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EDINBURGH: WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND CO.
LONDON: HOULSTON AND WRIGHT. GLASGOW : DAVID ROBERTSON.

MDCCCLXIII.

MI'RRAY AND GIBB, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.

PREFACE.

We now present our Readers with the volume of our Magazine for 1863 completed. It is for them to say with what ability or skill it has been conducted during the course of the year. On some of the Numbers we look with much satisfaction ; of the shortcomings of others we are sufficiently sensible. Viewing it, however, as a whole, we do not think there is any reason to be ashamed of the result. It has in some degree, we trust, served the cause of our Body and the edification of the Readers. This object, at all events, we have had at heart, and to attain it have done what we could.

We have the pleasure of stating, that some of the best pens in our Body have been employed in our pages.

The Magazine being in some respects a denominational organ, care has been taken to give due space and prominence in it to topics of denominational interest. Undoubtedly, the most important of these during the last nine months has been the proposed union with other Presbyterian Bodies. On this point, the policy we have pursued we are prepared to defend. Neither the views of the majority of the Synod, nor our individual sentiments, have been exclusively advocated. To contributors of very various shades of opinion, if their papers have been otherwise worthy of a place, our columns have been open-conceiving as we do that a real and solid union is best to be promoted by a free utterance of the mind of the Body in all its diversity, and at present rather than at a future period.

To clerks of Presbyteries and others, who have furnished monthly reports, we tender hearty thanks. To authors of papers which have been declined, we say, Consider charitably the necessities of our position, the amount of material placed at our disposal, and our very limited space. To ministers, elders, and members of congregations who have influence in their respective neighbourhoods, we present the reasonable request that they would use it to increase our circulation. To all who have suggestions to make for

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