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alone. The great majority of newspapers are conducted with a high moral principle, which causes their managers to throw away sensation after sensation that readers would undoubtedly devour if they could but get the chance. A newspaper manager would be a fool who had no concern for the influence of his paper; if its influence was bad, it would sell only spasmodically. To go into the homes of the people, you must give a clean, reliable paper, or it does not sell. The motive of the publisher is to produce a paper that interests the women and children; that a man, no matter who, will be glad to bring home to his family."

In 1884 there were 78 daily papers publishing Sunday editions, a custom which began during war times forty years ago. (There were also 153 weekly papers with Sunday as their publication date, which have since nearly doubled in number; few of these, however, have as large a circulation as one thousand, and they need no special consideration in this discussion.) In 1884 there were in the five cities of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Boston seventeen dailies with Sunday editions; eleven in foreign languages, with average weekly circulation close to 150,000; the remaining six in English, aggregating over 200,000. What do we find after twenty years? These 78 Sunday papers have increased in number to 336, and their circulation to approximately ten millian copies each week. The showing in the five cities mentioned is now as follows:

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This advance in these our largest cities is noteworthy, seventeen papers becoming in two decades 63, and multiplying their circulation fifteen-fold; but equally so is the progress of the remaining 61 dailies in other cities, whose number has risen since 1884 to 273, and whose circulation also touches the five-million mark. It is important to note that the locations of these papers are quite evenly distributed; one or more is published in every state of the Union, save Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Wyoming; and in every territory except New Mexico and Alaska. By use of special trains and the issuing of early editions beginning at midnight Saturday, these papers reach

the remotest railroad points in New England, for example, before Sunday noon. Here, then, we have a grand total of ten million Sunday papers sent out fifty-two times a year, reaching each week, at the lowest estimate, twenty-five million readers, or one third of our population, who eagerly pay in nickels (and sums reaching as high as eight and ten cents in remote places) between $26,000,000 and $30,000,000 every twelve months.

Let us admit that the Sunday paper cannot be suppressed nor checked in its growth, and as a logical sequence of that admission, let us frankly refuse to longer ignore its influence. It must be reckoned with in any truthful estimate of the forces affecting religious and moral standards. The most that its bitterest opponent could hope to accomplish would be to thrust back the hour of its publication to Saturday afternoon; but this result is about as likely to happen as the stopping of all trolley-cars on the Lord's day. If it occurred, it would still leave this huge mass of reading matter, unchanged a whit in its character, in the hands of the people, and that, too, on the one day of the week which is becoming the only leisure time left to Americans—ministers excepted for reading.

Can we, then, hope in any way to change the prevailing character of the Sunday press, so as to lessen elements in it which seem religiously or morally hurtful, or at the least useless? and can we substitute something really helpful? Yes; if we know how. We ministers cannot do it by scolding our people for staying at home with their papers Sunday morning, and missing our sermons. We cannot do it by condemning, however justly, certain features of the paper which seem to us poor reading for Sunday or any other day. Nor ought we to be too confident that the millennium is at hand because in the columns of the Sunday paper famous divines and distinguished educators write on themes of momentary sensation, even though a few threads of religion and morals may be discerned interwoven into the fabric. The only way to change the Sunday press so as to make it forceful for righteousness and truth is to go to the editor's office and lay upon his desk some new literary wares, embodying in skilful form your moral dynamic, and then persuade him that there will be a market for the paper that prints it. This is no impossible achievement; but it needs more common sense than simply offering a sermon, written on both sides of the paper and interlined in a clergyman's average penmanship. This supposition is not a caricature; it is, unfortunately, too often a fair illustration of the sagacity used in attempts to get religious matter into the daily press. There is nothing which the editors of all the Sunday

papers in the land want so much at this precise moment as something new and interesting; some attractive "feature" for next Sunday's issue; something that will catch the eye of the man floundering amid the billowy waves of two hundred square feet of ink-smeared woodpulp, and offer to him a good hope of rescue from drowning in a deluge of " things he has seen before." How much confidence do we really have in the attractiveness of the great verities of religion and morals? Is our strong speech on this theme always sincere? We are so fond of saying that the gospel of Christ is the most interesting thing in the world. Do we believe what we say? and can we make the assertion good? The gospel is certainly a sufficient novelty to many of the present readers of Sunday papers. Whatever men's indifference to the abstract doctrines of religion and differences of religious sects, all are keenly alive to the victories of vital religion in truthful and honest lives. There was never an hour when the masses of our countrymen were more stirred over injustice and the triumph of shrewd knavery, or more eager for anything that will make good morals dominant in the men with whom they do business day by day.

