« PreviousContinue »
JANUARY — JUNE.
Φιλοσοφίαν δε ου την Στωικήν λέγω ουδε την Πλατωνικήν, ή την 'Επικουρείον
WARD & CO., PATERNOSTER ROW.
READERS OF THE ECLECTIC REVIEW.
BEFORE assuming the position of Proprietor, and commencing my duties as Editor, of the ' Eclectic Review,' I am anxious to make its supporters acquainted with the motives and feelings by which I am influenced, and the principles which will guide me in my endeavours. I am well aware of the difficulties which must necessarily be encountered by the man whose lot it is to follow one so gifted, so liberal, and so judicious, as my friend, Dr. Price. Indeed, but for the assurance that I shall carry with me his sympathy, and be able to look to him, and kindred spirits, for counsel and support, the thought of the solemn responsibility of my new position would overwhelm me, and I dare not make my present attempt. The 'Eclectic' has ever maintained the high position of an organ of that Evangelical liberalism, the moral power of which cannot well be over-rated, and on whose progress and prosperity depend alike the maintenance of Christian truth, and the vindication, in all their integrity, of those ecclesiastical, social, and political reforms which will emancipate religion from her present unseemly chains, purify the now foul world of squalor, recklessness, and sin, and transform freedom from a patriot dream into a glorious reality. Such has been, and is now, the position of the 'Eclectic; -and to maintain that position, unchanged, uncompromised, shall be my most earnest endeavour. In these times of ferment" and speculation, when mere pleasing and dreamy sentiments are accepted in the place of deep,
stern, well-matured convictions when a selfish expediency presides in the council chambers of political parties, and bids even religion itself yield to the potency of its sway-when the claims of the conscience, and the dictates of eternal justice, are ignored by men, who heed the decrees of faction, and the convenience of cabinets, but disregard, practically disregard, that Gospel which is holier and mightier than them all ;-I say, in such times it is important that a work should exist in which the supremacy of Christianity may be asserted, in defiance of the sneers of the worldly-minded, and human rights demanded on the only grounds which Christians can recognise as tenable or satisfactory ; viz., that the same Gospel, which brought to light life and immortality, proclaimed man's brotherhood and the spirituality of religion in the ears of a priest-ridden world.
Though I have no wish to needlessly extend this Address, for, after all, I must be judged by what I do, and not by what I promise ;-still, for the sake of candour and explicitness, I beg to state that the principles of the ` Eclectic,' whether religious, or political—whether relating to ecclesiastical polity, or to questions of social and educational reform, will remain unchanged. I shall maintain inviolate the individuality of the work ;-as far as practicable securing the services of the writers who have thus far upheld its reputation, and of other gentlemen justly celebrated for the soundness of their views, the vigour of their style, and the consistency of their characters. In the literary department of the work I shall endeavour to do ample justice to the several productions which may be reviewed in its pages, and trust that no honourable opponent may ever have reason to complain of the spirit in which his views are assailed, however completely at variance with my own convictions of truth and right those views may be. I hold, that writing the truth in love,' is no less a Christian obligation than 'speaking such “truth in love ;' and am deeply assured that the beneficial results of controversy depend no less on the temper in which it is carried on by the