« PreviousContinue »
What a marvellous age is this for periodical literature, and what a contrast to former times! Go back two centuries and there was none; go back a century and there was one-the Gentleman's Magazine, which appeared in the year 1731, and which still exists. Now there are between six and seven hundred magazines in England. And as for newspapers, go back to dictionaries published in 1749, and you don't find even the name.
It is true some copies of a publication are in existence called the English Mercury, professing to be published under the authority of Queen Elizabeth, in 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada ; but the researches of Mr. T. Watts, of the British Museum, have proved these news. papers to be forgeries, printed and published 178 years later, namely, in 1766. The first real newspaper in England was established by Sir Roger L'Estrange, in the year 1603, and was entitled The Public Intelligencer. But at the present day the number of newspapers, weekly and daily, is so great that the mere names of them would fill several pages of our own magazine, while the total number of copies issued must extend to millions every week; and, indeed, one popular paper circulates an average of more than 241,000 every day, or more than 1,400,000 every week.
Such an array of periodicals, however, does not obviate the necessity of a Denominational periodical. Indeed, without a periodical to represent its sentiments, to record its biography, to report its doings, and stimulate its religious life, a Denomination would become defunct, or lose its distinct identity. But if a religious periodical be necessary to our Denominational life and activity, this same necessity implies the obligation of its mem. bers to encourage and support its circulation and to read its pages. We remember a warm-hearted friend who, when any person was eulogized as a zealous member of the Connexion, used to interpose the question, “ Well, but does he take in our magazine ? " evidently implying by his interrogation that if such an one did not receive and encourage our Denominational