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JUN 24 1958
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Sowl ern District of New York.
051 0557 1
8. W. BENEDICT & CO., STER. AND PRINT,
16 Spruce Street, New York
CHRISTIAN PARLOR MAGAZINE.
THE character and design of the periodical which is here offered to the public under the title of THE CHRISTIAN PARLOR MAGAZINE, will be readily discovered by a glance at the style and sentiments which pervade the contents of this, its first, number. The field which it proposes to occupy has long been left idle; a field, too, of such importance, that it is difficult to account for its neglect, otherwise than as a casual oversight.
A survey of our periodical literature will assist in defining our position. At the head stand the invaluable Reviews, erudite, discursive, always profound, and often abstruse in their disquisitions, and abstract rather than practical in their choice of subjects. Indispensable as their presence is, and incalculable as are their blessings, it is no disparagement of them to say, that the circle of their influence is narrow, and that beyond that circle, from the very elevation and abstraction of their contents, they are little heeded and little felt. At the other extreme lie the perishable paragraphs of the hour, too much busied with fact to discuss principle, and too little careful of moral tendency to sift materials. Intermediately there have arisen ephemeral periodicals, countless in number and omnifarious in design, the interests of most of which lead them to wait upon the varying passions of their patrons, rather than assume the attitude of diVOL. 1.-NO. I.
rectors of public sentiment: and as purveyors in this equivocal position, their natural tendency is to augment the dainty flavor of their intellectual viands, without concern for the ultimate operation of them upon the moral system with which they are made to incorporate. Fiction, preserving decency enough to avoid excommunication; specious ethics, with wit enough to conceal their deformities; exciting topics, of a doubtful morality, are admissible into these fashionable magazines;-such elements form part and parcel of their design; and having been once admitel, the future cry is, "Give, give."
To supply, then, a periodical, which shall preserve many of the excellences of the former class, without its learned diffuseness and speculation; which may seek the lighter graces of style, and the charms of fancy, hitherto appropriated by the latter, despoiled of their meretricious ornaments; which shall speak decidedly upon matters touching our holy faith; and which, in fine, shall form a suitable companion for the domestic circle, and an instructor as well as amusing associate for a leisure hour, is our present, design. We enter upon an unrestricted field, and shall aim to keep it open in its greatest latitude before us. The range of subjects, and our style of handling them, will be best learned from our pages: with the pledged
coöperation of several well known and able writers, we shall endeavor to throw the charms of diversity of manner around the unity of design. To create a healthful appetite for healthful aliment, to infuse a religious influence into our current literature, to cleanse wit from the leprosy of scepticism, to chasten fancy with the elements of devotion, to please without becoming seductive, to amuse without trifling, to educate, to encourage, and to defend the higher and holier powers of our nature-these are the offices we have assumed and which we design to dis charge. We present ourselves in an elegant form and a handsome exterior, and shall study to be found wanting in none of the graces of the typographical art.
The course of events seems to have designated these as the means, and this as the hour to put them in operation, for countermining an insidious enemy, who is burrowing up through literature into morals. Wherever he has appeared, or may appear in sight, we shall become aggressive in our movements. While, however, we may be busy in controverting subtlety of every hue, we shall guard against rambling after mere speculative antagonists. The moral system of Providence seems to follow the paradox of getting while it gives; of eliciting truth while it eliminates error: for it strikes at an assailable point with the brand of light and love. Our duty, therefore, as well as our aim, will be to study the action of this law and to imitate it; for its observance will never form a check upon our conduct, until such conduct would in its turn form a check upon the pleasure and profit of our readers.
The overwhelming flood of impure and corrupting literature, which has come in upon us, is an antagonistic force to our progress: we shall
endeavor to resist it with all the weapons in our power. We have motives enough for action; we have materials enough to act upon; we have hopes enough to be ardent and diligent in the execution of our plan. The cordial coöperation of the Christian circles, with which we propose to hold converse, can alone insure our success. They have a common cause with us in staying the tide of unsound morals, which is pouring in through the press. Ourselves, our families, and our children form a reading nation, and the only question is, What shall we read? Shall the food nourish or poison? Shall it strengthen or enervate? Shall it make us robust men, or premature anilities, without principle enough to encounter the struggles of life, much less those of death? These are questions for the parent to decide in view of the morals he would bequeath to his offspring; and for the Christian in view of his profession, his hopes, and the sacramental pledge of his sacred honor.
Assuming, then, what is no mere presumption, that a Christian community is imperatively demanding a medium, through which it may enjoy the choice creations of fancy and the nervous energizings of thought without coloring those pure fountains that well up fast by the oracle of God, we put forth this attempt. Upon the heartiness of that demand depends to a great extent the measure of our success. On our part the purposes have been freely stated: we have promised enough, and here give an earnest of our resolution to redeem. Having entered upon the work at the earnest solicitations of pastors and others sympathizing in the objects we have enumerated, we set out with the buoyancy of hope: our merits we leave to the judgment of those whom we have undertaken