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SHERWOOD, GILBERT, AND PIPER, 23, PATERNOSTER ROW;

AND
JOHN CHAPMAN, 142, STRAND.

1849.

HACKNEY: PRINTED BY CHARLES GREEN

PREFACE.

The completion of another Volume of his Magazine gives the Editor of the CHRISTIAN REFORMER the opportunity of addressing the Unitarian public on its present condition and future prospects.

The present No. completes the Fifth Volume of the New Series. The past five years have been, to the middle class of England, years of embarrassment and struggle. The effects of the general depression have been severely felt by the periodical literature of the country. In addition to this, the very moderate support habitually given by the Unitarian body to their religious periodicals has, during the same period, been divided between a weekly Journal, two (and at one time three) monthly Magazines, and a quarterly Review. Of the works of his contempo. raries, the Editor of the Christian Reformer has no intention or wish to speak except in terms of respect. He frankly admits that they have strong claims on public support. But none of them are designed to occupy the position taken in the first instance by the Monthly Repository, and subsequently by the two latter Series of the Christian Reformer. In the volumes of these Magazines are embodied the history of the Unitarians of England, their literature, opinions, institutions, and biographies of their eminent men, during the last forty-four years. They also contain large and valuable contributions to the history of Protestant and Unitarian Dissent in their rise and early progress.

The present interesting period is not the proper time for discontinuing a chronicle of this kind. Its cessation would create a blank, which the future historian of the religious life in England during the 19th century would have reason to deplore. Great changes are going on in the religious world of this country; and at no time has the Unitarian church occupied a more important and responsible post than at present.

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