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Now, WHEN we enter on the fourth year of our labour of love, though not of profit--and when we have emancipated ourselves from a treacherous thraldom which paralized our efforts during the last year-we beg, with much gratitude, to thank our readers for their past favours, and earnestly to solicit a continuance of their future support. Nursery tales, sure enough, are good in their place; but bearded men require stronger food than they can afford; both of which, however, we will endeavour to supply in the future numbers of the CHURCH WARDER.
WE HAVE received the most gratifying accounts from varions quarters, of the good that has been effected by the papers in the two first volumes of the WARDER; and as we firmly maintain the doctrines of the Church of England in all their integrity, we faithfully trust that God will bless our exertions to lay them honestly before our unlearned brethren. Men
of learning, we trust, will charitably bear with us, for the sake of those to whom these pages are chiefly intended. To accomplishour good design the more effectually, we earnestly implore the Clergy to recommend the CHURCH WARDER to their parishioners and to their parochial lending libraries; and we promise them a great variety in little bulk..
RELIGION is not a thing to be trifled with; it comes home to the business and to the bosoms of all men. Happily the rod of affliction with which it pleased God so recently to chastise us, has drawn forth an universal demonstration that the heart of England is really religious; but that it wants cultivation,
The circulation of the WARDER amongst the people will help to inflame their love of the Church, until it shall please GoD to put it into the hearts of the wealthy to contribute of their abundance towards supplying the brethren of Christ with free sittings in the house of God; for it is not the want of inclination, but of ac. commodation, that keeps the bulk of the journeymen tradesmen and their wives from church.
Tø& TENDENCY of mankind to apostatize from the faith and worship of the true God, has been inveterate, and almost irreclaimable, from the fall of our first parents until the present day. The first apostate before the Deluge, was the fratricide Cain; and, as mankind increased," his å postacy spread in proporcion to the increase of his descendants; and where the sons of God took unto themselves wives of the sons of men, the Cainite apostacy injected all men, except, perhaps, the family of Noah. . .
EFFICACIOUS atonement was promised to be made in the fulness of time, but a typical representation of it was ordained to be made, by a constant succession of bloody animal sacrifices. This was the fath delivered unto Adam, and taught by him to all his descendants as the mode of reconciliation with God; but Cain rejected this appointed means of grace; offered a vegetable thank-offering, which expressed no necessity for an expiation for sin; and thus he apostatized from the revealed doctrine of the atonement. His descendants" lapsed from the faith after his example and toaching, and fell into utter ipfidelity; so that, in consequence of their dissenting from the true Church which was established in Adam's descendants through Seth, “ the wickedness of man was great in the earth; and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” This incurable apostacy brought down the vengeance of the insulted Majesty of Heaven; and the whole human race was doomed to utter extinction, except only eight persons who were saved in the ark. '
bois , As soon as Noah went out of the fark, he and the whole Church, which then only consisted of eight persons, offered a sacrifice of clean beasts and of clean fowls, as a type of the grand expiatory sacrifice of the Cross; and God smelled the sweet
savour of the incense of Christ's merits, and of Ilis atonement; and then entered into a new covenant with the aged patriarch. The tremendous punishment which was inflicted on so many millions of human beings, operated as a check to the same species of apostacy, so that it has never again become universal; yet a very few years elapsed before the descendants of the second universal patriarch fell into another sort of apostacy; but, instead of rejecting the doctrine of an atonement, they made it the basis of their new apostacy, and have never ceased to offer expiatory sacrifices for sin; and to such an extent did they carry this doctrine, that they esteemed human sucrifices the most acceptable to their false gods, and the most efficacious for the expiation of either national or private sin.
AFTER that punishment at Babel-under which the world still suffers--of the confusion of tongues, the new apostates carried with them their traditionary expectation of the grand predicted sacrifice; and in process of time they adored those illustrious dead who had flourished in time past; and thence were led into all the absurdities and abominations of animal and image worship.
IN ORDER to preserve the knowledge and worship of the true God, Abraham and his family were selected, and the Levitical church was established as the pillar and ground of the truth for the time being; all the sacrifices, rites, and ceremonies of which, were typical of the promised Seed of the Woman, the Desire of all Nations who was to “save His people from their sins." Notwithstanding the extraordinary privileges of the Israelites; for “there was no nation so great who had God so nigh upto them as the Lord Jehovah, was in all things that they called on him for;" yet they showed the same fatal tendency to apostacy as that which characterised the gentiles, whom they called dogs. They were constantly hanker. ing after the false gods, and the impure rites of their
idolatrous neighbours; yet in the worst season of their many apostacies they did not absolutely forsake the worship of the Lord their God; and we have His testimony that there were many thousand knees that never bowed to Baal, and others, whose worship the Church, during the prevalence of any apostacy, added to the worship of the true God. The worship of the Baalim and the Siddim, was the adoration of canonised dead men and all the host of Heaven, whose energies, they stupidly supposed, pervaded the whole physical world.
IN THE fulness of time the Seed of the Woman became incarnate; made that atonement, the traditional expectation of which, was universal throughout the whole earth; and He taught that pure system of religion to which the Gentiles were predestinated to be called. But the personal Advent of the promised Redeemer did not wean mankind from their disposition to apostacy ; and the great purity of the Primitive Church did not continue much beyond three centuries. S. Paul, foretold that there should come the falling away, or an apostacy, from the whole and undefiled faith; giving heed to the teaching of wicked men, who pretend to be inspired by the Holy Spirit; who teach and sedace others into the belief and worship of demons or evil spirits, or the souls of departed men and women, similar in principle, though different in name, from the Pagan apostacy into which the Israelites were perpetually lapsing. Epiphanius writing of some Christians who were, even in the fourth century, making a goddess of the blessed Virgin Mary, calls this worship “impious and unlawful;" and he says, " in these are fulfilled those words of the Apostle, 'some shall depart from the faith;' giving heed to stories, fables, and doctrines of demons ; and he then adds, they shall be worshippers of the dead." .
THE SAME Apostle also prophesied that the apostacy in the Christian Church, which he had foretold, would be marked, and attended by the revelation of an extraordinary personage