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To the saints and faithful brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus, scattered abroad, we send our first address, saluting them in the sacred name of Jehovah –
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD,
ASCRIBE YE GREATNESS
In common with other conductors of a Monthly Magazine, we feel called upon at the close of the Year to make a few prefatory remarks for the head of our volume. And coming immediately to that which is of primary importance, “ The Pot of Manna"-we pronounce it to be of God. It had its origin with God; it speaketh the words of God; it is set np for a defence of the truth of God; its object is to distribute the bread of God; its contents are designed for the people of God; and its effort is to shew forth the praise and glory of God.
Sensibly impressed with the soul animating incitation: UNTO HIM,” we are determined in “ The Pot of Manna” to treat upon the great mystery of godliness, with the view of exalting One Prophet, One Priest, One King ; and thus to draw up the whole soul of a believer unto Him in wonder, love, and praise. This we believe to be “the Gospel standard,” and the only standard we feel justified in lifting up for the people, (Isaiah lxii. 10.) Anxious ourselves to be cleansed from all idol service, and desiring the same blessing for our readers, we are bent upon feeding them with no other food than “Manna,” which cometh down from above, and which, being eaten by the saint, causes him to lift up his heart in the strength of the Lord toward that secret pavilion from wh it descends.
But we are determined to pay no homage to the numerous spiritual idols which are now being praised in “high places,” while intellectual sculpture is exercising its soul-captivating art in fashioning “men of sin,” like unto “THE MAN"-Christ Jesus.
To specify the various forms of idolatry which appear in the clothes of exterior christianity, would exceed the bounds of our preface. Who can count the “curious arts" now practised, or sketch the dress, in which new-modelled heresies will from time to time appear ?
Are not the libraries of Englishmen crowded with “ books of magic ?” and the shelves of our cottagers laden with vain tracts ? Oh! that they were wise! and would bring them forth to a bonfire, greater than that which the truth of God once consumed in the streets of Ephesus.
(So then we decidedly refuse to pay homage to the intellectual vanity of the day; to borrow the elegance of language for the purpose of dresssing the Gospel, or to countenance the presumptuous pretensions of the times, which seeks to give birth to vital christianity by sundry scholastic exercises: or in any way to pander to the fleshly fancies of the age, by seeking to please men at the expense of divine truth.)
But let us not be misunderstood. We give to literature its due-we welcome it in its own useful sphere, for lovers as we are of the Letter Foundry and the Printing Press, which has sent the BOOK “ from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof,” we cannot be enemies to the legitimate service of the sciences, but we are jealous of the Literature-Idol of the day which promises its worshippers living christianity by reading for it! and boasts of the robes of christian literature, as qualifying the occupant of either pulpit or pew for favourable verdict when they appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
“The things of God” knoweth no man, but by “the spirit of wisdom and revelation"_"neither can He know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Our simple and glorious theme is : “SALVATION BY Jesus Christ.” He who was "before all things,” we desire to exalt ABOVE all things. The subjects we seek to benefit are, the election of grace, in their several time-states. Truth shall mark our every page, and every page shall point to Jesus; whilst by the teachings of the Spirit we will try to speak with unmistakable plainness, biblical correctness, and scriptural decision. More than this we cannot do. We have no power beyond the lispings of our feeble tongue, and the testimony of our weaker pen ; it is ours to provide paper and print, power belongeth unto God;" it is His to bless His own eternal truth. We wear, and tear, and die ; “but the word of our God endureth for ever."
We thank our Correspondents in the Lord's name, and desire to record it as an instance of His goodness, that He has stirred up the hearts of so many to furnish us with their “Manna-gatherings."
Respecting our circulation we could wish it was larger, though perhaps, no other Monthly publication of a corresponding character, ever had such an extended sale, in so short a space of time. STILL WE WANT MORE SUBSCRIBERS, and must call upon our friends to do their best. We might increase our circulation readily, by ministering to an unjustifiable desire for excitement; but as our whole hearts are in love with the truth of God, and we are determined to speak none other than the words of the God of truth, we must leave it with Him to perform His purposes by “the Pot of Manna.”
To our subscribers and readers, with the whole Israel of God, we wish every new covenant blessing in Christ, which God the Father by His Spirit can bestow. That they may realize the quickening, keeping, and preserving, grace of Christ in time, as the earnest of His eternal glory ; and possess a living, Gospel christianity : a God glorifying-Christ exalting-creature debasing-sinner saving--soul preservingsaint redeeming--grace possessing-heaven aspiring-bliss attaining-christianity, Then will you show yourselves to be the children of your Father which is in heaven.
In conclusion, the Editor feels happy in discharging a duty to his estimable friend, Mr. Josiah Cowell, of Chelmsford, for the kindness of whose superintending aid during his absence from London, the readers, with himself, are much indebted.
London, November 17th, 1851,