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I have thus enlarged on this subject, in order to present the prominent feelings and views, both of my brother and myself, in connexion with my removal to Philadelphia.
In December, 1827, my brother opened a book establishment, which he denominated the Prayer-book, or Church Missionray House. A prominent object with him was, to bring down the price of Prayer-books, and place that excellent formulary within the reach of all the members of the Church. He also designed to publish the Homilies and other works ; and the profits of the establishment to be devoted to the support of missions in the suburbs of Philadelphia. His first agent in the Missionary House was a clergyman, who also was to act as one of the missionaries, and my brother agreed to give him, for his entire services, six hundred dollars per annum.
I give the following extract from the advertisement of the “ Church Missionary House, No. 92 South Third street, opposite St. Paul's Church.” With a number of my brother's publications, is noticed for sale, “Doddridge's Rise and Progress; Henry Milner ; Scott's Force of Truth."“ Also, the publications of the American Sunday-School Union, and the American Tract Society, together with a great variety of other books and tracts.”_"The rule of this establishment will be, that no credit will be allowed to any one.
Its object being to supply the Church with the Prayer-Book at the lowest rate, and also with the Homilies, makes this a necessary rule.”_"Every farthing of the profits of this establishment will be sacred to the cause of Christ, devoted to the spread of the Gospel. As the greater part of the profits, it is probable, will aid missionaries, the name of the establishment is appropriate.”
My brother prepared and published a number of works in connexion with this establishment. He wrote the “Narrative of the Labours, Sufferings, and Final Triumph of the Rev. William Eldred, late a Missionary of the Society for the advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania.” The copyright of this he held “in trust for the benefit of the widow and orphans of the deceased missionary.”-He also published a small work of seventy-two pages, “ entitled, General Stevens, or the Fancy-Ball, being the Third Part of Living Manners." He abridged the work of the “ Rev. George Croley, A. M. H. R. L. S., on the Apocalypse." This he gave to the public in a volume of one hundred and fifty-five pages, under the title of “The Church in the fires of Persecution; or a History of the Sufferings of the Church, from the days of our Saviour.”—The following is the preface." This is an extract from a larger work on the Apocalypse. It details, in style so beautiful and sublime, the history of the sufferings of the Church, and is so well cal. culated to refresh the memories of all, as well as to inform such as have no leisure to read many volumes, that it is both valuable and interesting.
“ January 7th, 1828.” He also abridged the work of the “Rev. Edward Irving, minister of the Caledonian Church, London, on the prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse, which relate to these latter times.”-In the Preface he observes—" These pages are extracted from a larger work, in two volumes, and contain a view of the prophecies which have been fulfilled within the last thirty-three years, by the circumstances of the French Revolution, the wars of Napoleon, &c. They are also peculiarly interesting, because of the proofs they give us, founded on a calculation of the period mentioned in Daniel, that we are within forty years of the Millennium.
Philadelphia, 1828." This work forms à 12mo. volume, of one hundred and eighteen pages. He had it stereotyped.
My brother, on the 2d of January, 1828, issued the first number of a Magazine, under the title of “The Christian Warrior." This was to appear every week in sixteen pages. The following extract from the editorial in the second number, gives his views
“ PHILADELPHIA, January 9, 1828. " The Editor of this publication feels that he is called upon to say something concerning his views, and the principles by which he expects to be governed. They are then, in general, the principles of the Protestant Episcopal Church. A minister of that Church, he loves her doctrines and her views of polity.”—“He resolves to set forth precisely the views of polity advocated by Bishop White in his pamphlet of '83, and again declared as held by him in 1820: those views which have prompted the moderation of his long career, and still permit him to preside over the oldest of American Bible Societies—those messengers of God. He holds the doctrine of the sovereignty of the Most High, and the free agency of man.”—“If he were to select any human work which expresses most completely his views of doctrine, that work would be the CHRISTIAN OBSERVER. Prayer-meetings, as recently advocated by the Bishop of the land of his fathers—Bishop Griswold-whose apology, or rather whose defence of prayer-meetings, it is his design to have stereotyped-he believes are nurseries for Heaven. Bishop Burnet, in his History of his own times, informs him, that in prayer-meetings were born societies which have, for now more than a century, run their active course -one of which, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, planted the Episcopal Church in America.
“Revivals of religion he prays may abound, until all Loadiceans are renewed in the spirit of their mind.”
The London Christian Review, and Clerical Magazine, the republication of which was commenced in this country, my brother united with his publication. He purchased of the publisher his subscription list, and the copies of the first number of the Review which were on hand. A portion of the subsequent numbers of the Review, were embodied in his work. He therefore changed the title, from the Warrior, to the Christian Magazine. In May, this work was changed to a monthly publication of thirty-two pages, and thus it continued, under my direction, till the close of the volume. The following from the Prospectus, gives my brother's own language
“ The Christian Review, and Clerical Magazine, edited in London by certain Evangelical Preachers of the Church of England, who have come out in the true spirit of the Gospel, resolving to attack - wickedness in high places,' is made a component part of this Miscellany, and every thing in that Review, calculated to benefit American believers, is to be re-published in The Christian Magazine.
“ The Editor intends to procure all the information, of a religious character, in his power while in England, and his brother will attend to its being inserted ; so that The Christian Magazine will convey the most ample, as well as recent intelligence of the proceedings of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and all the great religious Institutions of the age. The Lord has a mighty work, and this Magazine, while it defends sound doctrine, is designed to be a herald of His movements.
“February, 1828.” For a number of years it was his anxious desire to multiply copies of the Homilies of the Church. October 12th, 1825, he wrote to me on this subject
“Dear Thomas :-Your's gave me much pleasure, especially as informing of the improvement of your health. Be careful, now you are recovering. It requires special care.
“ The subject of the Homilies is so very important, I cannot but hope, when you recover sufficiently, you will stir in the matter. Our people need them, as sound instructors, having the sanction of the Reformers. So much is done to poison them with false doctrine, there is much need to use every effort to circulate Scriptural means of keeping them in the right way. We are to live but a short time; this is designed to do good after we are dead. An effort is to be made to have it stereotyped, through means of this edition. If that be done, great good will be effected for the Church. May the Lord help us.”—“ May the Lord give us grace to pray more, to live nearer to him, to be more holy, more devoted, more all we ought to be.” “ Your's, truly,
In July, 1826, he mentioned to me a plan of publishing the Homilies in numbers, at twelve and a half cents a num. ber-a number every two or three weeks; beautiful paper, plates; marginal remarks are to be added to the edition. “ My aim is," (he observes, “to fill the Church with the Homilies. They are stereotyping. First number will be ready in four weeks, or less. Your co-operation I anxiously expect-must help me. Forty per cent. I will allow. Set the former agent in operation with it, all over the country.”
In April, 1827, he writes—“ The Homilies, for want of sufficient encouragement, are not even yet printed."
After the Missionary House was opened, he kept the publication of the Homilies prominently before him. He proceeded so far, as to stereotype the three first Homilies. As has been already mentioned, his design was, after the work was completed, to present the stereotype plates to Kenyon College, Ohio.
Proposals were also issued " for publishing by subscription, in one volume, 12mo. Bishop Burnet's History of his Own Time,' Abridged by the Rev. Benjamin Allen, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia."
Another important work that he had in view, was the publishing a pocket edition of Dr. Thomas Scott's Commentary. The following is from the Prospectus
“ The work will be issued in numbers of thirty-six 18mo.