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A Magazine for all Branches of
THE METHODIST FAMILY.
"TIIAT TIEY MAY BE ONE." --John xvii. 11.
ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C
PREFACE TO VOLUME I.
In presenting the first volume of THE METHODIST VISITOR to its numerous readers, the conductors of this little monthly would offer their hearty thanks to its contributors, correspondents, and friends, for the approbation which they have expressed, and the industry with which they have sought to secure for it a wide circulation.
The VISITOR was commenced under the conviction that the requirements of the Methodist Family in all its branches afforded room for such an enterprise—for something which should not interfere with, but supplement its literature. Its usefulness to tract distributors has been and is still a prominent concern with the editors. Many persons, who would not read a lengthy tract, may be won by a variety of reading such as our succeeding numbers present; nor have we been disappointed in our judgment in this respect.
No effort will be spared in the New Year to render THE METHODIST VISITOR all that its readers could desire, never losing sight of the important objects referred to in our first advertisement.
Year after year we shall endeavour to increase its usefulness, so as to make it a welcome visitor indeed among the homes of our people, and the varied spheres of labour in which it is our desire for it to circulate.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.
LUTHER'S CHRISTMAS CAROL.
(Written for his little son, Hans, 1540.)
“Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be unto all people.”—Luke xi. 10,
To you this night is born a child
Now let us all with gladsome cheer
Ah ! Lord, who hast created all,
Were earth a thousand times as fair,
O glorious Jesus, Holy Child,
My heart for very joy doth lcap,
Glory to God in highest Heaven,
BY THE EDITOR.
The opening of the year is a season of varied emotions. It is a time of congratulation by almost everybody, while every thoughtful mind will add serious reflections suitable to such a time, and every Methodist will have his or her peculiar trains of thought. The Watch-night services are over; the past year's mercies and trials have been reviewed; the moments of silent prayer have been spent with hushed and subdued feelings; and hundreds of thousands of voices in this and distant lands have, to a well-known tune, sung the inspiring words,
“ Come let us anew
Roll round with the year,
And never stand still till the Master appear.” There is yet an interval of some days to elapse before the oldestablished custom of “ renewing the covenant” shall be observed, for in the year just closed, the Watch-night services were appended to the services of the Sabbath, it being the last day of the year; consequently there is the longest pause which can occur at any time between these two services which the year 1871 united on its first day and first Sabbath. There is time for reflection for the hesitating and undecided. Reader! this ycar may be thy last ; begin it wisely and well. If irresolute, decide now! and put thy name in the covenant at once; get pardon and peace, and it will be to thee-A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
But with many the choice has been made, and with some many years ago. Come up with me to the Hill of Observation. Now we can look back upon the path of the past. In the hurry of life, with its busy anxieties, the view was limited; a crowd of things restricted vision. Now we can look back upon the whole past year. It has many crooked paths and winding turns. That sudden turn in the road escaped for thee a quagmire where many have floundered and sunk. That trial—so unexpected and so severe—where all was dark clouds once, has a halo round it now; and we can afford to thank Him now, who chooseth our inheritance for us. There we found a tangled maze, when we would have chosen a plain path; now we find that there was a design in it-it was to make us. “God hedged me round,” said a pious old local-preacher to us many years ago, “ until I was obliged to look up." There are some marks in the roadway yonder which indicate errors of