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As at the close of last year, so again, on completing our present volume, we tender sincere thanks to the brethren, lay and ministerial, whose contributions have enriched our pages from month to month. Their efficient help has, we presume to think, enabled us to present our readers with a volume as replete with interest and of as substantial worth as any of its predecessors. Our readers, we have reason to believe, appreciate the services of our contributors as truly as we do ourselves.
But a touch of sadness comes with the review of the year. The number of our coadjutors has been lessened during its progress. One belo ved brother especially, whose pen had for a series of months furnished papers of more than ordinary interest to a large circle of readers, and who in the judgment of many gave promise of attaining to unusual excellence as a contributor to our pages, has at his Master's call gone from service on earth to a higher service in heaven. We pay this tribute to his memory not without sorrowful emotion, but the sorrow is not for him, it is for ourselves ; he has gone where it is far better for him to be, while his removal has broken of some purposes of our heart with regard to the Magazine, for the fulfilment of which his aid was necessary to us.
We again refer with pleasure, though not with full satisfaction, to the contents of our Connexional Department. We are thankful that it has been our privilege to record so fully the material progress of our beloved denomination during the year ; though our desire to record its spiritual prosperity as well has not been gratified as we had expected it to be. God has blessed us in many places with spiritual quickening, and refreshment, and increase, and most glad should we have been if our esteemed ministers had sent us occasionally accounts of these visitations. They would undoubtedly have encouraged and stimulated other Christian workers by so doing, and thereby might have contributed to the revival of the work of God in many of our Churches.
And surely spiritual prosperity is the prosperity on which our hearts should be most earnestly set. The work of conversion is not to be eclipsed by the raising of money; nor is a narrative of evangelistic services to be deemed less interesting or less worthy of record than the proceedings of a tea-meeting or a bazaar. To those brethren who have promptly supplied us with reports of temporal progress we give our hearty thanks, and solicit their willing service in the future, only respectfully suggesting, that while they do this thing with their usual promptitude and kindness they will not leave the other undone. May God graciously vouchsafe abundant spiritual prosperity to all our Circuits, that every minister may have glorious tidings to report !
May He also in His great goodness be pleased to hestow His blessing on the department of service committed to our care, that we may share with our brethren the joy of knowing that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.
December 1, 1876.