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A New year has opened upon us, and many things are new in the circumstances of the world, both abroad and at home. Many new attempts are being commenced for the government of human affairs, and many new men are come forward in public life; and all things new are uncertain, and cast upon the minds of wise men a doubtful feeling of the end and purpose to which they will be directed. In the events of the new year, we know not whether the Almighty Disposer of them all will send a greater or a less share of earthly prosperity; a larger blessing or a smaller one; whether mercy or judgment will be the distinguishing attribute displayed; whether, that is, He will be pleased to chastise or to comfort in a greater or less degree, for we know for a certainty that his mercy is everlasting, and that in the midst of judgment He always remembers it. There has, however, often been a very different character and tone thrown over the history of one year, when compared with others; some have been very afflictive and disastrous even to the people of God; they have had times of distress and persecution, despondency and fear. Nations have suffered reverses and troubles, have been afflicted in their material interests, and in their religious

VOL. XXXIII. B

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