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SINce the commencement of this volume, the public relations of our country have been changed from a state of calamitous war to a state of prosperous peace. This change, so salutary in its nature and influence, affords many cheering topics of congratulation; but especially to the Christian, whose eyes are constantly fixed upon the success of his Master's cause, it opens a most enlivening prospect. While he contemplates this prospect with delight, let him not forget his own obligations. The same considerations, which cause him to rejoice, should prompt him to act. Unproductive resolutions, sluggish endeavors, benevolent attempts half formed and easily abandoned, will not pass for the genuine results of beneficence at the present day; and he has but a slender title to the name of a Christian, who does not exult in the privilege of taking an active part in the great designs for me. liorating the condition of man. The American people, if not blind to their own permanent interests, and stupidly ignorant of their own advantages, can perform wonders in the accomplishment of the grandest designs, which ever claimed the attention or employed the activity of mortals: designs of no less magnitude, than the establishment of Schools, churches, and the regular ministration of divine ordinances, in all the destitute places of our own country; the distribution of the Bible, and the support of missionaries to preach its doctrines, in every part of the globe; the alleviation of human suffering of every kind, wherever men are to be found: in a word, the entire subjugation of the world to Christ, and of course the eternal salvation of unnumbered millions in all future generations. Who does not give thanks to God for the op. portunity of being permitted to exert even the humblest agency, in promoting so blessed a consummation?
It is evident, by the most recent intelligence received from England, that every great institution, which has for its object the civilization, instruction, and salvation of
mankind, is increasing in its means and its efforts. Let it not be our reproach, that the people of the United States, more favored by Providence through the whole eourse of their history than any other people, should linger, and hesitate. in this great work of benevolence.
We congratulate the Christian public on the general excitement, in reference to the great duty of supplying Christian teachers for the millions of our countrymen, who are now destitute. The-number of persons who feel this excitement, is daily increasing; and may it still increase, till every man, who enjoys the ordinances of the Gospel. shall be roused to vigorous action, and shall refuse to intermit his exertions so long as they shall be needed; so long-as a single log house can be found without a Bible, or a single neighborhood without a spiritual guide. "when we look over the pages of those religious magazines, which are edited and patronized by some of the best men in Great Britain and in the world; and when we clearly discern, that the objects which lie nearest their hearts, and which they strenuously labor to accomplish, are the same with those to which our columns have been principally devoted, it is a perpetual source of gratification and of encouragement. However comparatively feeble our efforts may have been, it is a pleasure of which we can never be deprived, if our hearts have not deceivedus, that we have spontaneously and sincerely endeavored to promote the best of causes, and have been cordially united in purpose, and in feeling, with many of the most intelligent, the wisest, and the most pious men, on both sides of the Atlantic.
With these remarks we commend the volume, which is now closed, to the candor of the public. While we regret its imperfections, we earnestly desire that it may be succeeded by other volumes more worthy of the times in which we live, and more efficacious in promoting the permanent welfare of mankind.
Boston, Dec. 2, 1815.
OF THE PRINCIPAL MATTERS CONTAINEE IN THIS VOLUME,
Ceylon, mission at, - S6,556
Chinese Version of the New Testa-
Cumings on the Cherubim, -
Rnowledge, - - - 498
Christian Knowledge, - 428,556
missionaries employed by,429