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object of the Magazine fund is suitably presented, it is never urged in vain. Why not canvass a town or village throughout? The experiment would be fraught with no discouragement. Could the widows of our congregations, who know the anguish of widowed grief, employ a portion of their time better than in extending the circulation of a work, which even now devotes twelve hundred pounds annually to the relief and comfort of the widows of pious ministers? Such advocates could scarcely fail of success. They would plead with all the eloquence of their sex, and with all the pathos which the remembrance of their own griefs would inspire. But they should take up the matter without delay. The sufferings and privations of widows of ministers press upon them. The Trustees meet early in January, and, O how it would cheer their hearts to find that the January sale of the Magazine was such as to warrant them in taking on eight or ten new cases.
Again, we would suggest, that those who can afford it, should take in two copies of the Magazine, and give one of them to the Sunday School Superintendent, the City Missionary in their district, or to those persons employed in visiting the abodes of the poor.
Those who cannot afford to purchase two copies of the Magazine, should determine to persuade some one or more in their circle to take in a copy. How great will be the pleasure connected with such an act of benevolence!
Those who feel powerfully for the widow, and whom God has blessed with means, may effectually aid her, by forwarding donations to the Magazine Fund, through the medium of the Treasurer, the Rev. Dr. Burder, or the Editor, the Rev. Dr. Morison.
And, finally, those who in prospect of eternity, are making a last disposal of their property, cannot surely act more in accordance with the spirit of the Gospel, than by leaving behind them a token of their sympathy to the widows of those devoted men, whose incomes did not enable them to provide for the necessities of their sorrowing families. *
In entering on the fifty-first year of their labours, it would be a great encouragement to the Conductors of the Evangelical Magazine, if they should find themselves so far seconded in their endeavours by the Christian Public as to be enabled to entertain every application made to them within the rules of distribution.
The Trustees cannot close their Annual Address without adverting, with subdued and sorrowful feelings, to the mortality which has occurred, during the present year, in their immediate circle. They have suffered the loss of two of their most honoured and influential Trustees, the Rev. Joseph Fletcher, D.D., of Stepney, and the Rev. Thomas Jackson, of Stockwell;-brethren greatly beloved by them, and who had rendered essential service to the interests of the Magazine. But "they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them." May their surviving brethren, who mingled with them in walks of usefulness and charity, "work while it is day,-the night cometh in which no man can work !"'
* FORM OF A BEQUEST.
"I give and bequeath to the Treasurer for the time being of a certain periodical publication called the Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle,' published in London (the profits of which work are by certain Trustees therein named, devoted to the benefit of Widows of Evangelical Ministers of different denominations, and to other charitable purposes,) the sum of £ to be raised and paid out of such part only of my personal estate, as shall not consist of chattels real or money secured on mortgage of lands, or tenements, or in any other manner affecting lands or tenements, to be applied by the Trustees of the said periodical in like manner as the profits of the said work are applied: for which Legacy the receipt of the Treasurer for the time being shall be a sufficient discharge to my Executors."
FOR JANUARY, 1843.
THE DEPARTED YEAR.
THE departed year, which rose upon us in the midst of calamity and gloom, has been crowned with the Divine goodness, and its close has been far more auspicious than its commencement; nor ought we to suffer it to pass without a serious and solemn review. The judgments and the mercies which have marked its progress, call alike for humiliation and gratitude; while the lapse of so much time is suggestive of profitable reflections, to which we shall do well to take heed.
