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ESTABLISHED FOR THE PURPOSE OF FORMING A SUITABLE MEDIUM FOR THE
DELIBERATE DISCUSSION OF IMPORTANT QUESTIONS IN
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, HISTORY, POLITICS, SOCIAL
“Here is a thing wherein I would willingly have you agree, that is, to dispute and not to quarrel; for friends dispute between themselves for their better instrnction, and enemies quarrel to destroy one another.'-Plato,
“Truth can never be confirmed too much,
Though doubts did ever sltep."- Shaks pere.
65, PATERNOSTER ROW.
It has been said that a spirit haunts the closing hours of every passing year—a silently working, but a powerful spirit, which not only bows the tender plants to the earth, but strips the monarchs of the forest of their foliage, changes the whole aspect of nature, and thus plainly intimates the completion of one of her annual rounds. The influence of that spirit seems to extend to the regions of periodical literature, and it is there instrumental in bringing about similar results. We, in common with our brethren, have felt its inward promptings, and heard its whispered words of “conclusion” and “repose.” At the commencement of the present year, we laid down our plan of operation; that plan we have zealously pursued, and now, at the close of the year, we can rejoice at its realization in the satisfactory completion of the Sixth Volume of the British CONTROVERSIALIST.
Many who will glance at these prefatory remarks are already familiar with much that makes
the substance of this annual tome. To such no words of commendation are needed to secure for it a favourable reception. In fact, such a reception they have given it in its monthly parts; for many we know have perused with interest the various articles, and have now the consciousness that the perusal
That shall not die, and cannot be destroyed." To those who for the first time become acquainted with our work through the medium of this completed volume, we may briefly state that our object is not to promulgate opinions, but to test them; not even to disseminate principles, but to afford an opportunity for their impartial examination. Unlike most other periodicals, we have no connection with any sect or party, but we address ourselves to all thoughtful and truthseeking men, and offer to aid them in solving for themselves the great problems of individual life and social morals. In no case do we presume to pronounce what is truth and justice, but we place the evidence fairly before our readers, subject it to a searching examination, and then leave them to exercise their own prerogatived judgment. But here Bigotry will complain—as it recently has done, in the pages of a contemporary—that we not only refuse to enforce her dogmas, but that we necessarily and confessedly publish to the world much of error; but she will omit to state that the error is published simultaneously and in juxta-position with the truth, and published for the purpose of being ex