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FROM FIRST OF JANUARY, TỔ THIRTY-FIRST OF DECEMBER, 1803.
PRINTED BY C. WHITTINGHAM,
PUBLISHED BY JOHN HATCHARD, BOOKSELLER TO HER MAJESTY, 190, PICCADILLY,
TO WHOM COMMUNICATIONS, POST PAID, MAY BE ADDRESSED.
SOLD ALSO IN LONDON, BY SEELEY, AVE MARIA LANE; AND SYMONDS, PATERNOSTER ROW: AT OXFORD,
A MONTILY Publication, conducted upon the true principles of the
Established Church, has been long desired by many of her members. In concurrence with these wishes, THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER is undertaken; in which it is intended to combine information upon general subjects, with religious instruction, and to furnish such an interesting view of Religion, Literature, and Politics, free from the contamination of false principles, as a Clergyman may without scruple recommend to his Parishioners, and a Christian sately introduce into his Family.
The superior advantages of a Periodical Publication, for rendering the various departments of useful knowledge easy and accessible, and giving a more ready currency and a wider circulation to topics of general concern, are suficiently known, and have been confirmed by the testimony of long and unequivocal experience. By this mode of conveying information, subjects the most interesting in their nature, such as are intimately connected with the real welfare and true happiness of mankind, may be discussed with a plainness and brevity which would be unsuitable in works of a different construction; prejudices and misapprehensions of a local and temporary nature, springing from a wrong education, or originating in the fashion and temper of the times, may be conveniently exposed and corrected; and the most prevailing and malignant errors of the day may be combated as they arise.
These, and various other conveniences, peculiar to undertakings of this kind, are so generally understood and acknowledged, that few periodical works have failed of conciliating the patronage and favour of the public, where the subjects have been selected with tolerable judgment, and the plan has been executed with care and regularity.
At a period like this, when Dramatic Compositions, Novels, Tales, Newspapers, Magazines, and Reviews, are disseminating doctrines subversive of all morality, and propagating tenets the most hostile to piety, order, and general happiness, some friends of civil government and revealed religion, have felt it incumbent on them openly to oppose the progress of lawless opinions, to strip scepticism and imposture of their artful disguise, and, by displaying the true features of libertinism and impiety, to expose them to deserved contempt and abhorrence,
But the Conductors of THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER have no design of confining their labours to a defence of, what may be called, the Outworks of Christianity. They will, indeed, zealously co-operate with those who are employed in that important warfare; yet, their chief object is to promote the increase of sound theological knowledge, and to delineate the character of primitive and unadulterated Christianity. As members of the Established Church, they will occasionally examine, in a temperate manner, the principles on which that Church is founded; and they will endeavour to explain and enforce the pious tendency of her Rites, Ceremonies, and Liturgy. But in these, and in all other discussions, they will endeavour carefully to avoid whatever may tend to lessen that Christian love, which ought to unite the members of CHRIST of every denomination; and it will be the constant object, through the medium of their publication, to excite and cherish the affections of charity, piety, and fervent devotion, and to direct their fellow Christians in the paths of truth and righteousness,