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EDINBURGH: WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND SONS.

LONDON : HOULSTON AND STONEMAN.

GLASGOW : DAVID ROBERTSON.

MDCCCLII.

MURRAY AND CIBB, PBINETRS, EDINBURGII. PREFACE.

But for the unseemliness of departing from what has been use and wont” in completing our yearly Volume, we might have dispensed, on this occasion, with the form of a Preface. The relation between the Readers of this Magazine and its Conductors is so well understood, that it needs not, we trust, to be explained or adjusted by an annual paragraph about ourselves. In our labours for the last twelve months, we have aimed, as previously, to represent the sentiments, and register the progress, of the denomination under whose name we venture to address ourselves to the Christian public. And in the review of another year's experience, we have the same tale to tell as heretofore ;—the same cordial gratitude to express to the Contributors who have furnished the varied and seasonable contents of the Magazine, as well as to the Subscribers who have maintained its circulation; and the same earnest solicitation to prefer to both, for their continued friendly interest in our behalf.

We have not had recourse to any extraordinary measures for augmenting the sale of the Magazine, much though we have that object at heart. In starting a new periodical, or at some peculiar crisis in its history, such measures may be necessary and excusable. We apprehend, however, that ministers and influential elders, to whose countenance we might look for support throughout the churches, dislike to be troubled with frequent importunities to aid in promoting the sale of books, even when these are of a denominational character; and look upon the repetition of circular solicitations in favour of such schemes as spasmodic efforts, betraying a want of natural strength. If such a work as ours do not recommend itself on its own account, or for the sake of its services in the common cause, to members of the United Presbyterian Church, we could have little hope of supplementing the lack of merit by a profusion of entreaty. At the same time, it is not to be forgotten, that in consequence of changes every day occurring, through death and otherwise, in the community to which our labours are devoted, a number of names is necessarily dropping off every year from the list of our readers. To supply the ranks thus periodically thinned, as well as to increase the efficiency of the Magazine, and widen the sphere of its usefulness, we need, and now respectfully solicit, the kind offices of brethren and friends in extending our circulation.

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