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of the Messiah, New York
Art. IX.—Mental Signs of the Times
Art. X.-The Trance of Las Casas
June 20, 1839, p. 518.
Bath Congregational Meeting, p. 303.
United Secession Church, versus Unitarianism, p. 415.
Eastern Society, p. 201.
ADDRESSED TO THE READERS AND SUPPORTERS OF
THE CHRISTIAN TEACHER.
In consequence of a degree of success greatly disproportioned to the labour and the expense of publication, it became necessary that the Christian Teacher should either undergo a change of management in other hands, or altogether cease to exist. Under a conviction that, without interfering with the departments or the sources of support of any of our existing periodicals, there was room, and might be demand, for a work devoted to theology and to the moral aspects of literature, I have been persuaded to undertake the continuance of the Christian Teacher with such modifications of plan as seemed most likely to remove from it some of the difficulties, with which previously it had to contend.
I feel bound to state that this is not a kind of labour which I should have chosen for myself : that only the alternative of looking on and seeing the work expire, prevailed with me to assume its heavy responsibilities. Having assumed them, I shall earnestly devote to the experiment whatever can be spared of strength and time already pledged, and not my own. Indeed, the feeling that, whilst thus engaged, I might still be considered as employed in the service of those to whom my whole life is a debt, has had great influence with me. It is but employing an additional mode of communication with them. I hope, by the aid of some of the best minds in our body, who are generous enough to unite with me in this experiment, even in the event of its failure, to escape the pain of feeling that I have only met the due reward of those who desert their proper field of obligation and duty.
The alterations contemplated with a view to remove the difficulties which have been found most embarrassing are principally these :-a change in the time of issue from a monthly to a quarterly period ; and a considerable diminution in the entire quantity of pages published within the year ; thereby providing greater probabilities of the preparation of permanently valuable articles.
The editor of a monthly periodical in connexion with our religious body, undertaking, as he does, a task for which there is no remuneration, has no power to satisfy his own ideas of what his work ought to be. He cannot write the whole magazine himself : and, having no remuneration to offer, he has no means of securing the contributions he would desire. In such circumstances every year of life is maintained at a cost which only editors know : and extraordinary must be the energies, and the generosity not less so, in the cases where failure is ultimately escaped. It is hoped that a quarterly series, of a moderate size, may relieve the Editor from the painful necessity of publishing to fill his pages, not what he would, but what he can ; and may bring the periodical within the capabilities of voluntary and disinterested contributors, who gratuitously undertake the severe toil of preparing their best thoughts for the public.
The title · Christian Teacher,' will be retained for the sake of preserving the identity of the periodical; but it is hoped that this title will be understood only to indicate the objects of the work, and the spirit it would embody. The spirit of a work can only be gradually learned from its contents; but in adopting the name · Christian Teacher,' there is simply an intention avowed, that its character shall be constructive not destructive, affirmative not negative, nutritive not combative. The Christian Teacher wishes, indeed, to be destructive, but only by being constructive first-only through what an eminent writer of what might be called the picturesque section of the orthodox school has graphically styled the expulsive power of a new affection. It would dispel darkness, by opening a window towards the east. It would unveil the face of the angel, and take no further pains to prove that the face of the idol was uninviting and dark. Knowing the wants of faith, and the fidelity of affection, it would untenant no heart of its first trusts, until it had won it over to a nobler love, by the force of moral affinities, by a simple exhibition of the attractiveness that belongs to the good and the true. It would seek distinctly to represent truth, and trust to it peaceably to dislodge whatever is of another spirit, and to bring, by degrees, all things into harmony with itself. In these respects it desires to offer its views in the spirit of a Christian teacher.
The work will be divided into several compartments—the leading one to be theological and religious, including both the speculative and the practical; and to consist of essays, or dissertations, and of reviews of theological works.
The second compartment will be devoted to the higher aspects of literature, and be made up of reviews or notices of interesting works, both English and foreign.
The third compartment will aim at placing passing events, the existing interests of society, in the light of the morals of politics. It will exhibit leading principles without partizanship.
In addition to these, it will be attempted, in a brief department of intelligence, to give information of every important change, whether within or without our own religious body.
It is not pretended that in any one number all of these compartments will be filled.
The review department, which will make up a large portion of the work, will aim at what reviews too often neglect, to give an account of what important books contain, to make the review, as far as possible, a substitute for the book, without any attempt to exhibit the reviewer.
I have only to add, that with my best efforts to execute this plan, and with the most efficient aid I can gather around it, if the work proves unable to support itself, I shall consider this as the clearest proof that it is not suited to the wants of our religious body, and as soon as the fact makes itself distinctly manifest, retire from an office, the important duties of which I cannot acceptably discharge.
JOHN H. THOM,
EDITOR. Liverpool, May 17th.