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effufions of his fpirit, and for a blessing upon any efforts which made to advance the kingdom of his dear Son.

may be

Thefe confiderations induce the Editors to folicit the friends of Chrift to encourage a work defigned to diffufe religious knowledge and to raise a fund for continuing the light of the gofpel among the inhabitants of the new and fcattered fettlements in the United States, and to spread this light among tribes of Savages now perishing for lack of vifion.

The following is the plan of this work.

TO CONTAIN

Effays on the doctrines of Chriftianity, and on religious, experimental and moral fubjects :-Occafional remarks on the fulfilment of fcripture prophecies in the prefent day, and expofitions of difficult and doubtful paffages of fcripture :-Religious intelligence concerning the ftate of Chrift's kingdom, throughout the Chriftian world, and sketches of the original ecclefiaftical concerns of this country :-Information refpecting Miffions to the new fettlements in the United States and among Heathen nations :-Narratives of revivals of religion in particular places together with the diftinguishing marks of true and falfe religion-Accounts of remarkable difpenfations of divine Providence : -Biographical sketches of perfons eminent for piety :-Original hymns on evangelical fubjects:-Together with whatever elfe on the fubject of religion and morals may contribute to the advancement of genuine piety and pure morality.

This work will confift of original pieces and of extracts from the beft European and American publications. As the Magazine is defigned for the promotion of vital Chriftianity, and of a knowledge of the great and effential truths of the gofpel, Effays which are merely controverfial or deeply metaphyfical, it will be feen, come not within the object of this publication; neverthelefs, fhould any fuch be fent which, in the opinion of the Editors, are highly meritorious, they will be admitted. The Magazine will be open to receive communica tions from all denominations of Chriftians who believe in the peculiar principles of Chriftianity; but if written upon the diftinguishing tenets of their refpective fects, they will be excluded. The profits arifing from the fale of this publication will be appropriated to the fupport of Mifionaries to the Heathen or among the inhabitants of the new settle

ments.

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Afbort differtation on the Communion of the Holy Ghoft.

HE communion of the Ho

tural to fay, they have communion or fellowship WITH the Holy Ghoft. The communion of the Holy Ghoft, is a feriptural expreffion :

but

communion WITH the Holy Ghoft, is not a fcriptural expreffion, and perhaps, not fuited to convey a fcriptural idea.

The following obfervations, it is apprehended, are founded on the reprefentations contained in the fcriptures, viz.

it of the Father, and of his Son 1. The Holy Ghoft is the SpirJefus Chrift. This will be admitted by all who read the New-Tes

tament with attention.

Tly Ghoft is an expreffion ufed by the apostle Paul in 2 Cor. xii. 14. The fame word in the original, which is there tranflated communion, is frequently rendered fellowship. It is derived from a word which fignifies common; and the word itfelf feems primarily to import a common intereft-poffeffing, enjoying or fharing a thing in common; or a joint participation in the fame thing. Hence, when feveral perfons are joint-partakers of the Holy Gholt, whether in If we confider the Son merely equal, or in different degrees, the as God, or in his original ftate, communion of the Holy Ghoft is with them; or they have com- previous to his actual affumption of munion one with another in the it is as truly his Epirit as the Faththe human nature, the Holy SpirHoly Ghoft. This joint-partici-er's, and in the fame sense and pation of the Holy Gholt, as a manner, whatever that be. good or enjoyment, in a greater if the Son is confidered in his inor lefs degree, common to them all, is the communion of the Hocarnate perfon and office-character, as God's anointed, the Holy ly Ghoft. nointing which he received of the Spirit is his, by virtue of the aFather when he gave him the Spir

It is agreeable to feripture to fay, Chriftians have fellowship [communion] with the Father, and with his Son Jefus Chrift. 1 John i. 3. But it is not fcrip

it without measure.

