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THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER was established for the purpose advocating the cause of the Established Church, against the assaults of her incessantly active enemies; of spreading more widely correct views of her doctrines and her discipline, and disseminating her genuine principles. In connexion with this object, it was the wish of the Conductors to advocate the cause of Protestantism against the Roman Catholic, and of Christianity against the Infidel; and to seek to raise to the Gospel level the standard of Christian morals. If in pursuance of this our grand design, we have been led into the thorny paths of controversy farther than our general readers would wish to follow us, and have been compelled occasionally to postpone to this object, the perhaps not inferior one of seeking to gratify the public taste, and influence the public opinion-we must plead in excuse the peculiar situation of Ireland, and the claim which controversy at this moment hàs upon all who think seriously upon religion. We hope that our controversy has been carried on in a spirit of Christian love, and under the sense of Christian responsibility, and it would be our earnest wish, as it has been our unceasing endeavour, to unite affection for the individual with boldness in condemning his errors: Charity without compromise we have sought to make our standard of action.
The Conductors of The Christian Examiner claim the approbation of the public, for at least one circumstance. They have tried the
experiment in Ireland, of a Monthly Periodical, which is attached to no prevailing party, and advocates no fashionable creed; which is too liberal to please the bigot, and perhaps too grave to attract the frivolous: they have tried the experiment, and by the kindness of their friends and the public they have succeeded; they have evinced that Ireland possesses native talent far beyond what her friends had hoped, and the Establishment retains an energy exceeding what its enemies had feared: -they have demonstrated that the good sense and good feeling of Ireland will support any publication, which advocates with common fidelity the great cause of religion and morals.
It has been strongly represented to the Conductors, that in their attention to the religious controversies of Ireland, they have perhaps rather overlooked the actual state of religion, and have not detailed as fully as the public, particularly the English public could have wished, the progress of the various Religious Societies, which are operating on the Irish people. The Conductors in admitting partially the charge, have to represent in extenuation, the extreme difficulty of condensing into eighty pages, all the mass of original and collected matter, which they rejoice to say, is furnished at present by every Month's circuit; and as they have been on more than one occasion driven to add an additional sheet at considerable and trouble, their friends may conceive some part of the perplexity with which they have to struggle. They have, however, made arrangements by which the Missionary and Religious Intelligence department will be considerably enlarged.
The two series of papers on Biblical and Rabbinical Literature, will be continued through the succeeding Volume; the information contained in both, peculiarly interesting at the present moment of anxiety for the house of Jacob, must recommend them to our readers. In the present Volume we have presented to the public, the first translation that we believe has ever been made into our language of Tertullian's Prescriptions against Heretics: to the curious in Ecclesiastical Antiquity, this essay exhibits many interesting illustrations; to the inquiring Roman Catholic and Protestant, it presents more important matter: it enables both to examine the pretensions of the Church of Rome to exclusive Catholicity, to ascertain how far the declamation of Tertullian against Marcion and Valentinus, apply to the Church of