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shillings. These publications, then, may find a place in almost all the families of the Denominations; and since this is both desirable and practicable, the Writer submits, that no means should be left untried to accomplish it. But, in respect to such means, very little can be done by any central action; if realized at all, it must be by local influences. Individuals may work wonders in this way; but it will not be safe to leave it to individual zeal, even were persons of the proper stamp to be counted by thousands instead of tens. Nothing great, general, and permanent, can spring from efforts of this description. Were the raising of funds for the British and Foreign Bible Society, or the London Missionary Society, or any other public Institution, to be left to the optional efforts of individuals, utter ruin would be the certain and speedy result. Nothing can be done to purpose without organization, systematic endeavour; but in the judicious use of this, it is impossible to say what might not be effected. These Magazines furnish a very encouraging example ; their extraordinary circulation, in a very great measure, arose from this wise arrangement.
Matters, in respect to this subject, have bitherto been, in a great measure, left to take their own course, and the results but too plainly demonstrate the impolicy of longer continuing such a course. Those principles, which, in everything else bearing any analogy to this subject, with proper system, are worked so effectively, cannot too soon be applied. It strikes the Writer, that in every Congregation there ought to be what might be designated an Officer of Publication, a man of intelligence and observation, zealous for the diffusion of truth, and thoroughly acquainted with the Church and Congregation. It should be the special business of such an Officer to take care, that the Whole People should have in their hands, annually, a list of all the Periodical Publications, Quarterly, Weekly, or Monthly, of the Body, and also a list of the Works on divers subjects, which are on sale. This Officer, in all points, acting in concurrence with the Pastor and the Deacons—and who might, indeed, be one of the Deacons himself; and if so, so much the better-might be surrounded with a Committee of Assistance, among whom the Congregation might be divided, canvassed, and supplied with all the Publications for which they might be subscribers. The Writer is satisfied that in this thought there is the germ of a system, which might be made to work wonders. It might bring the great mass of the mind of the Community under the combined action of its whole Periodical Literature. If there were difficulty in comm
manding a Committee that would work effectively, then the remedy is obvious : a person might be appointed, corresponding with the well-known and everywhere most useful character, designated Colporteur, who might keep up a regular periodical intercourse with the entire congregation, and not with them only, but with families on all sides, among whom, in this way, he might work a world of untold good.
On these subjects the Writer might enlarge, but he forbears. It is hoped that enough has been said to fix attention, where it may be needful, on the general question of the circulation of the Magazines, to enlist the benevolent services of such as may not have hitherto embarked in the matter, and to call forward afresh all those to whom the Publications have been already laid under great and lasting obligations. The Writer leaves the matter to the intelligent zeal of the faithful, and commends it to the blessing of God. Nov, 25, 1851.
Boys' Mission School
Review and Criticism.
Lectures on the Principles and Institutions
Short Notices 35, 83, 137, 182, 296, 341, 398,
440, 490, 542, 586