Now, whenever the teacher of religion or morals, distressed over the lacks of the Sunday press and eager to see its great power turned to higher uses, can present themes of higher interest in a form whose attractiveness to readers will fit his own estimate of the importance of his matter, the problem will be solved. He will find no difficulty in the substitution of such matter for something now in the Sunday paper, and which is staying there only until the editor can find something which his customers would prefer. The hopefulness of such success is strengthened by the present transformation of the Sunday paper from a mere collection of the last day's news into a weekly magazine, thus permitting the widest range of literary substance and form,— biography, interviews, parable, or fiction. There may be found already, in some Sunday papers, occasional articles possessing religious or moral worth; but the largest charity is forced to admit their infrequency. The practical problem is, can and will the number of such articles be increased by those who honestly aspire for usefulness to the cause which we represent here this afternoon? Do any of us care and dare to compete with the present feature-makers of the Sunday paper, and thus make a practical effort to better the relations between it and the highest educational and religious values?




In a sense, we have a new Bible and a new method, which have commanded the attention of a new class, and in a measure discouraged the attention and interest of the large mass of once eager readers, if not students. It is quite generally accepted among religious teachers that the new Bible which the new method has given has lost none of its charm and none of its value, but rather has been enriched and made more efficient for service when it shall again resume its regal place in popular favor. And the question before us at this time is, What can the Religious Press do to revive or awaken popular interest?

It is my conviction that there is no instrumentality posessed of such large possibilities along this line as the Religious Press and that there is no more worthy object to command its enthusiastic service. It is possible for the religious press to recall the Bible from the attic and the closet and lay it open again in the family circle and the Sunday school class. But there are conditions.

The first condition is that the religious press shall earnestly want to do this thing. And that condition does not obtain to-day. The policy of the religious press does not differ from the modern pulpit in cultivating a diversity of interests to such an extent as to defeat any specific purpose. I only note the facts to which we have all been driven, as it seems to us, however unwillingly; the fact that we have pushed the distinctly religious interests, to foster which we were called into being, farther and farther back in our papers to make room for the so-called "live topics" of secular life, devoting our conspicious columns to the discussion of current events, to exactly the same class of editorial work we find in the secular press, flattering ourselves that we are molding national or even international life. We all want to be all-round editors, instead of sticking to our own peculiar business of planting and fostering religion as the chief interest of mankind.

Trace any religious journal to its origin, and we shall find it had its birth in some splendid sacrifice; there were those who believed their faith was essential to the welfare and happiness of the world, and they were determined, at whatever cost, to send that faith forth on its benevolent mission; they gave their money, their time, their

strength, their very life, for that purpose; they did not think of making money; they did not say, "Twenty thousand circulation will command so much advertising," but they did say, "Twenty thousand circulation will help to save two thousand souls." Once, religious papers were started because they had something to say; now, they are started under the vain delusion that they will pay! The passing of two of the leading religious journals of America over to the secular field, the turning of their backs upon the sublime purpose of their founders, can be looked upon as little less than a disaster, especially when many others follow their progress with envious eyes. It is true that new conditions, the multiplying of periodicals, have narrowed the field of the church paper, but it still has its unique field, its peculiar talent, which it must cultivate, or it will be taken away and given to another.

The primary purpose of the religious journal is to foster religion, all else must be merely incidental; in proportion as it departs from this purpose does it cease to have reason for being. When we suffer or encourage the crowding of the specifically religious into the obscurity of small type and narrow columns to make room for superficially "interesting," we are not only disloyal to our holy purpose, but, I firmly believe, are committing slow but certain suicide.

Fundamental to all religious teaching is the Bible. As a matter of fact, what standing has this Holy Book in the religious press of today? What proportion of space and what location are given it? I have examined recent numbers of nearly all of the religious journals, only to find a very occasional article, and, excepting in incidental reference in sermon and the exposition of the Sunday school lesson, the primary source of all our spiritual life has been stopped up with "current events," alleged "literature," or essays on political, sociological or economical themes. Is this the way to make the Bible popular? We can be sure others will think no higher of the Bible than we think; and when we banish it to the back part of our paper, we can be sure our readers will banish it to the back part of their minds and hearts.

Another condition of popularization is a popular presentation. And herein do we face serious difficulties. The editor, recognizing the steps already taken in the new and scientific treatment of the Scriptures, cannot encourage publication of the old methods and the old results; we naturally want the new and better, but the new is still in the hands of those who are academic rather than popular; the result is that we shut out the old if it is offered and when we seek the new we get only that which belongs to the classroom or the Monday morning convocation; for the new Bible is still so largely in the hands of

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