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THE

BRITISH CONTROVERSIALIST,

AND

LITERARY MAGAZINE.

“MAGNA EST VERITAS ET PRÆVALEBIT.

LONDON:
HOULSTON AND SONS,

65, PATERNOSTER ROW.

MDCCCLXX.

LONDON PRINTED BY J. AND W. BIDER,

BARTHOLOMEW CLOSE,

PREFACE.

To the literature of inquiry, culture, aspiration, and endeavour, the conductors of this Serial add now another-their thirty-second-contribution. Upwards of twenty years ago they commenced their labours, animated by the desire of stirring up and encouraging free thought and free speech, duly controlled by intelligence and reflectiveness; and, under the belief that the acquisition of habits of investigative thought would increase the usefulness and happiness of those who could be induced to discipline their minds, to seek, with single-hearted purpose, the way of truth, they have continued to fulfil the duties to which such aims and beliefs bound them. It is almost superfluous to say that they have no desire to propagate any pet opinions on morals, social life, politics, or religion, or to act as missionaries of any set creed except the supreme and all-pervading one,-seek the Truth on all matters and at all risks. They have but one faith in common, a faith in the inevitable victory of truth and goodness; one aim--to stimulate their readers to become thinkers, and one paramount desire—to excite and accustom men to the patient, impartial, and intelligent discussion of all questions of interest, difficulty, and importance.

Controversy appeared to them an educative agent, which had been allowed to run to waste, and they resolved to attempt to utilize it. It had been little more than a name for the strategy and finesse employed in the perpetual manquyrings of parties and sects. They became the advocates of unreserved discussion, and the initiators of educative controversy, and it has now acquired a fixed place in the logic of investigative thought, as a test to which all those opinions which excite the rivalry of parties ought to be honestly submitted. In this magazine the right to apply controversy to all matters upon which human thought can be employed has been systematically asserted and exerted ; and in the present volume, by the aid ot various contributors, moving in different ranks in society, they have been able to present some good specimens of suggestive and effective controversial writing in the department devoted to Debates ; and in the Topic a few subjects of interest have been briefly but thoughtfully considered.

In another branch of their scheme the conductors have been successful in acquiring not only the reputation but the reality of success, in their endeavour to impart the results of academic culture and ennobling thought to all who aim at intellectual progress, improvement, and enjoyment; and in their attempt to induce to the persistent education of the mental faculties, as a duty incumbent upon each, independent altogether of the material advantages which such a culture may bring.

There are probably few writers in this country more capable of speaking with authority on the subjects on which they have chosen to address our readers than those who have aided us in the leading articles in this volume. Dr. Ingleby, himself a “many-sided” man,-mathematician and metaphy

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