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ADDRESS TO OUR READERS.
The idea of a Preface to such a miscellaneous book as a Magazine seems almost absurd. Yet we willingly comply with an annual custom, which has some advantages. As a yearly manifesto of Editorial plans, after a journal has been established upwards of eight years, it is quite unnecessary, but as a somewhat social communication with our readers, and a brief advertence to some points of general interest, it is pleasant on both sides.
We had hoped the Specimens inserted in other Periodicals would have brought a considerable accession to our circulation ; it was, however, but small; and we would, therefore, remind our readers that we still need their kind aid in extending the number of subscribers, and, indeed, in retaining our present standing, since deaths, removals, &c. would of course soon actually diminish our present number. So far as we can ascertain, " The Church,” unlike some penny periodicals, is circulated almost exclusively amongst those who pay for it. At the same time it is zeldom taken in great numbers by any church or congregation, unless some one undertakes to obtain and distribute them. The poor, especially in country places, are not in the habit of ordering periodicals, though glad to pay for them if they are procured for them. Wherever a minister or other intelligent christian undertakes this, the number sold is increased many-fold immediately. This indicates the kind of aid needed in our humble effort to do good to the many.
The Notes of Mr. Foster's Sermons, which we have found to be so highly prized, are finished. We have been promised more from another quarter, which we hope soon to receive; these will either be published in a cheap volume with the others, and with some already published in the Baptist Record, or they will appear first in “ The Church.”
We have always regretted that our large circulation compelled our going to press too early to avail ourselves or the Missionary Intelligence for the month, as we should feel it a privilege to aid in any way our invaluable Society. Our readers will see, by our advertisement, that the Juvenilė Missionary Herald is now placed in the hands of our publisher. The Secretaries of the Society.will, indeed, retain the control and general management; we are confident, however, that the young friend who has aided in furnishing the matter in “ The Church” and “The Appeal” most interesting to the young (besides much other sub-editorial work), and who will render similar assistance in conducting the Juvenile Missionary Herald, will be able to make this little magazine much more interesting to the young than ever. We would press it on the attention of families and Sunday schools, if they have not hitherto taken it, to commence immediately. If they have given it up, let them, then, afford the Juvenile Missionary Herald one trial more.
In public events we have had a somewhat exciting, if it can hardly be called an eventful year. It commenced amidst the upstir caused by the Papal Aggression, a subject on which even our own Denomination was divided in opinion, as well as our ablest Statesmen. Then came the Great Exhibition, the Kaffir War, and the arrival of the noblest European patriot, the Great Kossuth, on our shores. While we write, almost every town in the kingdom is resounding with his well-deserved praise. May a kind Providence still make him the giver of Civil, Religious, and Commercial Freedom to Hungary ! On the Continent it appears to us that the tide of Absolutism is beginning to turn,-not, indeed, willingly, but by force of circumstances. Virtual bankruptcy in one country, disappointed ambition in another, a general feeling pervading the middle classes of Europe that such extreme despotism must overthrow itself, and the vast number of suppressed republicans, ready at any time for revolution, make us fear before many years, perhaps soon, another iv
ADDRESS TO OUR READERS.
violent attempt to set things right. The perfidy, nay, the shameless perjury, of all the sovereigns of Europe in 1848, who were affected by the Revolutions, most of them worse even than our executed or banished Stuarts, forbid the hope of a peaceful adjustment with men whose most solemn oaths are mere instruments of deception and kingcraft. We regret to add that the universal infidelity of the more active minds in all continental nations, infidelity generated by the impostures of Popery and the secular character of Statechurches, prepares men to contend with a ferocity to which happily our countrymen are strangers. The despots establish some creed or creeds from policy. The infidels would tolerate all creeds from contempt. The kingdom of Christ will yet have to conquer by humility, spirituality, benevolence, and suffering. In Protestant Prussia, and still more in Republican France, Baptists are much obstructed and even persecuted.
Ecclesiastical matters at home have mended but little. The Bishops have, indeed, been exposed as gormandizers of wealth to an extent which their enemies had scarcely supposed, and Puseyites are zealously driving at a degree of liberty and self-government, to realize which they must quit a State-church. Amidst all this, new churches are building apace, and being endowed voluntarily too. The Church is gaining in this way faster than Dissent, and doing it amongst increasing populations ; let Dissenters ponder this well. It is, indeed, voluntaryism, but voluntaryism generally for Baptismal Regeneration, and all the worst features of the Prayer-book and Episcopacy,—the portions of it which most annoyed a Newton and a Scott.
In the great work which, in importance, infinitely outweighs all things besides, no conspicuous progress, that we remember, has anywhere been made. The Methodists have lost very largely, owing to the inexorable tyranny of the Conference preachers. The Statechurch conversions have rather been from a lower to a higher degree of superstition. The Independents and Baptists have not enjoyed any noticeable reanimation in religion; though our Association returns to the Union are better than for some years past. We fear, however (and yet hope), that, from some causes, many are not joined to our churches who, some years back, would have joined them. If so, although thankful for their piety, there is need for great searchings of heart, to ascertain the cause, and apply the fitting remedy.
CON TEN TS.
The Pilgrim's Watch word. By the
The Old Man
to the Romans .............
The Life of Christ..................
The Inspiration of the Holy Scrip-
Syriac Version of the New Testa-
On the Word for “Baptize" in the The Inspiration of the Bible
The Father and Three Sons
Henderson's Scripture Lessons ....
Brown's Duties of Dissenters in the
Our State Church
Convert from Anglo-Catholicism to
the Truth as it is in Jesus...... 106