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PLAIN & PRACTICAL SUBJECTS.
BY SOME OF THE MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL,
RESIDING IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech
PUBLISHED BY D. FENTON, TRENTON;
CHARLES D. GREEN & CO. NEW-BRUNSWICK,
L. DEARE, PRINTER.
District of New-Jersey, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the thirty-first day of March, in the thirty-seventh year of the Independence of the United States of America, George S. Woodhull and Isaac V. Brown, of the said district, have deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
"The New-Jersey Preacher, or Sermons on plain and practical subjects. "By some of the ministers of the gospel residing in the State of New-Jersey. "Vol. I. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did be"seech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."2 Cor. v. 20."
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, " An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors such Copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to the act, entled, "An act supplementary to an act, entitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical, and other prints." ROBERT BOGGS, Clerk of the District of New-Jersey.
THE HE present state of the world presents a prospect, highly interesting to the philosopher and statesmanand not less so to the real christian. The encouraging and gloomy scenes are so mingled together, as alternately to excite emotions of hope and fear. When the christian looks abroad on the earth, he discovers, comparatively few, who profess to believe and practice the precepts of the gospel.* The extensive continents of Asia and Africa are almost wholly immersed in the darkness of Pagan superstition and idolatry, or led away by the delusions of Mahomet. Europe has for many years been a field of blood; and our own beloved country has lately engaged in a sanguinary conflict with a powerful nation.
In the midst of this gloom and confusion, there is still something that gives to the christian an animating hope
* The following ingenious calculation will serve to shew of what small extent the christian religion is, when compared with those many and vast couns tries, that are overspread with Paganism or Mahometanism. Supposing the inhabited world to be divided into thirty parts, only three of those parts are possessed by christians of the Protestant and Roman Catholick communion-two by christians of the Greek church-six by Jews and Mahometans-and the remaining NINETEEN by Pagans.
It is to be observed that this calculation was made before the late discoveries of the north west part of America, the north east part of Asia, the vast tract of New-Holland, New-Guinea, and the numerous other islands in the Pacific ocean-How much greater then must the numerical difference appear at the present day between that part of mankind who enjoy the light of christianity, and that part who are now groping in Pagan darkness!
Miss Hannah Adams' view of religions, p. 496.
that the time is not far distant, when heavenly light and peace will be diffused through this dark and troubled world.
The increasing number of young men who are willing to devote themselves to the work of the gospel ministry -the numerous Missionary and Bible Societies that have been established in G. Britain and America within a few years past-the lively interest taken in our own country in the establishment of Theological seminaries-the spirit of liberality that has been manifested by all denominations of christians, in sending the Scriptures and a preached gospel among the Heathen-the avidity with which books on religious subjects are sought for and read, give us reason to hope that the dawning of a brighter day is near at hand;
Surrounded by such scenes, it surely becomes the duty of professing christians, and more especially of the ministers of the gospel, to be diligent and zealous in promoting the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom. There is no object of greater magnitude-there is nothing on which the peace and happiness of mankind so much depend as the diffusion of the knowledge of a crucified Saviour. The universal practice of the truths and precepts of the gospel would put an effectual stop to fraud and injustice to deadly feuds and animosities between nations, and individuals, and make this world a peaceful abode where the great Creator would delight to dwell with the workmanship of his own hands. It is the gospel of Christ that raises man to that dignity in the scale of beings for which his nature is designed—it is this that throws light on the darknes of the grave, and cheers us with the enlivening prospect of a glorious immortality,
To spread the knowledge of divine truth; to concentrate the exertions of many in holding forth the word of life in a plain, forcible and engaging manner; to give (if possible) some check to the progress of iniquity ; and to stir up professing christians to diligence and fidelity, are among the great objects that have induced the editors to engage in the publication of this volume.
We believed that a work of this kind, consisting of sermons, by ministers of the gospel residing in the State of New-Jersey, on practical and important subjectsadapted to be read in families or in religious societies-preserved free from useless and unedifying controversy— and recommended by its novelty and variety to the laudable curiosity of individuals, could not fail to excite a lively interest through the churches in this state, and contribute largely to the edification and improvement of christians.
Our devout and humble prayer is, that the great Head of the church would give a blessing to this work, that it may serve to promote his glory, and the salvation of our fellow-men.
We cannot close these observations without returning our thanks to our Reverend fathers and brethren, who have so promptly complied with our request, in contributing materials for this volume.
If sufficient encouragement be given, to warrant the undertaking, we hope at no distant period to present to the public another volume of the "New-Jersey Preacher."
NEW-JERSEY, July 24, 1813.
GEORGE S. WOODHULL, EDITORS,