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OXFORD

LONDON:
BIBLE CHRISTIAN BOOK ROOM, 26, PATERNOSTER ROW.

MDCCCLXXXI.

LONDON:

1. WILSON BOOTH, PRINTER, 38, WHITE HORSE LANE, MILE END.

PREFACE.

The year now approaching its close will be memorable throughout the great Methodist family, as the year in which was held the first Ecumenical Methodist Conference. The representative gathering in City Road Chapel, is spoken of very generally now as the first Ecumenical Conference, it being taken for granted that a second is to follow after the lapse of a convenient time; that the negotiations already commenced, will be matured, and another gathering of the tribes of Methodism take place, this time, on the other side of the Atlantic, six or seven years hence, we altogether hope and expect. We believe that the Ecumenical Conference has given to very much of the Methodist soil“ a special preparation for the seed of truth,” and this being so, the Methodist Churches everywhere, need be astir for resolute aggressive work in the places where they live, and to be prepared to carry it out in a spirit of supreme devotion to Christ, and of patient and uncomplaining endurance.

All the other leading churches, as well, seem to be entering on the Winter campaign of work with every sign of increased activity. The Church Congress showed unmistakeable indications of vigor and zeal, despite the persistence of vexed questions, which we believed can be answered only in one way, and which greatly hamper men of all parties who would do good, and are intent on closing with the gross ignorance, misery, and godlessness that exist in all parts of the land. The Congregational Union, and Baptist Union Meetings were of the most satisfactory and inspiriting kind; and never has there been apparent amongst these noble churches a more whole-hearted purpose to take their part in the work, self-sacrificing, and hard, everywhere needed. Neither must we forget that Mr. Booth and Mr. MURPHY, are with us preaching the Gospel with wonderful effect on our Temperance platform. There is the Salvation Army, too, with methods peculiar to

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