And

2. The Holy Spirit is given to the children of God-to all true

believers, to abide in them as a vi- | common intereft. And this is untal principle, like a well or foun-doubtedly included in the comtain of water, fpringing up into munion of Chriftians with the everlasting life. John iv. 14. Father, and with his Son Jefus He is given by the Father. Luke Chrift. God and Jefus Chrift xi. 13. Gal. iv. 6. And he is communicate the Holy Spirit to given by Christ. John xvi. 7. believers; and they, under the He dwells in Chriftians as the Spir- influence of this Spirit, commuitofGod, and as the Spirit of Chrift.nicate or devote their hearts and Rom. viii. 9, 10, ii. The Ho- their whole perfons to Jefus Chrift, ly Spirit, abiding in Chriftians as and to God through him. The the Spirit of adoption and of prom- Spirit communicated to them, proife, is the earnest of their inheri- duces a return of communications, tance; and by him they are fealed in the exercifes of love, gratitude unto the day of redemption. He and praife, felf-dedication, trust is the internal fource and fupport of and dependence, joy and rejoicing, their fpiritual life and holinefs, and in acts of worship and obedi comfort and joy. Hereby they ence, inclufive of all those spiritare partakers of a divine na ual facrifices, which are acceptable ture. According to the meafure to God by Jesus Christ. Such of the Spirit communicated to mutual intercourfe and communithem, they have the fame Spirit cations, between God and his peowith God and Jefus Chrift-the ple, exift and are maintained by fame difpofition or affection, in the Holy Spirit; though, ordikind, towards the fame objects- narily, not without the inftrumenthe fame intereft at heart-the tality of external means. fame ultimate object of purfuit. Thus they have communion-a common intereft, with the Father, and with his Son Jefus Chrift, and jointly partake or thare, though in a different manner, and in an infinitely lower degree, in the fame things.

The principal thing, in which the Father and the Son and all true believers, have communion or a common intereft, and which is the fource of their fellowship or joint-participation in the fame affection, intereft and end, is the Holy Choft. Therefore, this communion is, with propriety, termed, not communion wITH, but, the communion of the Holy Ghoft.

3. The word communion, though it may primarily impor a common intereft or joint-participation, is alfo used to fignify mutual communication; which is generally implicd in, or the natural refult of, a

God communicates himself to them, by giving them his Holy Spirit; and they give themselves to him. He fheds abroad his love in their hearts by the Holy Ghoft; and they love and obey him with filial affection, joy and confidence. He comes to them, and makes his abode with them, by his Spirit : and they under the influence of this Spirit, draw nigh to him in prayer and praife, and other religious exercises and actions, and meet with a gracious acceptance. Hence, the communion confisting in fuch mutual communications, may, with propriety, be termed, the communion of the Holy Ghoft -the Holy Spirit being the great and comprehenfive good on God's part, communicated by him, producing all their holiness and fpiritual joy and happiness; and the great agent in, or fource of all holy and acceptable communi->

cations and correfpondence, on their part.

4. All Chriftians, who have communion with the Father, and with his Son Jefus Chrift, have fellowship with one another.

By one Spirit Chriftians are all baptized into one body, and are all made to drink into one Spirit. I Cor. xii. 13. Hence, as one general rule of faith and practice is common to them all, they have fellowship in fentiment, affection and practice. The fame views and ideas of God, of Chrift, and of themselves, of the law, and of the gofpel, are common to them allI mean, the grand capital ideas. They believe the fame fundamental doctrines in the fame mediator, and with the fame kind of faith.

They jointly partake of and fhare in the fame Spirit. Hence, they are alike affected towards God and

another-towards

their feveral wants and abilities, communicate and impart to one another, for their mutual benefit.

This communion of Chriftians with one another, appears to be comprised in the communion of the Holy Ghoft; fince it either confifts in, or is the natural confequence of, their joint-participation of the fame Holy Spirit, by whofe agency they are formed into one body, of one heart and one foul, under and in union with one common head, the Lord Jefus Chrift. Bleffed communion! and happy, indeed, in every real fubject of it! ASTHENES.

