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Members of the Church of England.
THE YEAR 1874.
HATCHARDS, 187, PICCADILLY.
ANOTHER year is fast drawing to its close. With it another volume of the “ Christian Observer,” which has been growing under our hands, is now being dismissed from them. We cannot send it forth without a distinct acknowledgment of the mercy and goodness which, amidst much anxiety and difficulty, have enabled us to discharge the serious responsibility of upholding the cause of Evangelical truth in very troublous times. It must be for others to judge how far the task has been successfully achieved, but we may thankfully record the marks of approval which from many highly honoured quarters have reached us as to the sterling value of papers which it has been our privilege to insert. To the valued contributors, to whom we are indebted for them, our most sincere thanks are due. Without their prompt and cordial help, our task would have been a hopeless one; with their aid, labour has been brightened, and toil has often been a pleasure. It has ever been, as we have before now noted, the custom in the “Christian Observer” to contend with vizor down; and so much convenience has resulted, that we will not transgress a rule which has been honoured in the observance of it. Otherwise, it would be a pleasure to name friends who, in a few instances only, are betrayed by significant initials.
The year itself which is passing away has been rather preg. nant with future events of an important character than remarkable for them. In the earlier months the sudden collapse of Mr. Gladstone's administration, and his wild and desperate appeal to the country, startled all men out of their propriety. The struggle was short, but decisive, and the adverse verdict pronounced consigned to official banishment one of the most brilliant and gifted statesmen who have presided over the destinies of England. He had dallied with Popery, and with that fatality which has steadily followed all our Rulers who have yielded themselves to do the work of the Papacy, he has perished before the will of Englishmen, alarmed and indignant at find