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PUBLISHED BY JOHN MASON,
WESLEYAN CONFERENCE OFFICE, 14, CITY-ROAD;
IN repeating these annual acknowledgments and appeals, it cannot be needful to use a multitude of words. The material which has been provided, month by month, is before the general eye. If it has proved sound, useful, stimulating to mind and heart, our ambition is satisfied. If a different sentence has passed in the great court to which we bow, remonstrance on our part would be vain, and, on the ground of taste, exceptionable. For many cheering testimonies, and for an increase of circulation, our best thanks are tendered. But a review of the year calls up one or two intimations of another class, to each of which a word may be said in reply.
"I never read the Memoirs," says one. "I want a more political Magazine," says another. "Your articles are too long, too elaborate, often too literary for your readers," says a third.
To the first, let us say, You lose many a lesson of priceless lore; many a help for the great business and battle of life. Do you complain of monotony in these records? Give them a candid and devotional perusal for the coming twelvemonth, and you will find that the same immortal truth-neither variegated by fancy, nor held back in deference to prejudice-is yet set forth in a most instructive diversity of experience. At the same time, let biographers be more and more careful to infuse what is fresh and vivid into their pages. Let us have passages which shed real illustration on the power of grace, the exhaustless riches of the Bible, the maturity of the Christian life, and the wiles of the enemy.
The second of our friendly censors must bear in mind, that this is, to a very considerable extent, a Sunday-book. It belongs not to the class of Newspapers, nor must it affect to speak the language of any mere party in the State. But the course of public events will come under frequent review; and an attempt will be made (though it may be indirectly) to elicit the lessons they convey.
To the third, suffice it to say, that we have a higher estimate than his of that public which we specially address. Thousands of our young people are both educated and truly intellectual. These are in our daily thoughts, as the hope of the churches. Still, it is our wish, and the obvious aim of our ablest Correspondents, to exclude all that is showy, and always to prefer a brief and lucid statement of results to the parade of scholarly investigation.
That freedom of discussion which is safe, we hold to be salutary also. But let everything put forth be examined in the light of that TRUTH which takes no changing hue. This Magazine is again laid on the holiest altar. Most thankful to listen to the counsels of the wise, and anxious to learn something from the animadversions of the unwise, we seek, most of all, the aid and guidance from above. In Thy light, O blessed God! shall we and our readers see light.
London, November, 1858.