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truth abundantly evident from the fcriptures-and it is of great im← portance that it should be rightly understood and believed. It is ev ident, however, that many entertain erroneous notions refpecting it-nctions which are inconfiftent with the character of God, and

mankind general-towards things of this world, and those of the world to come. They jointly partake in the fame graces or fruits of the Spirit, though not all in the fame degree. They have the fame end ultimately in view-the fame fupreme ultimate object of defire, hope and purfuit. They enjoy the fame fpiritual privileges and blef-involve a falfe idea of the nature ngs, though in different degrees of man, and of moral agency. and with circumftantial differences. It is a matter, therefore, worthy, They have a joint-participation in of particular attention. The folthe fame communion with God lowing obfervations are offered and Jefus Chrift. They have a with a defign to fet the subject in a common intereft in the fame God true point of light-and a hope and Father-in the fame Lord that they may excite, in the mind and Saviour in the fame right- of the reader, fome juft fense of coufnefs and atonement, and in the the folemn and all-important fitsafame eternal falvation. Being tion of mankind while in this promembers of the fame body, united bationary state. to the fame common head, they have a mutual intereft in and care of one another, and can feel for and fympathize with one another in joy and forrow; and according to

When it is faid that mankind are probationers for eternity, it is implied that they are in a fate of trial; and that their condition in the future world is fufpended upon

the iffue of this trial. It implies | them, to put forth fuch volitions,

that they are moral agents; and that life and death are fet before them for their choice the one or the other of which is to be their portion, according to the iffue of the trial, or the probation of their hearts. First. In order to any perfon's being in a state of probation, he must be a moral agent. But what is moral agency? Or what is neceffary to conftitute a perfon a free moral agent? A few obfervations in anfwer to this question will tend to elucidate the general fubject. Some juft ideas refpecting free moral agency, are neceffary to a right understanding of the nature and defign of that ftate of trial, or probation, in which mankind are placed.

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And it may be obferved that a perfon, to be a free moral agent muft poffefs understanding, tafte, and will. The understanding, is that faculty by which we obtain a fpeculative knowledge of truth, or of any natural or moral objects. The tale of the foul, (like that of the body from which the figure is taken) is a foundation, or predifpofition to receive pleasure or pain, when objects of a moral nature are prefented. The will is a faculty by which the mind puts forth volitions, or acts of choice, in view of objects, according to the affections which they excite.

It is immaterial what the nature of a perfon's talte of heart is, in order to free moral agency; becaufe free moral agency does not confift in being of a particular tafte, or temper of heart; but in acting according to our tafte, be it good, or bad-acting as we pleafe. If we are fo formed as to feel the affection of pleasure or pain-love or hatred, in view of objects; and are able, upon feeling either of these affections, or any included in

and external actions, as are accord-
ing to the affection experienced,
and are the proper expreflions of
the taste or temper of our hearts,
we are free moral agents in the
higheft fenfe of the words.

The idea which fome have had,
that in order to our being free mor-
al agents, we must have a power
to defire, will, and a contrary to
our tafte; or, which is the fame,
that we must be able to change our
own hearts, or, to love and choose
at the fame time in
an object,
which we have a tafte wholly op-
pofed to it, is abfurd. No fuch
thing is implied in free moral agen-
cy. Whoever feels the affedion of
love or hatred-pleafure or pain,
when the divine character, or any
thing of a moral nature is brought
into view; and whofe volitions, or
exercifes of the will, are corref-
pondent to thefe affections, is a
free moral agent. He has all the
freedom of action which it is pof-
fible to conceive of, in a creature.

That thefe ideas refpecting what is implied in free moral agency, are

juft, will be evident, if we confider that the elect angels, who are established in holiness, are free moral agents, fo far that all their exercifes are praife-worthy or virBut wherein tuous and holy. does this freedom confift, except it be in acting voluntarily and according to the holy tafte of their hearts? Yet we cannot conceive of their being able to act otherwife than they do; or fo that any of their actions fhould be finful, unlefs they should first fall, and become of a depraved corrupt tafte. But from this they will ever be kept by the constant upholding hand of God. Adam allo, in innocency, was a free moral agent, and acted out the temper of his heart. The divine character, to

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