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WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND CO.
LONDON: HOULSTON AND WRIGHT. GLASGOW : DAVID ROBERTSON.

MDCCCLXV.

MURRAY AND GIBS, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH,

PREFACE.

In closing our labours for the year 1865, we have the satisfaction of knowing that they have met with the approbation of our ministerial brethren, and of the Church generally. We have endeavoured faithfully to reflect the spirit of the religious body whose name we bear, and to the best of our ability to advance its interests in subordination to the grand interests of the common faith. We tender our cordial acknowledgments to the friends who have cheered us with private testimonies of their approval, as well as to the brethren, lay and clerical, who, as Contributors, have afforded us their valued aid.

A denominational magazine has never succeeded in the hands of the larger sister churches in Scotland. We know not to what cause this is owing, or how they have been able to dispense with the help of such a journal. Perhaps the prosperity of this Magazine, and of its predecessors, through a long series of years, may be accepted as a proof of the unity of spirit and of the strength of the ties that bind the different parts of our Church together. Certainly to possess a journal of the kind, in which questions of internal polity can be discussed, attacks from without repelled, and the main incidents in the history of the body recorded, is, if not a necessity, at least a very important advantage. It would be advantageous and honourable to the United Presbyterian Church, if the support of its ministers, office-bearers, and members were accorded so generally and so steadily to this organ of their views, as to justify our placing it upon a wider basis, and issuing it in a still more attractive style, than at present.

If we may judge from the new questions that are springing up, from the shakings of opinion and the searchings of heart that are taking place, and from the changes that are evidently passing or imminent in the religious aspect of our country, the year 1866 promises to be one of no ordinary interest to the true friends of Zion. Many students of Prophecy are looking forward

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