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PUBLISHED BY JOHN MASON,
AND SOLD AT 66, PATERNOSTER-ROW.
Tus termination of this Volume of our Miscellany, powerfully suggests many important and serious considerations. Another year has passed, and with it a large portion of mankind into eternity, among whom we have had to record the names of several individuals invested with the sacred office of the ministry, with others who were associated with them in Christian communion and fellowship. Several of the former were frequent and valuable contributors to the pages of our Magazine, and by their writings the Wesleyan societies have been abundantly profited. We allude to the Rev. Messrs. Edmondson, Treffry, and Grindrod, whose praise is in all our churches; and though " dead," they continue through the medium of this work to “ speak” to our children, and our children's children. May our readers, as well as ourselves, learn so to improve these monitory instances of the brevity of life, and the narrow limits of our most extended period of earthly enjoyment, that when we shall be called to "give an account of our stewardship," the grace of God may be magnified, in our being received "into everlasting habitations."
Mr. Wesley commenced this work in 1778, under the title of “ The Arminian Magazine, consisting of extracts and original treatises on Universal Redemption :" through this medium he was enabled to reply to those incessant and numerous attacks which were made upon his personal and ministerial character; while the grand object which he contemplated, was the glory of God and the salvation of men, by a faithful and consistent exhibition of the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel. In the present day, the ministry which our Pastors have exercised, and the sacraments which they have administered, have been stigmatized as illegitimate, unauthorized, and sinful; while the members of the Wesleyan societies, who are the seals of their apostleship, have been branded with the name and character of schismatics. Assaults of this description have been made in the Charges of Prelates, have constituted the theme of pulpit discourses from parochial Clergymen of various degrees, and have, also, been the subject of the unshapely lucubrations of others, who, in numerous forms, have given them unlimited distribution among our people. All these have been met and repelled; the scriptural character of the Wesleyan ministry has been vindicated and established; while the assailants have received those rebukes, administered, we trust, in the spirit of Christian charity, which ought to convince them, that, as Protestants and Englishmen, our religious liberties shall not be invaded with impunity; and that the insulting and unscriptural attempts, of the supporters of high ecclesiastical claims, to bring the Wesleyan Methodists into a bondage worse than Egyptian, shall not be made, without experiencing an unyielding and perpetual resistance. Against sectarian bigotry, on the one hand, and the exclusiveness of a dominant hierarchy, on the other, we shall at all times be ready to lift our voice.
Divested of that Calvinistic tinge which was given to some of the doctrines taught by the venerable Reformers, Mr. Wesley cordially received and faithfully preached the leading tenets of the Reformation.