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CHRISTIANS PENNY MAGAZINE,
Friend of the People.
Some men may be Atheists, and assert that ours is a fatherless world ; some may be Infidels, and deny a Divine revelation ; but the masses of the people will be neither Atheists nor Infidels. Unless instructed into a kuowledge of the Christian religion, they will be the dupes of gloomy superstition or of burning fanaticism. The evidence of all history proves this statement true, as does also the present state of the nations.-KIRWAN.
THIS PUBLICATION 18 DESIGNED TO BE THE FORERUNNER OF THE
PROFITS DEVOTED TO AGED MINISTERS.
TO THE CHURCHES, WITH THEIR PASTORS AND DEACONS.
IN sending forth the SEVENTH VOLUME of the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE, the Editor tenders Christian salutations to his friends and fellow-workers to the Kingdom of God, wishing for them the most abundant enjoyment of the blessings which it has been the object of these pages to communicate to his many readers. In the successive Numbers for the year no pains have been spared to exhibit the highest truth in such a garb as to render it agreeable, and in such combinations as to give it effect. Christian doctrine has always held the foremost place ; but while that doctrine has been exhibited as the object of faith, the lesson has been urged that if believed, it must be felt; and if felt, it must be manifested. It is a source of pleasing reflection that so much pure evan. gelical truth has been diffused through such a multitude of households. But while it has been the primary object to exhibit the abstract doctrines of the Gospel, it has not been forgotten that these doctrines are never seen to greater advantage, never put on a more winning aspect, than when embodied in Christian character. To this end, therefore, Christian Biography has been largely drawn upon, in which the power of the truth in youth, in age, in sorrow, in joy, in life, and in death, has been impressively illustrated.
It was intimated at the close of last year, that the times required increased attention on the part of Christian men, both from the Pulpit and the Press, to the subject of Popery. The promise thus implied the Editor thinks has been redeemed, and appeals to his pages as furnishing a very large amount of scriptural statement and invaluable instruction on this momentous question. Had nothing else been done than to exhibit these Papal portions as so many tracts, he considers that many times over they would have been worth the money.
He has reason also to believe that his LETTER Box has been always welcome to the more intelligent and serious portion of his readers, especially such as panted after self-improvement. By the COUNSEL CHAMBER, too, the Editor is willing to believe he has been doing a constant and a substantial service to the Parents of the land. Much has been published in that department for which young people, of both sexes, may be largely and permanently the better. He is also willing to take credit for the FRAGMENT BASKET, which, he thinks, bears some resemblance to that with which the husbandman in the spring goes forth to sow; and he trusts that from that little corner much has proceeded which will constitute the materials of wise thought, and the seeds of virtuous action. He looks back, also, as he believes tens of thousands of the rising race look back,
with pleasure, to the CHILDREN'S GALLERY, which contains not a little that is fitted to nourish incipient principle, and to lay the foundation of practical wisdom, to be developed in mature days.
Thus much for the time that is past; now for the year on which the Editor and his friends are about to enter. He begs, then, to remind them that this is a matter in which they are not mere bystanders, but parties deeply concerned. They are far more necessary to the success of the Editor's labours than they imagine, and may be the means of effecting an amount of good beyond all cal. culation. Whatever may be an Editor's activity, resources, zeal, or power, he must, from the very nature of the case, largely depend on his friends for success. There is a peculiarity in the case of Christian Periodical Literature: it is not like that of an irreligious or merely secular character, which, from its congeni. ality with the human heart, will, to a large extent, find or force its own way. The Gospel Preacher and the Gospel Magazine are much in the same position : the aggressive principle is just as imperative in the one case as in the other. While the Preacher by his Master is commanded to “go," the Church is com. manded by her Head to “gend" him. While the Editor says to his Monthly Sheets, “ Go," the Church is required to adopt means for pioneering their way, opening doors that are closed, and exciting attention where all is apathy. Without this the Press never can fully accomplish its mighty mission, and must remain a feeble thing, compared with what is otherwise practicable. The Editor has once and again urged the appointment of an “Officer of Literature" in all our congregations, as a measure indispensable to the full development of the power of the Press for good. Experience alone can demonstrate the worth of such a measure. The Editor has been much gratified to find, from the sketch of the late Rev. William Wright, of Honiton, in the last Number of the Evangelical Magazine, that the principle was carried out by that wise and practical minister. The passage is the following:
“He adopted one method for promoting the diffusion of Religious Literature in his neighbourhood, which, for the sake of example, it is important to notice. He employed a poor woman, a member of his church, and herself interested in the object, to perambulate the town and adjacent villages, with copies of the chief Religious Periodicals, the Evangelical Magazine, CHRISTIAN WITNESS, PENNY MAGAZINE, Christian Visitor, Tract Magazine, Juvenile Missionary, and various publications of the Religious Tract Society, to offer them for sale. Thus did these silent messengers of truth and mercy find their way to many houses and homes, and, we trust, many hearts, where they were previously unknown.”
Now, in principle, this is just what we have long been urging. In the very smallest congregations the thing is practicable, and in the larger ones much might thus be done to diffuse mental food of the most wholesome description. The direct good, moreover, would scarcely be greater than the incidental. A discreet, devout, matronly woman thus employed, might prove a Missionary of the Cross of no mean order, and in many ways promote the salvation of the lost. The Editor would most earnestly press the subject on the attention of the Churches, with their Pastors and Deacons.
What have I done this day to make Man Considered in his Relations to
6 Immortality, Intellect, Sin, Death,