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CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE,
Friend of the People.
“Let the whole earth be filled with His glory."
THIS PUBLICATION IS DESIGNED TO BE THE FORERUNNER OF THE
PROFITS DEVOTED TO AGED MINISTERS
The completion of another volume naturally suggests to us the usual train of reflection at this season. We are solemnly reminded, that we have finished another stage of the mighty march to eternity. A year is no small portion of the life of man. To live is to die ; and the harvest of death is a process always going forward, but never ending. The sickle, as a matter of course, has touched the domain of the Christian's Penny Magazine, and laid low not a few of its constant readers. They have taken the last look at pages which have often been to them a source of instruction, pleasure, and comfort. There is reason to believe, that the serial has been helpful to many in preparing them for the solemn hour when they were called to close their eyes to all that is sublunary, and ascended to the bosom of their father and their God. With respect to them, therefore, the end of its publication has been answered; they rest from their labours, and are followed by their works. To secure this blessed result has been the sole aim of every page
of every number, from the first to the last; but while we have studiously laboured on the instrument to render it fit for its mission, the measure of success which has attended it, we ascribe exclusively to the blessing of the Most High, and to God give glory.
The times we live in are distinguished beyond all that have preceded them, by intellectual activity. At no period in the history of England was the population so vast as now, and never was the proportion of readers to the number of the people so great. A quarter of a century ago, in the matter of popular instruction, she was bebind most of the nations of continental Europe; but now she is second to none. This education, as it may be supposed, has been attended with an unprecedented intellectual awakening, and the consequence is a corresponding appetite for intellectual provender. Mind can no more in the lower than in the higher walks of society, live upon itself; it must have an aliment of some sort. In the absence of proper viands it will feed on offal. To supply wholesome nourishment was the object of the establishment of the Penny Magazine. Since that time the little one has become a multitude, all announcing the same facts, propounding the same doctrines, teaching the same lessons, singing the same song, and pointing to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world !
The juvenile library has also been replenished with rich and varied stores all but boundless, of pure and adapted literature. During the period in question the Religious Tract Society in particular, has been working marvels, all but miracles. The world furnishes! nothing to be compared with it; it is a pillar of intellectual, moral, and spiritual fire, diffusing light and gladness through all lands. Were it even alone in the earth, and not another book in existence but those which it has provided-indefinitely multiplied to meet the necessities of mankind-it would constitute no mean provision. But there is another and a still bigher marvel to be found in the operations of the British and Foreign Bible Society: shortly before the establishment of this Magazine the cost of the Scriptures, even of the cheap editions, was so great as mightily to narrow their circulation. A change, however, was about that time effected, by which excellent editions of the Holy Bible were procured at about one-fourth part of the previous cost. The circulation, in consequence, was rapidly extended in every country, and the process of cheapening has gone on from that day till now, when a beautiful and well-bound copy of the entire New Testament may be had for twopence ! Had this fact been foretold to our fathers, it would have subjected the informant to derision, as a man that talked parables and impossibilities. It would seem, then, that the set time to favour Zion has at length come. Many are running to and fro, and knowledge is being increased amongst all people. That process is fairly commenced by which the earth is to be “filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
I beg once more to tender most cordial thanks to all and sundry, my coadjutors,—whether as contributors, correspondents, or distributors—in carrying on the Christian's Penny Magazine during the year which is now closed. To me they have been a most valuable help, and an especial encouragement. It is my desire and prayer to God that everyone of them, and of all the subscribers may share most abundantly in the blessings of the ever
sting covenant. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen!” November 12th, 1864.