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Sword and the Trowel;
COMBAT WITH SIN & LABOUR FOR THE LORD.
EDITED BY C. H. SPURGEON.
"They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every
THEOLOGICAL LIBRA /
PASSMORE AND ALABASTER, STEAM PRINTERF, LITTLE BRITAIN.
We salute you at the close of another year, thankful that with you we are still permitted to labour for our common Lord, and to witness with joy the power of his gospel in the hearts of men. The Vear has flown very swiftly, but mercy has kept pace with it. Troubles have marked its months, but goodness has crowned it from its beginning to its end. The year has been what the Almanack-makers call “ Eventful.” Abroad, å short and decisive war has brought about changes which appear
to be conducive to the world's progress in the future, though affected at a terrible cost of blood. A kindred nation has been brought side by side with us by the connecting cable; henceforth there is no more Atlantic, may there be no more jealousy. At home a plague among cattle, and a disease among men have been loud calls from Heaven to a careless people. Those calls have not been without their effect upon the church of God and the people at large. Upon the whole, so far as our experience goes, the year 1866 has been one of steady Christian effort, and of very considerable success. There has doubtless been much to regret in the coldness and lethargy of many, but nevertheless there has been very much more for which to be thankful in the increased spirituality, unity, and zeal of our ministers and churches. Popery has made great advances, but we see reason to hope that the tide will turn; for public indignation is aroused by the extremes to which Ritualism has carried its 'antics, and better still, the churches of God are awakening to give battle to the insidious monster. Great distress is prevailing among the poor, and demanding the most liberal aid of the benevolent, while trade is still depressed through the almost unequalled panic, and many who were once in affluence are brought low; let us hope that as men see more clearly the uncertain nature of terrestrial things they will cling the more firmly to things celestial and enduring. On the wings of these tempestuous winds God is visiting the sons of men. Judgments are abroad in the earth, but grace is abroad also. The Lord reigneth, and all is well.
“ Fair hope shall brighten days to come,
And memory gild the past.' FRIENDS AND SUBSCRIBERS,
We have used our utmost industry to secure for the magazine your sympathy and approbation, and we have had the most assuring testimonies that we have succeeded. Thanks for your generous judgment. We know that our circulation is very much among our brethren in the ministry of all denominations, and other thinkers and workers of a superior order, and we count such an audience to be worthy of more