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rithi Halaman Utheitis? cerni Enoland i thi tinerel lenjernie ri°thi itthodist Episcopal church, 184



JANUARY, 1841.




The present is an eventful and an interesting age. Improvements are exceeding, in number and importance, those of all former period The various plans for the melioration of human condition are as

new modifications, and acting with accumulated power. The useful arts, and the institutions of benevolence, are so enlarging their compass, that the defects and embarrassments of the social state are in a way soon to be covered by remedies as near sovereign as the present condition of things will admit.

Among the great instruments of human improvement the press occupies a conspicuous position. It seems especially designed by Providence to exercise a restoring influence upon the understanding and conscience; but it is a lamentable fact that it has not unfrequently been pressed into the service of folly and corruption. To wrest this grand engine from the hand of error, and to employ it in its legitimate work, no effort should be deemed too great a sacrifice. The press should be fully employed in the great object of enlightening and reforming the world : it should furnish every variety of instructive and useful reading; and especially should it correct its own errors, and counteract the evil tendencies it has occasioned, and of which it is the only effective remedy.

With our venerated founder these were cherished objects; the evidence of which is abundant in his voluminous publications. We have received from his fertile and powerful pen numerous and various works, from the penny tract to the ponderous volume ; all contemplating the same noble object,—the improvement of the character and condition of human society. This great and good man, carly in his course of usefulness, fully estimated the importance of Vol. 1.-1

a periodical which should contain multum in parvo (much in little) for general circulation and popular use. Hence came into being the Arminian Magazine. This finally gave place to the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, which deservedly ranks among the best periodicals of the class.

In 1818 the Methodist Magazine was commenced, and issued in monthly numbers under the supervision of the book agents at NewYork. This work continued to be issued in its original form until the year 1829. It was then thought that the Magazine should no longer sustain the character of a mere miscellany, as the Advocate and Journal, now in successful operation, could do ample justice to merely transient and miscellaneous matters.

The work was accordingly thenceforward issued quarterly, under the title of the “Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review." Upon the occasion of this change, the editor, Dr. Emory, in his "prospectus," presents the reasons for the change in the following language :

“For this class of periodicals there is certainly a greater vacancy in the department of theological journals, at the present day, than in any other; and particularly in our own denomination. There is danger, too, of satisfying ourselves, on one hand, with light and transient reading, and, on the other, with light and transient writing. We yet need a journal which shall draw forth the most matured efforts of our best writers, whether in the ministry, or among other intelligent and literary contributors; where also they may have room for ampler and more exact discussion, in a record which shall endure for the inspection of posterity. There are very many also in the wide circle of our friends, who have both taste and adequate means for patronizing such a work; and one such is highly desirable, as well for their satisfaction, as to lead others to the cultivation of a similar taste."

At the late General Conference it was resolved to commence, after the close of the volume for 1840, a new series of the work, in an improved form, under the title of the “ Methodist Quarterly Review." The design now is to give the work more fully the character of a Review than it has heretofore sustained, but not in the least to depart from the general purposes contemplated in the former series. Its pages will be devoted to theology, ecclesiastical polity, education, science, and general literature. These subjects will be discussed mostly, but not altogether, in the form of reviews.


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