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When an Editor sits down to write his thirtieth Treface to the same Periodical, he may well be forgiven if he finds some difficulty in determining what it will be proper for him to communicate to the public.
Should his mind be in a healthy state, religiously, he will acknowledge with gratitude that merciful Providence by which he has been upheld and strengthened for so many years of active service :--and if he has reason to believe that his labours have been kindly and generously accepted by the Christian Church, he may comfort himself with the thought, that his Editorial life has not been spent in vain.
It is a fact somewhat peculiar, perhaps, in the history of the present Editor of the EvANGELICAL MAGAZINE, that he has never had occasion, during all the years of his official connection with the work, to devolve his responsibilities, for a single month, on any second party. Were he to be insensible of this special mark of Divine favour, he would be the most ungrateful of human beings.
Nor has he, at any time, addressed himself to his constantly-recurring duties as if they had been an irksome task. On the contrary, they have proved the delight of his daily life; and some of his happiest moments have been spent in endeavouring to provide wholesome nutriment for the public mind, in an age when every religious Editor should be wide awake to the spirit of the times upon which we have fallen.
The revolution of another year has placed the EvANGELICAL MAGAZINE in the list of sexagenarians. We believe there are only two others in that list,—the Wesleyan Magazine, and the Gentleman's. But may we not, while we point to the issues of the year, congratulate ourselves on the fact, so generally testified to by our most intelligent correspondents, that there are no signs of advancing age upon the pages of the work ? The Editor feels assured that the talent he has been enabled to call to his
aid has given the Magazine a standing, both in Theology and other departments, which entitles it to the growing confidence and support of the Churches.
But the Magazine is not only a vehicie of sound Biblical Instruction, and of popular Religious Intelligence;—it is, and has been for sixty years, the steady friend of the MINISTER'S WIDOW. The Editor never allows himself to forget this ;-he entreats his beloved Brethren in the Ministry never to forget it. It is not a slender benefit that is conferred on our Widowed Sisters, from the funds of the EvangeLICAL MAGAZINE. £1,300 per annum, looking at the charitable resources to which Ministers' Widows can look with hope, are, indeed, a large revenue. But let not our dear Brethren forget, that this revenue depends mainly on the sale of the work. Our Congregational Brethren ought to be the last to forget this. Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Calvinistic Methodists, receive considerable help; but the Widows of Congregational Ministers had voted to them, for 1853, the splendid sum of £1,108.
The Editor, then, would say, with all the earnestness he can command, to his Brethren, read-circulate the EvangELICAL MAGAZINE, for its own sake; it will be a blessing to the Churches; it will prove itself the friend of Pastors and their Flocks ;—but, if you can lose sight of all this, do not forget the 150 Widows of your deceased Brethren, who are dependent for subsistence and comfort upon the annual votes of the Trustees; do not devolve on that higlıly respectable body the sad mortification of reducing the incomes of these godly women, who are struggling hard to maintain themselves in respectability, and to keep their heads above water. Do not do this, especially when a little zealous effort, and al warm notice from the Christian Pulpit, would ward off the whole calamity. With a steady circulation of 2,000 more copies monthly, the Trustees will be able to continue their gratuities without diminution.
May “the Father of the fatherless, and the Husband of the widow" put it into the hearts of all our Brethren, to make such efforts for the Magazine, during the present month, as shall relieve the Trustees from anything like the apprehension of a diminished scale of distribution. Let the issues of January, 1854, prove that this appeal has not been made in vain.