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They do not hesitate to say, that they have chiefly in sight the purity of the reformed faith, the honour and safety of the church of England, the extension of evangelical holiness; in short, the glory of God and the best interests of man. And they would be guilty of much ingratitude were they not to acknowledge the success with which their efforts have been blessed. We see with satisfaction some of our articles transferred at length into other periodicals abroad, and we hear them referred to, not unfrequently, as having influenced public opinion at home. Many periodicals have a wider range, few of them a more select and educated body of readers, than our own ; and, at the same time, we are cheered with the information, that our labours are not unwelcome to the working man, and the humble student of the parochial library.
For the future, we have neither promises to make nor changes to announce. What the Christian Observer has been, such, with those improvements and that variety which we shall endeavour to introduce as occasion may offer,—such it will continue to be. And here we record our thanks to many friends for assistance in various ways: first of all to our own contributors; and next, especially to several unknown foreign correspondents, who supply us regularly with some of the choicest periodical literature of the United States, as well as with occasional newspapers, the value of which, to us, the reader will have perceived in more than one article of our present number. We have to make a similar acknowledgment to unknown friends in Canada, in Australia, and in New Zealand. And we acknowledge the courtesy of the church of Scotland, in favouring us with their admirable monthly Report of their Foreign Missions.
But enough of this ; for we are reluctant to obtrude ourselves and our labours, whatever their worth may be, upon the attention of our readers. The year now soon to close upon us seems, as far as man can yet forecast the future, to have inaugurated a new and solema era. A storm has burst on Italy, which may for the moment have passed away ; but the world's atmosphere has been disturbed. Italy “cannot be quiet.” Europe cannot be at rest. Armies pant for slaughter, and millions of brave men for freedom.
England feels her danger, and barricades her ocean gates. There is no panic; but there is the deep silence of suspense. And how shall the perhaps short interval be spent ? The servants of God in England are not waiting for our reply. They are pleading already before the throne of grace, that He who is rich in mercy will pour out his Spirit on us, even as on other hands. Never was 80 much prayer offered for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Never did the eve of a solemn crisis give occasion for so much special intercession that God would thus “ raise
his come amongst us, and with great might succour us."
And thus we enter upon our advent season of 1859. How welcome its intimations are. Be the earth never so unquiet, the Lord sitteth above the wate rfloods. The kings of the earth may set themselves, and the rulers may take counsel together; but He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision. All wars, all convulsions, all the seeming reverses which afflict His church, are but hastening on His final triumph. The stone, cut without hands from the mountain, miraculously grows; and in the house not made with hands, mansions are preparing from those who shall be gathered from every bation, and kindred, and people, and tongue. The rolling on of
year has brought us so much the nearer to the time when He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. He who came once in great humility will'at length return. Not now a sacrifice for sin, but “in the glory of his power," as an exalted Saviour. He shall “ come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, in that day.” As in the view of “that day” we wish to close our labours, prepare
for the duties of the coming year. We are not ignorant of the difficulties, nor, to some extent, of the spiritual dangers of our post. Others may see the latter, perhaps, more clearly than ourselves. Be this as it may, we commend our work to the fair and manly judgment, indeed, but at the same time to the charitable construction, and at least occasional prayers, of the
1. Religious Revivals
2. Archbishop of Canterbury's Practical Re-
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1. Prayer viewed in the Light of Revelation 653 2. National Education................................. 805
of the Prophet Daniel .....