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In looking over the numerous articles which compose this volume, the reader will find that many of them are avowedly original; and we can venture to assure him, that a great proportion of those which are anonymous, and that appear under artificial signatures, are of the same description. He may also gather, from the masterly style in which many communications are written, that they are the productions of superior talents, although their authors have found it convenient to conceal their real names under fictitious appellations.
Why this secrecy should be observed, may to some appear exceedingly strange; but many reasons might be assigned, which can hardly fail to prove satisfactory to those who have a competent knowledge of mankind.
The connexions that subsist in civilized society are so complicated and various, that publicity would in many instances retard the operations of genius, and lead to unpleasant consequences, which concealment now prevents. Selfishness and jealousy are so nearly allied, that, in their united influence, they pervade all orders of mankind. A man of superior talents, every publisher wishes exclusively to possess ; and should he perceive any production of his pen in a rival publication, which, in his estimation, appeared more elegant, sprightly, or argumentative, than that with which he had been supplied, awakened suspicion would destroy confidence, and perhaps generate an open rupture, which time would be unable to heal.
It also frequently happens, that local transactions create ties which prudence durst not openly violate ; and when the influence of such causes becomes imperative, an embargo being laid on the mental powers, the world is deprived of half the energies of intellect.
It is a well-known fact, that truths of the utmost importance are frequently encumbered with difficulties, which, to ordinary minds, appear insuperable; and those who accustom themselves to close investigation, feel the perplexity in all its force. To have these incumbent weights removed, they sometimes sigh in secret, and wish for aid which their own minds are unable to furnish. Their stations in literature, in science, and theology, forbid them to express their doubts to others, lest they should sink in their estimation, for suspecting the infallibility of dogmas which have nothing but age and common consent to render them respectable. A fictitious signature supplies these rational sceptics with the means of stating, in the most formidable manner, the various objections which may be urged against their respective theories. These are occasionally proposed in the form of real arguments, by individuals who secretly court opposition, and whose highest gratification arises from seeing what they have advanced completely refuted. From contrivances such as these they obtain new ideas, which fortify their minds, and lead them onward to results, which previous obstacles had half tempted them to abandon in despair. Many important truths have been thus elicited by the discussions that have appeared in the pages of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE ; and several articles of a similar character, now in the Editor's hands, may be expected, in due time, to make their appearance.
That subjects of a pernicious nature and tendency sometimes obtrude themselves on the notice of the Editor, under this cover of darkness, may very readily be conceived ; but it is his business, standing as a centinel at the doors of his pages, to see that nothing improper is permitted to enter. How far in these respects he has discharged his duty, may be best known by an appeal to the eight VOLUMES of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE which are now before the world. On these he looks back without personal remorse, and without having his recollections imbittered by any complaints from his numerous readers. The same liberal integrity which has thus far been his guide, will, he hopes, be his future companion, while arranging the diversified articles he may have the honour of submitting to the public eye.
The tide which a few years since ran high in favour of infidelity, has of late experienced a considerable ebb; but irreligion has still its advocates, and genuine piety its foes in the same individual characters.
To prosecute their unhallowed warfare, vulgar ribaldry, refined profligacy, and philosophical pride unite their powers, but it is only in the region of animal sensuality and mental libertinism that the standard of licentiousness is permanently reared.
Of this moral Simoom, it is indeed to be lamented, that many nominal Christians, of little knowledge, and of weak judgments, who want fortitude to bear sarcasm, and courage to avow their own convictions, feel the withering influence. But while such characters are entitled to compassion, they cannot expect that the real friends of virtue and moral worth should compromise the rectitude of principle, to furnish their infirmities with an accommodation.
In this polluted atmosphere all who espouse the cause of unadulterated Christianity, anticipate reproach; but the opprobrious epithets of Enthusiasts, Fanatics, Methodists, and Saints, with which they are stigmatized, like the weapon of aged Priam, either fall short of their mark, or only tinkle on the shield.
In the momentous cause of unsophisticated truth, the IMPERIAL MAGAzine is engaged. Here it originally took its stand; and this uninverted pyramid, having furnished it with ample support amidst the storms and earthquakes that have convulsed the literary world, by still forming the basis on which it rests, affords a pleasing presage of its future prosperity.
INDEX TO VOL. VIII.
