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MURRAY AND GIBB, PRINTERS, EDINBURGII.

PREFACE

The Seventh Annual Volume of the UNITED PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE is herewith completed. At the end of “a week of years" it will be permitted us to pause for a few moments, and express our thankfulness, while reflecting on the comfort and peace which throughout that period have attended our labours. Troubles and vexations, more or fewer, are inseparable from journalism, in any of its forms; but our sorrows certainly have not been multiplied ; and we cannot help thinking that our share of them has been smaller than usual.

In making this grateful acknowledgment, it is but little merit we can claim to ourselves. In consequence of the unbroken harmony which, through the favour of the God of peace, has prevailed in the views and counsels of the United Church, we have been saved from what the Conductors of denominational journals often find to be their most embarrassing duty—that of maintaining a position for themselves in antagonism with a portion of their brethren, while desiring, as they ought, to represent the views and interests of them all. With internal strife of this kind we have had no temptation to meddle, for, indeed, there has been no opportunity. Peace has been within our walls; and that this peace has not been a mere silent submission to a dominant party, but the result of an intelligent harmony of thought and purpose, will be plain to all who know the thoroughly popular constitution of the United Presbyterian Church, and observe how fully the spirit of that constitution is acted out by the members of the different judicatories, as well as by the congregations at large. For our own, as well as for our brethren and companions sakes, we will say,

" Peace be within thee." Let brotherly love continue.”

The MAGAZINE, it is hoped and believed, has in some measure reflected the spirit, while seeking to maintain the interests, of the Church whose name it bears. If we know anything of the sentiment of the United Presbyterian Synod, its Members hold that the law of Christ—" Do to others as ye would that they should do to you”-is binding on churches as well as on individuals. In our relations to the community around us, we seek nothing for ourselves, as a denomination, that we are not willing to concede to other denominations. This principle, we are persuaded, the more it is thought of, will be the more readily admitted by all lovers of justice. For some time it has manifestly been advancing in favour with the reflecting portion of Christian society; and we entertain no doubt that ere long it will prevail much more extensively than it has done, in the administration of government toward religious bodies. Already, it is said, when a Member of Parliament rises in his place, and makes a proposal that is perfectly fair and equitable, aiming at no sectarian ends, but seeking the good of all alike, the remark is sure to be heard from the listeners,—“ That must be a Dissenter !" To deserve such a compliment, we reckon a better security for the future progress and success of a religious cause in this country, than is furnished for its opponents by any height of political influence they may enjoy for the present.

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