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amined and refuted. He who feels ashained for his opinions to be compared with those of another, or is afraid to consider the reasoning of an opponent, pays but a poor compliment to his own character and creed. It has been well said, “Whoever fears to examine the foundation of his opinions, and enter into the consideration of any train of counter-argument, may rest assured that he has some latent apprehension of their unsoundness and incapacity of standing investigation; and as a fear of this sort is totally at variance with that spirit of candour and fairness which is the proper disposition for the attainment of truth, no man should suffer it to prevent him from engaging in the requisite examination.”
constant readers ” have, during nearly six years, tested the practical value of these enlightened sentiments, and with the most satisfactory results. It is of course impossible for us to daguerreotype the secret workings and progress of truth, but we know of some cases in which, through the influence of our work, opinions have been beneficially changed, or materially modified, while “the falsehood of extremes” has been exposed, a spirit of kindly and mutual respect has been generated, and, at the same time, a process of mental training has been going on, sitting its subjects to take a more important position in life, and to exercise a stronger and more elevating influence on those around them.
We may here, without impropriety, refer to an interesting experiment made during the present year, for the purpose of registering the opinions of our readers on the subjects discussed in our Fifth Volume.
It was thought that the deliberate judgment of "a constituency of cultivated intellect," engaged in an earnest search after truth—beyond the reach of corruption, intimidation, or even influence and expressed only after thorough debate, would be a most novel, interesting, and valuable species of statistics; and although, from various causes, only a small portion of our subscribers sent in their “votes,” the result was far from being uninteresting, as indicating, in their proportional relationship, the opinions of a large number of intelligent persons, resident in all parts of the United Kingdom.
On the question of Church Polity, 240 voted for Episcopacy, 120 for Presbyterianism, 324 for Congregationalism, and 155 were Neutral. On the question of Communications being now made to Man from a Spiritual World, 143 were in favour of the Affirmative, 547 were in favour of the Negative, and 150 were Neutral. On the question of Napoleon Bonaparte being worthy of the admiration of the French people, 470 were in favour of the Affirmative, 151 were in favour of the Negative, and 125 were Neutral. On the question of Scotland having reason to complain of Injustice, 265 were in favour of the Affirmative, 409 were in favour of the Negative, and 168 were Neutral. On the question respecting the Universities being Open to all, 612 were in favour of the Affirmative, 163 were in favour of the Negative, and 65 were Neutral. On the question of the Maine Liquor Law, 407 were in favour of the Affirmatire, 385 were in favour of the Negative, and 48 were Neutral. And on the question of Slavery being Justifiable under any circumstances, 108 were in favour of the Affirmative, 709 were in favour of the Negative, and 23 were Neutral.
Apart from the intrinsic worth of this Report as a barometer of thoughtful opinion," we value it as an incontrovertible proof of our success in gaining the support and confidence of a large body of intelligent men of all sects and parties.
Our editorial labours have not, however, been confined to polemical subjects; we have
endeavoured to afford suitable advice and assistance to youthful aspirants and self-educationalists generally. Our “Aids to Self-Culture,” as well as the courses of study prescribed in the various classes, are not designed to be exhaustive, but rather stimulative and suggestive; and such, we believe, they have proved. The communications which we are constantly receiving, reveal bow wide-spread is the desire for instruction, and how acceptable are our efforts to promote it. The ultimate influence of the contents of this and preceding volumes we will not attempt to estimate. Every year deepens our conviction of their value, for we are frequently enabled to recognize amongst those who now occupy important and responsible positions in society, some of our first student readers, who are not slow in acknowledging the beneficial aid and impetus which they derived from this magazine. We cannot, then, but rejoice in the success of our preceding volumes, nor avoid looking with satisfaction on the one which we now send forth to the world; and, concerning all, we indulge the cheering hip’, that when this work may have passed into other hands, or even ceased to exist, the influence of our labours will be felt in some cultivated minds and disciplined hearts.
Nor would we forget our generous coadjutors, for they have enabled us to make this volume what it is. We beg them to accept thanks which come warm from our very “heart of hearts,” and we invite them to share with us our anticipations, all bright and glorious as they are !
We cannot conclude without casting a hopeful but anxious glarce towards the future of the BRITISH CONTROVERSIALIST. What that future may be, we cannot, of course predict; but we cherish the belief that it will be not merely worthy of the past, but far excel it in character, and exceed it in success. That this may be the case, it is only necessary for our readers to remain faithful to “their own Magazine;" to lose no opportunity of making known its character and contents; and to aid it in other ways to carry out its designs to ENLIGHTEN, ELEVATE, and BLESS.
Affirmative Article, III.
Negative Article, JII.
Is the Ballot more desirable than Open Voting?
Affirmative Article, I.
Negative Article, II.
S Was the British Government Justified in En.
11 tering upon the Present War with Russia ?
Affirmative Article, III.
166 Negative Article, III.
16 SOCIAL ECONOMY:-
Is Secularism Consonant with the Highest
Amount of Social Happiness ?
Negative Article, II.
Negative Article, III.
371 Is the Unanimity required in Juries Conducive
405 to the Attainment of Justice ?
Negative Article, II.
54 Advantages to be derived from the Study
of History.-- Prize Essay, by D. M. West 350
252 Decimal Coinage: The Necessity for its
Adoption-Its Advantages over the Pre-
33, 68, 113
Bow and Stratford Mutual Improvement
Christchurch Mutual Improvement and
228 Debating Society
231 Edinburgh Young Men's Association 278
Glasgow, Dundas-street Young Men's Mu-
192, 233, 274, 314, 357.
Great Yarmouth Discussion Society.. 238
A Course of Mathematical Study
Law Students' Mutual Corresponding So-
Cause of the Apparent Size of the Moon in
Liverpool, “Franklin" Mutual Improve-
315 London, Bermondsey, and Horselydown
Equation of Time
Early Closing Association.. 238
St. James's Literary Society
Retford Mutual Improvement Society..197, 310
359 Skipton-in-Craven Young Men's Mutual
315 Swansea Christian Literary and Scientific
Trial of the Pyx
39, 119, 198, 279, 438.
GRAMMAR CLASS :-Model Exercises, 37, Liber Cantabrigiensis
PHONETIC SHORT-HAND CLASS :-Exer. The Dignity of Labour, a Lecture
The Pilgrim Fathers, a Lecture ..........
48, 225 L'Ouvrier (Birmingham) 11, 115, 170, 305
270, 287, 453
109, 298, 317
15, 50, 173
105 S. N.
85, 106, 284, 367, 404, 446
192, 228 Threlkeld
54,328, 379, 399, 430
89, 370 T. U. (Edinburgh) 33, 113, 110, 301, 337, 463
273 Vincat Veritas
28, 177, 257
Page 275, col. 2, line 13 from bottom, instead of " By this process beautiful positive pictures are
Page 326, col. 2, line 12, for“ arbitration," read" abstraction."