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BOSTON:
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL T. ARMSTRONG,
Theological Printer and Bookseller, No. 50, Cornhill.

1816.

PREFACE.

Through the kindness of Providence another annual volo ume of our work is completed. It is with a deep sense of the value of the press, and of our own responsibility as conductors of it, that our monthly numbers are sent forth to the world. Our readers will decide whether the pages of the Panoplist exhibit this feeling of responsibility. Whatever this decision may be, we cannot repress our astonishment, that Christians in general should appear so litde sensible of their accountability for the influence, wllich they exert, or neglect to exert, in giving patronage to peri. odical publications, or in withholding it. Though the press is the most powerful engine, which can be put into operation by human means; though it forms the character of children, in an immense number of instances; though it gives an impulse to every active principle in the human constitution; and though it often puts the mind in a direc. tion from which it will never be diverted through the countless ages of eternity;-though all these things are too cvident to be denied; still a great proportion of professed Christians seem totally regardless of the part which they are to take in giving a direction to the press. They seem to yield themselves passively to such works as accident may throw in their way, rather than take the trouble of forming a conscientious judgment respecting their duty. They spend more time, and more thought, upon dress, furniture, and many other things of small consequence, than upon furnishing themselves and their children with the means of cultivating the mind, improving the heart, and picparing for the world to come.

It is of vast consequence that a habit of reading should be formed in early life, and that this habit should be applied to acquiring useful knowledge, and to a process of mental and moral cultivation. The man, who gives his child a taste for reading, does more towards securing the happiness of that child, than he would by giving a fortune of a hun.

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