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BINDER

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PREFACE.

OF M BINDER

We are happy to avail ourselves of the intercourse with our readers which the preface to another concluded volume affords us, to express again our gratitude to God, and our obligations to our valued friends and correspondents, for whatever of interest or utility may have accompanied our labours. There are many important subjects upon which we should gladly expatiate, and hope to do shortly; but they would require far more than the few paragraphs of a preface, and must therefore be reserved for the pages of another volume.

The last year has been an eventful one in our ecclesiastical annals. During the preceding were broken down those barriers, which, by the desecration of the Lord's supper to secular purposes, excluded (nominally at least) the Protestant Dissenters from the pale of our political constitution. The annual indemnity acts had, however, opened so wide a gap, that the exclusion was only in name, and the restoration only on parchment; but during the present year barriers far more firm, and in which no such gap was allowed, have been swept away, and with a concussion of elements so tremendous, that we can only impute it to the mercy of God, and not to the equanimity of human passions, that the land is again so soon enjoying a measure of quiet, and the reciprocation of brotherly intercourse. That was indeed a struggle, in which religious as well as political men could not but feel intensely interested; one in which honest differences of opinion might well arise ;-but we will not allude to bygone conflicts; only let not one Christian continue to judge the motives or the conscience of another, or cherish rankling a animosities, which ought to be buried in oblivion. Those at least

who feel the strongest, in truth, in argument, and in Scripture, will have the least need for hard words or unkind deeds.

Among the topics to which some of our pages will probably be devoted in the ensuing year, one is the state of our revered church. We attach not the slightest credit to the vague notion which has gone abroad, that the government have any intention of bringing

forward the question of what is called a "reform"in our ecclesiasne tical services. We say not that those services are perfect, for in nothing human is so; but they are so wise, so holy, and in every

way so invaluable, that we should dread and deprecate the rude hand of innovation and most of all in these times-far more than

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Veith

OCT 5

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