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PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL T. ARMSTRONG,
WITH the last number of another volume it becomes our duty to address our readers.
On looking at the contents of this fruit of another year's editorial labors, we do not find occasion to offer many remarks. It is not always safe for authors to discourse concerning their own productions; and perhaps the conductors of Magazines are not less exposed to make an erroneous estimate respecting their works, than other writers. Into whatever mistakes of inadvertence, or of ignorance, we may have faller, we are convinced that the Panoplist has been engaged in a good cause, in the cause of piety and virtue, a cause which will finally be victorious over every species of delusion. Being thus convinced, it has given us great pleasure to learn, that a considerable number of persons read our pages with candor and with interest, and that the continuance of our work is probably more anxiously desired, than at any former period. It is proper to observe, in this place, that the religious public must decide whether any religious Magazine can be permanent in this country. It is already decided in the mind of every reflecting man, who has the interests of the Church at heart, that such a work will be always needed. Nor is there less doubt, that in order to keep up a monthly publication with spirit, it must receive an extensive and general patronage. After much hesitation we have determined to continue our labors, with the Divine permission, another year. If, at the end of this term of probation, there appears to be a prospect of vigorous and zealous support, we shall look forward with pleasure to future editorial cares, and shall
indulge the hope that others will continue to issue the monthly numbers of the Panoplist after the present generation of writers and readers are laid in the dust. But if the affection of our friends should languish, and our prospects should be dark and dubious, we shall be compelled, however reluctantly, to abandon the prosecution of our plans, and to relinquish a work which we honestly believe to be useful to the rising generation, and to the Christian community; a work to the execution of which a regard to pecuniary advantages (or, as we hopé, any other unworthy motive) has never prompted us.
In this volume, the attention of the American people has been called, more explicitly than at any former period, to the interesting subject of Foreign Missions. Many instances of very exalted beneficence we have had the pleasure to record. The zeal, the unanimity, the activity, and the cheerful offerings of Christians in this cause, are truly admirable; they are worthy of devout acknowledgment, and fervent gratitude; and they should excite every friend of Christ and his church to pray, that the same beneficent spirit may be continued and blessed till idolatry, ignorance, and the evil passions, shall give place to the advancing glories of the millennium.
From a large part of the Panoplist having been devoted to the subject of missions, and to some other subjects of a practical nature, it has followed, that less room has been afforded for the plain and important doctrines of the Gospel, than would have been desirable. This deficiency we hope will be supplied hereafter; and we, therefore, cordially invite some of our correspondents to lend their aid, in stating and proving, in a plain, familiar manner, the leading doctrines of Divine Revelation.
Boston, May 30, 1812.