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EDINBURGH: WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND SONS.
LONDON : HOULSTON AND STONEMAN.
TO OUR READERS.
We now complete the first year of our united labours. To us, the retrospect is altogether pleasing. Since the incorporation of the UNITED SECESSION and RELIEF MAGAZINES, it has been our welcome duty to witness and record the consummation of the union of the two denominations,—so much talked of, so long delayed, and at length accomplished, in circumstances full of hope and promise. All along, it has been our aim to further the movement; to cherish and give expression to those feelings which were calculated to favour its progress; and to make our work at once a symbol and an exponent of the spirit of the union, in the contents as well as name of our Journal. In the conjunct management of the Magazine, the union is exemplified, and will continue to be so; while we seek, by every means in our power, the instruction and gratification of our readers, and the best interests of that Church to which we belong, for which God hath done great things, whereof we are glad.
We have the greater inducement to do what in us lies to please our readers " for their good to edification,” that their circle is now so extended. Indeed, we cannot think of the thousands of hands into which our lucubrations pass monthly, without a deep feeling of the responsibility we incur in the conducting of our work. May it ever be our conscientious and prayerful study to speak the truth in love;" to " contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints;” to “judge righteous judgment;” and to “seek to find out” “ right” and “ acceptable words,” in promoting the cause of God, that we may do nought to injure when we profess to serve it.
However well meant and cordial our exertions to succeed, we are well aware we must bespeak the indulgence of our readers. We are far from attaining to our own standard,—we may come still more short of theirs. When there are so many tastes to consult, and expectations to satisfy, any thing like unanimous contentment with our labours is a measure of good fortune we hardly dare hope to enjoy. Perhaps our Journal is wanting in variety ; but what can we do, if a wish is also felt for a more full and formal discussion of certain great questions of our day? The shifts of editorial invention must be surely nonplussed to combine, within the compass of a few pages, the many and the complete. But might