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ibeir apathy, and brought to put forth efforts corresponding to the importance and urgency of the case.
It is true indeed, that at present, a number of respectable weekly and monthly publications are in limited circulation, and exert a valuable influence on the cause of Christian benevolence. They are, however, chiefly vehicles of intelligence, or repositories of brief, and therefore often unsatisfactory discussions of doctrinal and critical subjects. There is, then, a place, and an urgent call, for periodicals of a higher character and a wider range of subjects.
Several years ago, the Professor of Biblical Literature, in the Seminary at Princeton, undertook to publish a quarterly journal (the Biblical Repertory,) the exclusive object of which was to assist ministers and candidates in the criticism and interpretation of the Bible. Experience, however, has shown, that the time has not yet arrived, when a work of this kind can be adequately supported in our country. It was therefore thought expedient, at the beginning of the present year, to make a change in the character of this pubfication. It is intended hereafter, to conduct it according to the following plan.
1. The original design of the work, instead of being wholly laid aside, is to be so modified, as to adapt it to the use and benefit of all intelligent Christians. The Bible is the only source of authentic information on the doctrines and duties of Christianity. The Bible is about to be placed in every family in the nation. The right of private judgment, in this free country, is unequivocally admitted. It is therefore of the utmost importance to afford to the people, every possible facility for a right understanding of the divine oracles. To accomplish this is to be one of the primary objects of the Biblical Repertory, in its present form.
2. Philosophy and literature in every age have exerted a powerful influence on religious sentiment and doctrine. This will be the case until the Bible shall have established a complete and universal supremacy, and men shall have learned to submit without reserve to Scripture, fairly interpreted. This work, then in accomplishing its great purpose, of assisting in forming right opinions on the meaning of the Bible, must bring under strict and impartial review, the philosophy and literature of the time; and show their influence, whether for good or evil, on biblical interpretation, syste. matic theology, and practical religion. In doing this, it will
be necessary to detect and expose the error, common in every age, of founding religious doctrines on insulated passages, and partial views of bible-truth ; or forcing the Scriptures to a meaning which shall accord with philosophical theories.
3. The circumstances belonging to every age produce a tendency to some particular form of error, so as to make it the epidemic of the period. At one time men are disposed to be satisfied with a heartless and inactive orthodoxy. At another, religious action is represented as every thing, and its stimulus is substituted for those deep inward feelings which mark the character of thorough piety. It will be the business of this Journal carefully to notice, and faithfully to exbibit dangers of this kind.
4. The history of religious doctrine and opinion will be given in the progress of the work as far as the nature of the case will admit, the revival of old and exploded doctrines will be noticed; and their effects on vital religion as clearly as possible exhibited.
5. The influence of different principles of ecclesiastical polity on piety, morals, literature, and civil institutions will form a subject for careful consideration.
6. It will be left for the monthly and weekly publications to communicate religious intelligence: but at the same time, the various enterprizes of Christian benevolence will be observed with the deepest attention and interest, and sustained with all the zeal and talent which can be brought to aid the mighty cause. Especially the vast and growing importance of Sabbath Schools will be duly appreciated. The books employed in them will be strictly examined ; and it will be reckoned a more valuable service to lend efficient aid in securing to these publications a suitable character, than to con. trol, if that were possible, the literature and philosophy of the whole nation.
7. Such attention, however, as the limits of the work will permit, will be bestowed on the important interests of general knowledge ; and select literary information will be given with every number.
8. The work is not designed to be controversial in its character, but to state temperately and mildly, yet firmly and fearlessly, Bible truth in its whole extent.
9. As soon as circumstances will admit, a suitable editor will be procured, who will give his entire time, labour and
talents to the work. In the meanwhile it will be conducted by the present editors, with the assistance of a number of able writers, who are pledged to contribute regularly to its pages.
Along with this letter you will receive a Prospectus; and this detail of particulars is given for your own private use; that you may be enabled to explain fúlly the nature and de sign of the publication.
And now, dear sir, will you not look through the country in the length and breadth thereof-will you not consider the power of that instrumentality which the press affords—and resolve to do your very best in promoting the circulation of this Journal ? As a patriot, will you not endeavour, by diffusing principles of sound knowledge and true virtue, to preserve the institutions of our country, and render them perpetual ? And, as a Christian, will you not favour a plan, the design of which is to exhibit the truths, and enforce the precepts of the Bible; to assist in putting down error; and promoting that charity which delights to save a soul from death?
It is certain that an enterprize, such as that here proposed, cannot be supported unless the members, and especially the ministers of the church, will resolve at once to sustain and bear it onward.
SAMUEL H. COX,
THOMAS H. SKINNER,
TERMS. The Biblical Repertory & Theological Review is published quara terly, at Three Dollars per annum, if paid within the first six months; or Four Dollars if the payment be longer deferred. Each number will contain at Icast 150 pages.
All communications to be addressed to “the Editors of the Bibli. cal Repertory and Theological Review," Princeton New Jersey.