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THE

UNITED PRESBYTERIAN

MAGAZINE.

VOLUME X.

EDINBURGH: WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND SONS.

LONDON: HOULSTON AND STONEMAN.

GLASGOW: DAVID ROBERTSON.

MDCCCLVI.

MURRAY AND GIBB, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.

PREFACE.

THE close of another year's labours, completing another volume of the UNITED PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE, summons us again before our readers, with a few sentences concerning our Journal and its affairs. This time we answer the call with peculiar feelings.

Ten years have now elapsed since the SECESSION and RELIEF MAGAZINES, anticipating by a few months the formal incorporation of the Churches whose names they respectively bore, had their resources and their interests combined in the service of the United Denomination. With devout thanksgiving to the Giver of all good, the conductors look back on the peaceful and harmonious course, by which they have been led, throughout that protracted period. Since the United Presbyterian Synod was constituted, in May 1847, many changes have been witnessed in the affairs of nations and of churches. Glancing over the successive volumes of the MAGAZINE, we are reminded that dynasties have been shaken to their foundation or swept from their place; while religious denominations have been rent asunder, or, by merging into kindred societies, have ceased to maintain a separate existence. Religious periodicals, too, which were vigorous and flourishing ten years ago, have faded and died; while others have been started on the dubious race for popularity, and after a spirited struggle have been reluctantly withdrawn. Meanwhile the United Presbyterian body has pursued the even tenor of its way, unshaken by the disturbing causes which have prevailed around it, and steadily, though not amazingly, increasing in numbers and strength; and the MAGAZINE, whose aim it has been to record and reflect the history of the incorporated churches, has shared in their tranquil prosperity. We should be callous, indeed, to the divine goodness, did we fail, in the retrospect of such favour, to thank God and take courage.

In these times of rapid action and sweeping commotion, the soberest readers of church history, would scarcely have deemed it surprising, though the union of 1847 had, ere this time, been proved to have been prematurely

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