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The present issue of the HARBINGER ends the labours of the year-an eventful year. Eighteen Hundred and Sixty One will be a memorable period in the annals of the Church and the world.
Its months have been marked by unusual calamities and crimes. Shipwrecks on our coast, accidents on our railways, and disastrous fires and explosions in our cities and towns have plunged thousands in distress. The periodicals of the day have been loaded with enormities, and the Gazette has groaned beneath crowds of bankrupts and defaulters, while our courts of justice have stood aghast at the multiplied murders and species of crime hitherto unknown.
In some respects the year draws auspiciously to a close. The despotisms of the world seem in the throes of dissolution.
Though America still bleeds, happily we are at peace. Resolved on non-interference in the struggle between the Northern and Southern States, we only wish we may become independent of slave-grown produce; that the war may end; end soon; and end in the freedom of the slave.
The year that begun with prayer, has witnessed the slow, but steady progress of the Gospel. The “Essays and Reviews,” which at one time awakened our fears, has become a tale that is told. Negative theology on the continent is receding in the wake of vulgar speculations and critical rationalism, and everywhere giving place to evangelical truth.
The Papacy trembles to its fall. Austria, the mainstay of Popery, is humbled.
In Italy, absolutism and intolerance lie prostrate before liberty and truth. The Pope's temporalities are swept away; and, notwithstanding the efforts of the priesthood, his spiritual tyranny is doomed to a similar fate. Under the blissful effusion of the Holy Spirit, missionaries of the Cross are marching forward to conquer that pricst-ridden land for Christ,