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For hope, o'er coming moments, casts
Its bright illusive beam-
Dispel this early dream.
Bends o'er his stern employ,
Will bring increasing joy :
His gorgeous coffers teem,
with weariness of heart,
Amid the festive throng;
In sinful jest and song ;
With heart unchanged, can deem
How fearful such a dream !
By fasts and penance, tries
And win a glorious prize :
On his dark soul shall stream,
His sad delusive dream.
Thus vain and futile prove ?
Of the pure land of love ?
Will past conceptions seem,
But as a feeble dream.
H. M W.
THE YOUTHS' MAGAZINE.
the Youths' Magazine was commenced, the first number bearing date 1st Sep
tember, 1805. This Magazine originated in a conversation between Mr. W. B. Gurney, who still kindly fills the office of Treasurer, and a friend professing the tenets of the Wesleyan body, both having at heart the great object of furthering the spiritual interests of youth. An introduction to the late Rev. John Campbell, of Kingsland, following this conference, he was invited to superintend the publication of the work; and two other Christian friends, of different denominations, one of whom, the late Mr. J. R. Burchett, is still remembered for his disinterested and generous exertions in the cause of Sunday schools, being subsequently joined with them, a Committee was formed, the first meeting of which took place on the 25th April, 1805.
An announcement of the forthcoming work was drawn up, which was received with considerable coolness, and in some cases with jealousy and opposition by those whose labors in an analogous field of
usefulness, led them to fear that its success might prejudice their own interests. Amongst other objections, it was urged that there was no room for it; an assertion very soon disproved by the fact of its extensive circulation; no less than three editions of the first, and four of the second, numbers having been called for, and the sale reaching in the course of a few months to nearly 6,000. Various parts of the subsequent volumes have also been reprinted, and it is now almost impossible to meet with a complete set for sale.
As Mr. Campbell's connection with the Magazine has been somewhat misunderstood, it may be well to furnish from official sources, a correct statement of the case, especially as in an autograph memorandum quoted by Mr. Aveling in the funeral sermon preached on his decease, it appears that Mr. Campbell had himself forgotten the exact circumstances. Though his assistance was called in at the commencement of the undertaking, the merit of suggesting its publication belongs to its present respected Treasurer, in connection with the friend before spoken of. Neither could Mr. Campbell be properly regarded as at any time the absolute and independent Editor of the Magazine. When the first number should have been ready for the press, he was itinerating in Scotland; and it became necessary to apologize to the public for the delay consequent on his absence. On his return to town he furnished matter for the first number, but even then, and for years afterwards, every proof-sheet underwent the revision of the whole Committee. This censorship, indeed, extended to the MSS. which, at Mr. Campbell's request, were read by that body, and in many cases rejected, without passing under the editorial eye at all. Their comments, even, on his own papers were offered with perfect freedom, and the withdrawal or alteration of some of them took place in consequence. The multiplied engagements, moreover, of Mr. Campbell compelled him to be so frequently absent from London, that on some occasions the Committee were left without copy for the ensuing month; and during his African campaign, (eight years only after its commencement,) the entire charge of the Magazine devolved upon others. In addition to these facts, the preface to the first volume is put forth by “ the Editors”- the plural term being used throughout it, so that there can be no doubt as to the
real relation in which Mr. Campbell stood to the work, and his consequent lapse of memory in the memorandum just referred to, which states that he commenced the publication of the Youths' Magazine, and was Editor of it eighteen years.
We are not at all disposed to question the value of those services so liberally rendered to this miscellany by Mr. Campbell; but we must acknowledge ourselves his debtors rather on account of his many acceptable and useful contributions to its earlier volumes, than for his strictly editorial services. His “ Child's Commentary” has lost little of its attractiveness; although at the time it was given periodically to the public, it had the additional recommendation of being peculiarly seasonable, the first issue of the Scriptures by the British and Foreign Bible Society, dating from the very month when these simple and beautiful annotations were offered to the readers of the Youths' Magazine.
The objects contemplated by the original Committee are thus stated in the preface to the first volume - “The chief design of the present publication is the religious instruction of the rising generation : a secondary object is to produce in their minds a love for reading.” And these were the only objects. The Youths' Magazine was not a mercantile adventure; it was not a mere aspirant for literary distinction. Its aim was to be useful, spiritually useful, to the young, just at that dangerous period when the world breaks on them with all the charms of novelty-when the freshness and the dew of morning, clothing every object, tempt them onward, too often only to bewilder; and the specious glow of early day “dazzles to blind.”
Yet in one sense (but in that only) it was a pecuniary speculation-a
2-a speculation offering nothing for the profit-side of the account but the luxury of doing good. So remote, indeed, did the prospect of any gain appear to be, that the Sunday School Union, to whom it was offered, declined the risk of publication, and the burthen fell back on its originators. But no sooner had it taken root effectually, and borne fruit, than the Committee, evinced the sincerity of their motives by pledging from its surplus funds, the first year's expences of the “ Sunday School Teachers' Magazine.” On many subsequent occasions they placed considerable sums of money at the disposal of the Union, the first being a donation of One Hundred Pounds. To this, and similar
institutions, chiefly educational and missionary, the profits of the Magazine have yielded altogether nearly Four Thousand Pounds.
About ten years after the commencement of the work, one of the members of Committee who had the chief share in its management, became unfortunately desirous of converting it into a denominational magazine, or rather, perhaps, of merging it in another work less catholic in its spirit. But the other members without exception decided against the measure; and a correspondence having been opened with Miss Jane Taylor in 1815, that lady was engaged to contribute to its pages. Her many admirable papers under the signature of Q. Q. were perused with much relish, and became so popular that they have been since collected and published in a separate volume, which has passed through several editions. To the Committee of the Youths' Magazine, however, belongs the exclusive credit of bringing these invaluable communications before the public. At considerable expence, and with the prospect of powerful opposition on the part of the dissentient member just referred to, and the well-organized body which he represented, they persevered in the attempt, and the result was a triumph of no ordinary importance. The Committee had but one object- the object of their great Master, that of “ doing good.” And in this their efforts were abundantly blessed, not only by the dissemination through their means of “the religious precepts, moral lessons, and interesting information, all given in a sound and beautiful form,”* which these essays contained; but by the judicious distribution of the fund raised through their publication. The first-rate authority just quoted, remarks farther of these papers, that “ they cannot be too highly praised,” awarding to the “ Youths' Magazine” the merit of having made them much more extensively known than they are likely to be in their present form, under the imperfect and unmeaning title of ". The Contributions of Q. Q.” As such an announcement must lead directly to the enquiry “ To what work were they thus
contributed ?"" it may be well to state, in this place, that but for the disinterested zeal of the Committee of the Youths' Magazine, these papers had probably been lost to the world.
* Quarterly Review, June, 1844.