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THE CHURCH.

VOL. VIII.

"Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself
being the chief corner-stone."-Ephesians ii. 20.

M.DCCC.LIV.

Leeds:

J. HEATON & SON, 7, BRIGGATE.

LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & CO., STATIONERS' COURT,
ARTHUR HALL & CO., PATERNOSTER ROW.

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ADDRESS TO OUR READERS.

The end of the year brings with it the pleasing duty of addressing a few last words to our readers and friends. Our eighth volume is now closed, and our eighth year of labour accomplished; and we cannot take up our pen to write the page in which we announce this fact, without a variety of emotions crowding upon us, all seeking expression, and all solemnizing in their effect. How many who have aided us in our work, in one way or other, during the eight years, have passed away from the field of labour to the place of rest! How many of those whom we have sought to influence, and upon whom, doubtless, we have exerted some influence, have also gone from the scenes in which they once-some of them till recently-occupied a place! With a circulation so large as that with which we are favoured, scarcely a number of our magazine can be issued without finding some one reader a reader no longer : and how many readers must have been removed during the past year-during the past eight years! Forcibly, indeed, does each revolving year remind us of the admonition-" Work while it is called to-day, knowing that the night cometh wherein no man can work."

We are happy to say that we have, during the past year, received from our friends more expressions than ever of cordial satisfaction and kindness. For the success of our efforts to interest and benefit the members of the denomination with which we are identified, we are much indebted to many able correspondents, whose aid we would now thankfully acknowledge. And for the continued large circulation which our periodical enjoys, we are equally indebted to many friends in every part of the kingdom. It is such coadjutors, and such friends, that make editorial labours so much lighter and so much more satisfactory. We need not say that we shall begin another year, relying still on the aid which both correspondents and readers can render.

The year which has gone has been, perhaps, more important than any in which we have prosecuted our editorial labours. The one word, WAR, includes in it so much that is momentous, both in itself and in what it implies, that the year in which war has commenced must be regarded as most important, both in a political and christian view. To what results the war may lead it is impossible to say. What further elements of danger-unseen as yet-it may evoke, no human intellect can comprehend. We can only pray that it may be so directed by the Wisdom which is higher than human, that it may contribute to the advancement of liberty, and the extension of the reign of righteousness and peace throughout the world.

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