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FOR THE YEAR ENDING
DECEMBER 31, 1813.
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL T. ARMSTRONG,
NO. 50, CORNHILL.
Of whom any or all of the preceding volumes may be had; price bound 2,75; also, of
THE close of the year is, in many respects, a solemn period. At the return of every such period, an important part of human life is gone for ever, with all its hopes and fears, its opportunities and means of usefulness; its responsibilities and duties. We have not time, nor would this be a suitable place, to expatiate on the many and various topics, which present themselves to the mind. But there is one subject, which peculiarly demands of us thankful acknowledgments and prayerful examination. Another volume of our periodical work is now closed. To write for the public, or to present to them the writings of others, in however humble a sphere, involves no slight degree of responsibility, and should be regarded as a talent, which should be used with a constant reference to conscience and truth;-to the law of God and the happiness of men. An obligation, in some measure correspondent to this, is imposed upon all readers. Wherever they find truth, they are bound to receive it. Not convinced by mere professions, they are to examine for themselves, and to seek and preserve a state of mind equally remote from unhallowed presumption on the one hand, and blind credulity on the other;-from a bigoted attachment to things not essential to religion, and a stupid indifference to divine truth.
Some readers may suppose, that too large a portion of our work has been devoted to the great efforts which are now making to Christianize the world. But, let it be considered, that the world has never seen such a day as this; that the holy flame, which has been kindling in a thousand places, does not yet burn with that strong and all pervading lustre, which it will need to acquire, before it can illuminate and warm all the dark and dreary regions of the earth; and that many of the duties, which
press upon Christians of this age with peculiar force, have respect to the extension of the kingdom of Christ among strangers and heathens, as well as in our own country, and in our more immediate sphere of action.
The attempts to reform the morals of our own country, and to repress and restrain gross vice, are also a part of the same great public-spirited exertion, in which it is a high honor and an imperious duty to engage. Our readers will have perceived, that our eyes have been steadily fixed on this object; and that we have considered it as worthy of the attention, and as demanding the co-operation of all classes of persons, who love their families, their country, their laws and institutions, or the welfare of mankind.
Our views and feelings in relation to other subjects discussed in this volume, might be stated without impropriety; but we choose to dismiss it, merely expressing our gratitude to that God, by whose merciful Providence it has been brought to a close, and to whose glory we earnestly pray that it may become directly subservient. Boston, December, 1813.