War is as great a curse as it is a crime, and in both respects it is the penal result of long accumulating national guilt. From experiencing its immediate horrors as a Divine infliction, our country has been mercifully preserved. But that we have been dreadfully implicated in its criminality, and have much to apprehend from its consequences, though they may be comparatively remote, must be apparent to the most superficial inquirer. War is, in every case, the triumph and the harvest of the first great murderer. By war, we must not, however, be understood to mean the incursion of violent depredators upon the innocent and defenceless; but the mutual determina
tion of belligerent parties to settle their disputes by an appeal to arms. This is war. Every thing short of this places the unhappy community attacked by physical force, in the situation of righteous Abel. Though they may act on the defensive, they are victims and not warriors. In the Scriptures, war is frequently threatened as one of the severest judgments of heaven. Without being politicians, or meddling with political affairs at all, as Christians we may be allowed to say, that the politics that lead to war, or that generate and foster the evil principles and passions which excite it, and of which it is at once the gratification and the punishment, must equally violate the dictates of justice and humanity; and if by any they are deemed wise, our conviction is, that the wisdom is from beneath. Every man who is not an infidel, finds no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion, that if Christianity, as an intelligent and living energy, were at the head of this world's governments, that the sword would never be thrown into the scales of justice; and what is now the ultima ratio regum would, in that case, be regarded as a strange compound of
malignity and madness. The dullest understanding in a moment perceives, that however Christianity may be made a pretext for crimes, that they are alien from its spirit, and condemned by its precepts: and could war be divested of the false virtues which impose on the imagination and mislead the conscience, and be seen in its naked selfishness and cruelty, no one professing to understand and revere the gospel would dare to become its apologist he would feel, in making the attempt, that he was a traitor to the Prince of peace.
The tragedies of Afghanistan and China, in which what is called British valour has acted so fearful a part, are terrible to think of. A dreadful amount of guilt must attach somewhere. Conquest has been dearly purchased; and it would have been, in the eye of religion, if only one human life had been sacrificed. We shudder when we think of the massacres in China, and hold our breath in apprehensive dread, as we read of "disasters unparalleled in their extent" beyond the banks of the Indus, and which have been retrieved by repeated victories in the field, and "the capture of the cities and citadels of Ghuznee and Cabool,"—that is, by shedding torrents of human blood. We have nothing to do with war, but to deplore it, nor with victory, except to rejoice when it ends in the establishment of peace. The curse and the blessing are both to be registered among the events of the past year, by which the supreme Ruler has been mysteriously working out his own designs. He will make the wrath of man to praise him, and convert the chastising scourge in his hand into a guiding sceptre, which his church shall adore, while she follows its indications with devoted obedience. The evacuation of Afghanistan, under the circumstances in which it took place, will not only in a worldly, but in a higher point of view, operate beneficially on our empire in the East. The encouragement of commerce, the cultivation of the arts of peace,
just and equitable laws, into all of which the religious spirit shall continue to be infused as a grand moral element, with a greater facility, and to a wider extent than ever, will be productive of the happiest results. Religion, we hope, will teach our Government, wherever it is established, a wiser policy than any that has been suggested by the love of conquest and the mere power of the sword.
But it is to China that the eye of the Christian philanthropist is directed, while his heart is inspired with the liveliest hope. Never has so wide a field been opened, in the history of the world, so favourable to the missionary enterprise. China is open! Her impassable wall no longer exists. No longer a celestial empire, that disdained to hold intercourse with other nations on equal terms, and that excluded, by imperial edicts, the Sun of righteousness from shining on her mighty population of three hundred and fifty millions, China has been compelled to descend to the same level with other countries--to consent to be as one among many compeers -and to make her cities as accessible to Great Britain as London is to all the world.
If the merchant and manufacturer have read the following statement, and hailed the prospect which it unfolds for the employment of their capital and the working of their speculations, with the confidence of hope and with the determination of enterprise; how ought it to be read by the directors of our missionary societies, by our churches, and by every individual who longs, and prays, and is willing to labour for the evangelization of the world! fewer than four new ports are opened out to British commerce, each of them better and in a richer country than Canton, and hitherto sealed against all European enterprise. The trade thus about to be established with England, will enable the Chinese to possess the manufactures of Manchester, the produce of the forges of Birmingham, and all the varied articles which the skill