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METHODIST NEW CONNEXION
FOR THE YEAR 1867.
VOLUME XXXV., THIRD SERIES.
VOLUME LXX. FROM THE COMMENCEMENT.
LONDON: WILLIAM COOKE,
EDITOR AND BOOK STEWARD,
METHODIST NEW CONNEXION BOOK ROOM,
4, LONDON HOUSE YARD, ST. PAUL'S.
The year now closing has been crowded with events of signal importance and of prophetic aspect. Nothing human seems fixed and stable; everything within the horizon of the church and the world is in commotion, and the fermenting mass, like the tremulous agitation in the original chaos of the unformed earth, is the antecedent of a new order of things. Wars have shaken the Continent of Europe, and rumours of war still excite the nations. Every empire, jealous of its neighbour, replenishes its arsenals, marshals its hosts, and stands ready to do battle. The demon of war taxes the resources of science to augment his power of destruction, and the most formidable weapons of death are exhibited side by side with the implements of industry and the latest achievements of art. In spite of peace societies, the sword vies with the ploughshare, and the polished rifle with the pruning-hook. Politics have become a seething mixture of incoherent and repellent elements, brewing sedition, and intoxicating the brain of the plebeian and the senator. Popery, though stricken at its head, is vigorous in its extremities, and fanatically jubilant even in the shadow of death. Protestantism, which once gave its martyrs for the truth, now desecrates their tombs, and, harlot-like, flaunts with the Man of Sin. Meanwhile, however, education is spreading, science advancing, and religion achieving new triumphs. If we have formalism at home, we have spiritual victories abroad ; if truth has a chequered course in Christendom, it has a glorious career in heathendom. Pagan temples are being deserted, grim idols are pulled down from their pedestals, the iron bonds of caste are becoming dissolved, the funeral pyres of the widow are becoming extinct, and every missionary society is enriched with the Divine blessing and multiplying its converts. Nor is the land where apostles laboured and the blood of the first martyrs was poured forth, left to perpetual desolation. A new era is setting in there. The blight of the false prophet is melting away from the East, and the locusts that rose like a cloud