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PREFACE.

THERE

are two important points of view in wbich a Christian observer is accustomed to contemplate the passing scenes of life; namely, in their reference to man, as an inhabitant of this imperfect and transitory world, --and still more as an heir of eternity, a candidate for a crown of glory that fadeth not away. In both these views, the page of history assumes a highly interesting aspect, and furnishes materials for the devout meditations of Christian philosopby.

In looking back, in each of these respects, at the occurrences of the past year, we gather from the chequered scene, a mingled, bat, upon the whole, we trust, a favonrable result. Connecting, in our minds, the temporal and the eternal condition of mankind, there are three points of contemplation which particularly force themselves upon our notice; the progress of KNOWLEDGE-of LIBERTY—and of CHRISTIANITY. To our view, these three are intimately connected, and ought ever to be regarded in their reciprocal bearings. Now, what is the report of another year of the world's history, in this threefold reference?

If we look to the continent of Europe, the result has been, at least as to its immediate influence, fraught with disappointment. We had hoped that the true happiness of mankind was beginning to be understood throughout Europe; that civil freedom-at first the child, then the friend, and, in its turn, the multiplier, of knowledge-was enlarging its pale ; and that the blessings of true and undefiled religion were finding, through its influence, new and enlarged channels of admission to human society. We are far from being the admirers of the ultra-liberalism which has so often been mixed up with, and has so often disgraced, the cause of liberty; yet, amidst tbe very defects of institutions, built upon the rains of despotism, we thought we bebeld the foundations of an order of tbings destined hereafter to benefit mankind. The past year, bowever, opened with appearances which threatened its destruction. From several leading Cabinets of this most enlightened portion of the globe, we heard the declarations of arbitrary power, boasting its right to interfere in the affairs of

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