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RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, HISTORY, POLITICS,
SOCIAL ECONOMY, ETC.,
AND TO THE PROMOTION OF SELF-CULTURE
AND GENERAL EDUCATION.
“MAGNA, EST VERITAS, ET ÞÆVAR ÉBIT;'
65, PATERNOSTER ROW.
CO-OPERATION is not less necessary in the search for and the discovery of truth than in commercial pursuits, industrial processes, or political movements. Controversy is co-operative thought, the mutual culture of reasoning inquiry, and vigilance of intellect. That good fellowship and charity do not necessarily find themselves in alien company in the arena of controversy, the seventeen years existence and success of this serial, expressly devoted to impartial debate, and the free and open encounter of contending thinkers may be held as fair proof. In hundreds of debates in this battle-field of thought ihe armour of the combatants has been tested, and seldom indeed have the courtesies or proprieties of sympathetic intellectuality been traversed or neglected during that lengthy period. The Conductors have endeavoured, so far as in them lay, to do their part fairly, justly, and wisely, and they believe that their efforts have been largely beneficial, not only in encouraging self-culture among their readers and in increasing the forbearance of thinkers who differ honestly from each other, but also in lessening, among those who study these pages, the likelihood of their being confused by sophistry or involved in error, by exercising them to insist on clear thought, adeqnately argued and properly expressed. Practical training in the detection and confutation of error stimulates, strengthens, and braces the intel. lectual powers, and prepares the mipd for the duties. 9f-social life, and the share which all intelligent men Gesire to take in the conquct of the affairs which interest them.
The Conductors of this serial have, perhaps, the sinallest share in making it what it is. Not their opinions, but those their contributors—who are welcomed from all classes of its readers—appear'ira large proportion of these pages. For the whole of what many must regard as the best portion of this volume, the Controversial Papers, they are indebtei-to their subscribers ; to whom also much of the Essayist, the Inquirer, and other sections of the Magazine-with all the praise they merit—is due. It is not in self-complacency therefore that the Conductors refer to these debates as of high interest, not only for the matters to which they relate, but the manner in which they are handled. Though in the present volume there has been less variety in the topics controverted, they have been assured by many diligent readers that the logical acuteness and literary ability of these papers bear favourable comparison with those of previous years. Some may think that a little closer grappling with the arguments included in the papers of antagonists might have increased both the power and usefulness of these articles, though all must confess that as it is difficult to observe the true mean between ostensive and offensive controversy ; if our contributors have erred at all, they bave erred, on that side which is rare in debate, in gentleness and charity. To all contributors the thanks of Conductors and readers alike are hereby terdered for their co-operation in the production of this Magazine of reasoned thought, and manual of the means of self.culture.
A review of the various contents of this serial will show how closely and carefully the Conductors have adhered to the aim and spirit of their task. The Debates continue, as we have said, to excite spirited contention, yet to evince toleration and sympathy. The Leading Papers deal as usual in a learned and thoughtful manner with subjects of high interest in philosophy, literature, history, and logic. In the Toiling Upward series of articles many hitherto unwritten biographies of men, who have fixed high aims steadily before their minds and laboured sedulously for their accomplishment, have appeared ; while those which have been rewritten have been set in a new light, and been informed with a definite purpose. The Essayist unfolds some of the best efforts of aspiring young men to the view of their compeers- they show achievement, and suggest possibilities of greater usefulness and wider fame. The Reviewer has endeavoured of late to bring before readers those books of worth that have come before him, and to make them masters of the main contents of the volumes noticed. The Topicchiefly through the indifference of our younger readers to the occupying of so small a space as can be granted them in that departmeat-has been less vigorously maintained than usual. We hope this may be rectified. Almost equally unsatisfactory is the Societies' Section, to which few secretaries indeed seem mindful to contribute. We here and again earnestly invite these gentlemen to correspond with us, especially when they can communicate some thing novel and important.
The Poetic Critique fulfils its rôle in about its average manner, but our critic speåks hopefully of the verses he has now on hand. The Eloquence of the Month supplies, in a preservable and readily accessible form, some of the best effusions of our greatest thinkers on topics of much moment. The selections are varied, and not only intrinsically valuable, but also seem capable of an admirable secondary usefulness, as supplying matter for reading and elocutionary practice. Our Collegiate Course has received a new development, and certainly presents, in an original form readily understood, not only rare, but useful knowledge. Of the Literary Notes we have little to say; they form, as far as space allows, a sort of compendious digest of the history of current literature.
The Proprietors and Condaetors, as far as their opportunities permitted, have done their utmost tomatitain the serial.in ousefull oss, in such attractiveness as is compatible with its main aim; and in progressive interest ; nor will they slack in their efforts to keep pace with the desires, and aspirations of the intellectual readers of the age. The work of review; at this season, belongs not to the Conductors of this serial only, Bat to its readers as well. Have they improved aright the pages set before tiem, and happen they striven to increase, by a wider circulation, that from which they have.terioed instruction ? Above all, have they been diligent and honest, not in the pursuit only, but in the discrimination of truth? Do they not only eagerly progress themselves but also readily
“Pass to others what their toil hath won, And, like spent runners in the torch-race, hand Each to fresh athletes, Truth's undying brand."
"I do not know what poetical is ; is it honest in deed and word ? is it a true thing ?"-"As you Like it,” iii., 3.
“ALL things that are," the judicious Hooker observes, “have some operation not violent or casual. That which doth assign unto each thing the kind, that which doth moderate the force and power, that which doth appoint the form and measure of working—the same we term a Law.” Laws in this sense originate in the essen. tial nature of the things thought of, and imply the necessary rela. tions between the properties and qualities of these things and their results ; they express the constant and regular order of things, and the methods according to which their energies operate. When we know the inner norm of anything we can deduce thence the character of its efficiencies. Laws pre-exist in things, and regulate all the possible forms of causation which they can exert. Everything that exists has inherent in it an efficient force, by the use of which it acts its part among the elements of the universe. These inherent powers of action, as they form the signs of the intents and purposes of the existence of each individual item in creation-in its widest sense, including all mental and material nature-are regarded in philosophical language as the enactments of the Creator; and thus by the extension of a beautiful analogy, from the higher forms of civic life, into the metaphysic of being and knowing, the principle and characteristics of existences are spoken of as giving the laws of their activity-the commands or prohibitions in regard to them to which all must attend and which all must obey. Laws inhere in and operate among and upon all things, and hence their ever-active powers. That which forms the fundamental basis or essence of any existence coerces all that comes into relationship with it to respect it more or less as a causal power, as a potential producer of phenomena ; and it does so on pain of non-success, at least in the endeavour made to accomplish our aim in so far as we have been