« PreviousContinue »
Op the multitude of important things, connected with this most eventful year, to which I might here give utterance, the greatest is a trifle compared with the ancient, but still existing, though neglected fact, that all flesh are hastening to the grave and the judgment-seat! That ought surely to be enough to rouse the Universal Church to put forth all her energies in the use of every means by which some, at least, of these perishing myriads may be saved from the impending destruction! Among the manifold instruments which wise and well-directed zeal might use for that end, is the circulation of the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE, and other small publications overflowing with the word of life, in the form of Gospel doctrine and Christian instruction, specially adapted to all classes and all ages. Its cheapness ought to be no bar to its introduction to the mansion as well as the cottage. It is alike adapted to both and needed in both. Any number of it, viewed in the light of eternity, is more valuable than the aggregate of the multitnde of books that load and adorn tens of thousands of Drawing-Room Tables. Art, in its manifold varieties of form, colour, and beauty, may be all very well for the brief span of humanity, but on the bed of death they are only a mockery of distress! They are utterly impotent to ease the burdened conscience, or soothe the throbbing heart. Christ's Cross has no place in such things, and that alone is the power of God unto salvation; and hence their worthlessness in that awful hour.
The sole and only object contemplated in the establishment of the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE, however, was the spread of evangelical truth among the masses. The appeal, at the outset, to aid in its circulation, was earnest, and the response unprecedented. It began with a circulation exceeding 100,000 copies,-a thing till then unheard of the history of Religious Literature. But of that host of Subscribers all were mortal; and through so long a period, nearly half the life of a generation, the daily work of Death has, of course, made serious inroads.
According to the doctrines of vital statistics, no small portion of the original subscribers are laid in the grave, a fact which alone would very seriously affect the position of the Magazine. To this, however, must be added another, and a very grave circumstance-Penny Magazines, on all
sides, have sprung up by the dozen and the score. Every denomination has now its own miscellany. In this fact I do most unfeignedly rejoice, as a great and substantial gain to the cause of Divine truth. All, all, are still too few to meet the terrible necessities of the case. Not one of them has a tithe of the circulation which they ought to have, and would have, if all to whom the matter appertains were to do their duty. The Independent body, to whom the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE belongs, could, with ease, give a monthly issue of 500,000 copies; and if so, why is it not done ? What more reason is there for the circulation of one than of myriads ? If it be adapted to usefulness anywhere, is it not equally so everywhere ? If desirable to be in one house, is it not, in various degrees, desirable to be in every house throughout the denomination ?
The effect of death and change on the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINB has necessarily been such as to call for the immediate adoption of means to replenish the void. Should this be neglected, by the end of another period of equal duration, it may probably become extinct, a contingency which all concerned ought surely to view with alarm. It is precisely with a Magazine as with a Missionary Society; subscribers are continually dropping from death and other causes; and if there be not a corresponding accession, ultimate extinction is the certain consequence. But in order to such accession, means must be adopted. The Society itself, alone and unaided, whateyer its excellence, will not serve to attract. It is precisely so with the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE, the CHRISTIAN WITNESS, and all kindred publications. The principle is one, and so are the lessons it supplies.
The Churches, then, with their Pastors and Deacons, will permit me very earnestly to invite their attention to the matter, and commit it wholly to their hands. With them it lies to decide the fortunes of the PENNY MAGAZINE. They have only to bid it live, thrive, recover its original position, and even rise far above it, and it is done! I need not propound plans ; this I have often attempted. The thing is almost too simple for system. It requires nothing but zeal, which will soon devise proper methods of procedure. The cause is the Saviour's; I therefore humbly commend it to his blessing, and confidingly leave it to the good offices of his devoted people.
November 18th, 1858,
Reasons for Attending God's House 4 The Christian Life
The Skin of the Teeth
Mourning for the Dead.
Breath a Symbol.......
The Bible Pattern for Young Men.. 96 Speaking and Writing
96 Character Important to a Young
An Unnatural Mother
Half-Crown and Shilling
The Shilling's further Adventures... 301
A Chinese Convert.........
An Address on Nature and Grace... 327