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WESLEYAN METHODIST ASSOCIATION
The right of private judgment in the reading of the Sacred Volume.
VOLUME THE NINETEENTH.
SHADOWS OF THE PAST ; DAWNINGS OF THE
FUTURE. The year 1855 is gone, but its bloody conflicts will long be remembered, as having taxed human ingenuity, to the utmost, to devise methods of destruction hitherto unknown, even, in the horrid Art of War. No other year, since Time began its course, has been distinguished by half so many Inventions to mitigate the sufferings of the Human family as this has produced for their destruction. No nation ever supported the interests of Morality and Religion, with a tithe of the liberality evinced by the Belligerent Powers, during the past year, in prosecuting their Naval and Military enterprizes in Eastern, and in Northern Europe. We have seen destruction dealt out, at nearly a mile distant, on a scale exceeding the utmost efforts of man fifty years ago, at a distance of two hundred yards. Galvanism and Steam,—the Telegraph—the Railway—the Steam Engine-the Floating Battery, and the Minié Rifle, with, we know not, how many more of the most potent agents in Nature and Art, have been laid under tribute, in the fierce conflict between the great Maritime Powers, on the one hand, and the huge and unwieldly Despotism of the North, on the other. It has, at times, seemed to be a War of extermination, in which the hostile forces were engaged.
The year, to whose death knell, we have just listened, will long be remembered in this country, and in France. To thousands and tens of thousands of families, it has been a year of lamentation, mourning, and woe. Its commencement was signalised by fearful ravages, which cold, famine, incessant watching, unheard of toils and disease, even more than the accidents of War, made in the ranks of an army, that had evinced a bravery, mounting up to heroism, in storming the Heights of Alma and in defending themselves against immense odds, in their position at Inkermann. As Months rolled on, the slaughter in the Trenches increased in fearful proportions.—War, always horrible for its cost in treasure, in men and in morals, has been peculiarly so, in this deadly struggle, with the myriads of New levies, whom the Autocrat sent forth to shed their life-blood in defence of one of the Strongholds of his Empire. No siege, we believe, had, since the fall of Jerusalem, been signalised by such a prodigious expenditure of human life. Never, probably, were the Will and Purpose of this Nation, stretched to a higher tension, than while witnessing the various scenes of that bloody Drama, whose first great Act, closed, on the Eighth of September last, with the destruction of the Enemy's