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VOL. SIXTY-TWO, FROM THE COMMENCEMENT.

LONDON: WILLIAM COOKE,

EDITOR AND BOOK-STEWARD,

METHODIST NEW CONNEXION BOOK-ROOM,

21, WARWICK-LANE, PATERNOSTER-ROW.

LONDON: PETTER AND GALPIN, BELLE SAUVAGE PRINTING WORKA,

LCDGATE HILL, E.C.

PREFACE.

The short days and fogs of November remind us of the close of another year; and this again reminds us of the brevity of life. Having ourselves passed the meridian of existence, the speed of time seems accelerated as it comes to its close, and, as we near eternity, its thickening shadows gather more rapidly around us.

Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume,
Labuntur anni: nec pietas moram
Rugis et instanti senectæ

Adferet, et indomitæque morti. Nor is the flight of time to be regretted if well spent, nor the approach of age to be feared if it be the sign of approaching heaven. The chief concern of the man of God is to live well, not long; and so to employ present powers that life's great purpose shall be fulfilled, however soon it may end.

« • Live while you live,' the epicure would say,

* And seize the pleasures of the present day.'
*Live while you live,' the sacred preacher cries,
• And give to God each moment as it flies.'
Lord, in my views, let both united be;

I live in pleasure while I live to thee.” There is much, indeed, in the aspect of the times to quicken us to holy activity, and to give purpose and earnestness to existence. It is no exaggerated estimate of things around us when we say that they are impressed with an extraordinary aspect, and one prophetic of great change and commotion. Whether we look abroad on the political, the commercial, or religious world, each is full of exciting interest. In the East we see ancient empires, wrapt for many centuries in exclusive selfishness and heathen darkness, forced to relax their adamantine decrees, and come into contact with European civilization, commerce, and Gospel truth. The Mahomedan power has put the bloody sword of persecution into its scabbard, and given freedom to the Bible and its missionaries. Egypt is made a high road to the East, and railroads and steamboats all bring its effete population into contact with enlightened and active nations. Russia is addressing herself to the task of emancipating her serfs and ameliorating the social condition of her people. Austria, after a sanguinary defeat, is compelled to withdraw her iron hoof from Italy, and the long down-trodden Peninsula is

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