817 ABORIGINĖS of Australia,
49 EARTHLY enjoyments, instability of, Easter Monday at Rome,..
198 Aphorisms from the writings of the Rev.
Education, observations on,.
711 R. Hall, 43, 127, 212, 393, 416,
104 510, 607, 701, 797, 892, 991, 1085 Edward the Sixth's wish, Arctic expedition,
684 Elephant at Exeter 'Change destroyed, 396 Ark of Noah, on the capacity of the, 214 Ellis, Rev. Wm. memoir of the,...... 305
F. Attributes of God displayed in the plag
837 of redemption, 339, 431, 548 Faith, hope, and charity, in heaven, .. Faiths, comparison of,..
641 B. False religion, particularly popery,....
252 BAKEWELL, Mr. Thomas, memoir of, 401, 514
Female stranger, a fragment,
1065 Barrington, Shate, LL.D. bishop of Dur
Fernandi Po, description of the island
33, 129 Basil, St. an extract from,
Field diversions, inquiry relative to, . 934 Beatification of a Saint at Rome,
remarks on, ......
719 Bible Society,
G. Bogue, Rev. David, memoir of the, 113
GAMBLER, character of a,
777 Burmese carriage,
General principles, on the use of,
441 Burning of a Jew in Spain,
Geology, analysis of, 159, 247, 334,425, Batterworth, Joseph, Esq. death of, 779
541,650, 745, 809,876,907, 1022, 1114 C.
Gifford, Robert Baron, memoir of, 977 CALVINISM, foreknowledge, &c. 217, 321 Gleavings, 105, 204, 301, 396, 491,588, Character of Nero Cæsar,
683, 779, 876, 969, 1070, 1149 Christian husband and christian wife, 476 God, on the nature of,..
257 code, saperiority of the, 566
“Good,"observations on the term,Gen. i. 197 Christianity, saperior excellency of, 731
Goodwin Sands, account of the,
91 Chorob of England,
Gold and silver in their native states,.. 541 Civilization and barbarism contrasted, 101
Gorthinund, a Saxon poem,
632 Clarke, Rev. E. D. memoir of,.... 785, 895 Gospel, dignity and perfection of the, 45 Clement, bishop of Rome, death of,.. 951
Greek Testament, on the study of the,. 527 Comet of 1825, observations on the, 270 Gretna Green, marriages at,
726 Colonial produce, abstinence from,... 1015
H. Commercial retrospect for the past year, 111 Half an hour, the importance of, .... 1028 Common sense, importance of,
927 Hall, Rev. R. extracts from the writings Comparison of faiths,..
of,-see Aphorisms. Conscience, essay op, rocoo... 69, 190 Hawaii, description of the volcano in, 373 Consolation in adversity, 537 | Hebrew tale,
482 Contentment, essay on, 1098 History of Lucy Mar,
774 Contingency, the meaning of,
801 Copper in its native state,
907 DEATH, 49 Hydrogen and nitrogen,
783 Deistical infidelity, difficulties of, 281 Hydrophobia, remedy for the,.
I. Delage, objections against the, answered,......
378 IDIOTISM and insanity, difference be
297 Dialogue between two ghosts,
1004 Disappointment, causes of, 241 | Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, death of, . 952
1032 Diversity of religious opinions among Innovation, on the dread of, mankind, 814 Inquisition,
294, 969 Dreams, remarks on, ...... 535 Instability of earthly edjoyments,
40 Dress, strictures on, .......
164 Jones, Richard Robert, memoir of, 593, 705
201 Dalwich picture gallery, a day at,
650 Iron in its native state, .....
Religious world, 138, 358—worship,.. 489
825 SABBATH days, on the Jewish and Chris-
585 | Sharp, Granville, Esq. memoir of, 881
1008 Slavery, 31, 114, 235, 302, 589, 973
-, a sare way of terminating, 1015
gradual or immediate abolition
679 Solitary hours, 49, 144, 235, 339, 431,
548, 621, 731
--, on the construction of,
543 Struel stations-papal apparitions, 637
Sun extinguisbing fire, reason of the, 772
Visbpoo, and other Hindoo deities,.... 645
304 Warren, Rev. S. memoir of the,.. 689
921, 993 ZEALAND, New, disastrous intelligence