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LONDON:

PRINTED BY J. AND W. RIDER,

BARTHOLOMEW CLOSE.

PREFACE.

of man.

The year just closing over us has been strangely dissimilar in its outward and inward features. Around and above us we have had sunshine, fertility, and beauty,—every prospect has been pleasing; but in human society dark shadows have predominated. Political unsettlement; commercial distrust; social impurity and godlessness ;-these have widely prevailed among us, and have shown how great is the contrast between the works of God and the

ways Yet the cloud is not without its silver lining. Much of deep moral and spiritual earnestness has been evoked to grapple with the gigantic evils around; and it is pleasing to know that most of our great religious and philanthropic institutions are in a state of encouraging prosperity. Among the chief of these, the SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION has been sustained in its world-wide efforts on behalf of the young. Its connected schools are thirtythree more than last year; its teachers have increased by 685, and its scholars by 9,049. Most gratifying of all is it to add that during the twelve months preceding the last annual meeting of the Society, more than nine thousand young persons, in Schools connected with the Union, publicly recorded their decision for Christ. Most of them belonged to that large class for whose benefit this Magazine was established, and has now been carried on for twenty-one years. Is it too much to hope that its pages have had some share in contributing to so happy a result, not only of late, but during the whole of its history? It seeks to impart useful knowledge, to inculcate fixed principles, and to form youthful character, according to the unerring

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