moving, and acting on the stage of time, on a larger scale and with more brilliant light and power than has hitherto appeared. To this great end we supremely devote this second volume of the New Series.
The times are yet truly degenerate. It is, indeed, an age of improvement in every thing but moral and religious living. New roads, canals, cities, and projects innumerable engross the attention of the community; and benevolent schemes, domestic and foreign, have almost exhausted the copiousness of our vernacular for suitable designations. Against all these improvements we utter no complaint; but we do say, that the great multitude of professors are as carnal, selfish, sensual and worldly as ever: that living, talking, acting religion--vital piety-heaven-toned, heaven-taught, heaven-inspired piety and virtue are not the characteristics of the Christian profession in the present century; nor ever will they be while there is so much opinionism and sectarian contention80 much party spirit and party zeal as now urge the movements of ecclesiastic bodies. Multitudes, indeed, yearly assume the Christian Dame, and of these we doubt not there are many excellent spirits deterinined for eternal life; but what are these to the great aggregate! How few congregations, neighborhoods, families, and even individuals, are living as though they were seeking the eternal city--the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens-as though they earnestly desired the coming of the Lord and the glories that shall follow!
To extend the Christian profession, rather than to elevate it, has been too much the spirit of modern enterprize. To extend it is, indeed, most desirable and most consonant to the suggestions of the Christian spirit; but few seem to apprehend that to elevate it is the surer and speedier way to extend it. The boundaries between the church and the world are not sufficiently prominent to strike the attention of the truly inquisitive. The heavenly character of Christ's religion is so deeply veiled under the garb of expedient conformity to worldly maxims and worldly interests, that it is too dimly seen to command the attention of even those who ardently seek for some substantial joys to fill an empty mind.
Our brethren in the cause of reformation are indeed surrounded with some unpropitious circumstances, They began with theory, and their opponents are determined always to keep them in it. The reformer is too often regarded as the assailant, and the objects of his benevolence feel as though they ought to stand upon the defensive. So have we