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The Editor presents his compliments to the numerous readers of this Magazine at this season of the year, and wishes for each of them health, prosperity, and spiritual advancement during the year which will shortly open upon us.
He also presents his thanks to the valued correspondents who have aided him in his work, and hopes to receive that assistance in the future, so far as their time and convenience will allow.
Tastes are different different among contributors, and much more so among readers of such a Magazine as this. Ideal perfection is perhaps unattainable ; and perfection itself, even in its ideal form, is an uncertain factor in the account. Everything in this account is relative; and perfection to one is not necessarily perfection to another.
All that can be hoped for or aimed at is to keep the main end in view, which the Editor understands to be to produce a Magazine which shall advance the interests of true religion, good morals, and earnest piety; affording at the same time a medium whereby to herald our Connexional progress, defend our principles, and stimulate Connexional liberality, zeal, and enterprise. A considerable portion of such a publication must necessarily record the incidents which have filled up the lives, and the triumphs which have honoured the deaths, of our brethren and sisters who are called to their reward before us. Our Biography, to us at least, is the richest part of the contents of our Magazine ; and we have ever read with care, attention, and profit, what has been said of the holy living and happy dying of those beloved ones who have “gone up higher.” Our Missionary work has assumed dimensions and an importance which give it a claim to frequent and sometimes to lengthy notice; and this, with the matter in our usual Connexional department, is among the most attractive of the contents of our Magazine,
Apart from these special features of our publication we may observe generally
That it is a magazine ; and in a magazine there should be a little for every one. Nothing should be long or tedious. Freshness, variety, and reasonable brevity should characterize the contents.
It is not a preachers' magazine exclusively, but a magazine for the household ; and too much theology, especially if the articles be dry and heavy, is a mistake. Young men and women in the families of our Connexion should be attracted to its pages, as well as the aged Christian or the divine; and whoever can combine the qualities which will reach both these classes of readers is just the contributor who is likely to be most appreciated.
In so far as the past year is concerned, it is not for us to say how near the Magazine has come to this ideal. Our readers are the jury in such a case.
With thanks to a kind Providence, who has enabled us and our assistants to complete the seventy-fourth volume of this Magazine, we put on our armour for another year's toil, hoping that He who gives the inorease will help us all so to live and labour that we may have our reward.
London, Dec. 1, 1871.