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Time, which, amidst the various projects and occupations of man, pursues its course without interruption or delay, has at length brought the labours of the Editor to the conclusion of another year. When he reviews the materials with which, by the aid of his respected correspondents, he has been enabled to furnish his readers during the last twelve months, he cannot suppress a feeling of humble but grateful satisfaction. For discourses concerning experimental and practical piety, for occasional illustrations of holy Scripture,—for instructive memorials of Christian godliness exemplified in its consistent exercise and its beneficial results,—for authentic records of the spread and prevalency of God's work both at home and abroad, -and for other communications of a more miscellaneous character, he is persuaded that this volume will not be thought to sink beneath the rank and standard which its predecessors have attained. Parents may peruse its pages with increasing profit, and may safely recommend them to their children, as repositories of truths and facts which will repay the most frequent and careful examination.
If the Editor had consulted his own inclinations only, he might perhaps have abstained, had it been possible, from every thing which carries the appearance of controversy and debate. But he is convinced that in the present state of things, such a line of conduct, impracticable in itself, would also be utterly inconsistent with the office which he sustains, and with the responsibility which he owes to God and to man. When the Periodical which is now entrusted to his direction was first commenced by the venerable Wesley, it certainly was for the especial purpose of providing such facilities as might call forth and supply a regular exposition and defence of those doctrines which our Body holds to be in strict accordance with the word of God. This object was often prosecuted, by unavoidable necessity, in a style of keen
but not unchristian controversy. It is now become imperatively needful to explain and defend the several parts of that wholesome discipline which we have received from our Fathers, and which, by the help of God, we are determined to transmit uninjured and unimpaired to posterity. In the discharge of such a duty, controversy is sometimes inevitable. The Editor trusts, however, that when he has introduced papers relating to this subject, he has not been inattentive to the fair and equitable claims of Christian courtesy ; and he resolves to employ a sedulous vigilance that, whenever it may be deemed requisite to insert articles of a similar description in the future columns of this Miscellany, they may at once be supported by truth, and guarded by charity.
With respect to the portraits which are prefixed to the several numbers of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine, the Editor and Publisher felt that they sustained a great loss, some years ago, in the lamented death of John Jackson, Esq., R.A.,-a man who occupied a place in the foremost rank of his profession, and who cheerfully contributed his eminent services to the ornamental department of this work. They are happy, however, to find that their loss is, in a considerable degree, repaired by the talents and assistance of two young Artists of distinguished promise, Messrs. Gush and Claxton, who bid fair to rival the first proficients in that pleasing art to which their skill and diligence are devoted. An inspection of the portraits to which their names are affixed, contained in the present volume, will sufficiently confirm this testimony
Once more the Editor tenders his sincere and affectionate acknowledgments to the friends who have encouraged this Magazine by their contributions, countenance, and subscriptions. He respectfully solicits the continuance of their co-operation and support ; and indulges a cheerful hope that, with the blessing of God, on which he relies for all success, he shall still be able to enrich the successive numbers of this Publication with such papers as shall directly tend to the Christian improvement of the minds, the hearts, and the lives of his readers.
London, November 24th, 1835.