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PREFACE.

AT the close of another annual volume, it may be proper for us to look back upon the year past, and to examine soberly the tendency and the effect of our labors. Charged with the management of a religious magazine, which is pretty extensively circulated, we ought not only to exercise a spirit of candor and caution generally, but also to seize every suitable opportunity of re-examining our pages. Know thyself is an exhortation of great moment to every man; but upon the conductors of religious periodical works, and indeed upon all writers on religious subjects, it presses with peculiar obligation. Persons of these classes should carefully scrutinize their motives, their temper, their habitual feelings; and if these are pure, dispassionate, and benevolent, it may be inferred that they will not produce writings of a dissimilar character. May we ever feel the responsibility attached to our situation; and may the tendency of our exertions be as salutary, as the cause in which we are professedly engaged is sacred and interesting

Our readers will not forget, we hope, their own responsibility. Should they find us teaching any false doctrine, or leading them astray from the path of duty, they are bound to reject our conclusions in every such instance. They will not, however, for a single error condemn a volume; nor magnify a mistake, or an inadvertency, into an incorrigible fault. Above all, they will not, we are ready to persuade ourselves, neglect any plain duty, which may have been urged in our work to their entire conviction, and which is forced home to their consciences by the most awful sanctions.

The present age is really an age of great improvements, after making every reasonable allowance for prejudice in favor of our own times. It is to be remarked, however, that those who make the greatest boast of their supe. por illumination are not always favored with the true

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