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Indeed, looking back to the close of the last century, and to the eyeless giant shall find a guide to put his hand on the props of the
first twenty years of the present, it is most remarkable to see how State—if once he shall bow himself upon the pillars, woe to all
incessantly and vividly the intellect of the nation was stimulated those who have made him their laughing-stock, and chained him
by the productions of so many men in the highest walks of litera- to grind at their mill!”
ture, and by female writers, each of whom, had she appeared An agitation now began to spread extensively respecting popular
singly, would have shone out the star of the age, and would have education and the more extensive diffusion of knowledge. It was
been petted and idolised like Hannah More.

held, and rightly held, that it was a brutish thing that the great In 1797, a number of young men united in Edinburgh in the mass of the people of this country should be ignorant of the wonformation of a society called the Academy of Physics, the objects ders of creation ; that a nation whose practical ingenuity, manuproposed being" the investigation of nature, the laws by which her facturing skill, and commercial activity, made it the greatest on phenomena are regulated, and the history of opinions concern- the earth, should have a working population unacquainted with the ing those laws." Amongst the earliest members were, Brougham, nature of what they handled, or converted into shape and form. So Erskine, Brown, Birkbeck, Leyden ; and afterwards Jeffrey, a murmuring cry began to be heard throughout the land, calling Horner, &c. Out of this society originated the “ Edinburgh upon those who were sitting in darkness to turn their eyes towards Review," begun in 1802, and which at once raised periodical the light. Then were institutions founded, and lectures delivered ; literature to a high standard. The “ Eclectic Review” fol- scientific associations were formed in workshops ; and men, mostly lowed. Robert Hall, writing to Dr. Olinthus Gregory, in 1804, of the generation coming, or just come to manhood, engineers and says, “ You have probably heard of the project of a new Review, glass-makers, workers in brass and in iron, handicraftmen of all called the . Eclectic Review,' which is intended to counteract the sorts, with shopmen and others, were to be seen joyfully hastening irreligious bias which seems to attach to almost all literary jour- to hear expositions of the laws of motion, the properties of light, nals." In 1809, the Quarterly Review was established as a coun- and heat, and air, the marvels of the steam-engine, and the history terpoise to the Edinburgh Review; its first editor was William of Watt, the nature of alkalies, and acids, and colours; and even the Gifford. “Blackwood's Magazine” was commenced in 1812; its very housewife at home was to be taught, that the “art of good and editor, during the first six months of its existence, was the late cheap cookery was intimately connected with the principles of cheMr. Thomas Pringle, Secretary to the Anti-Slavery Society, one mical philosophy.” It was a wonderfully exciting time ; and during of the most amiable of men, and occupying a leading place among the excitement the "Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge" our minor poets.

sprang into existence. “ The Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures In taking up the early volumes of the Edinburgh and Quar- of Science," written by the most remarkable man of his age, Lord terly Reviews, or Blackwood's Magazine, readers of the present (then Mr.) Brougham, who had himself been mainly instrumental generation are apt to ask why the articles contained in them are in exciting this mental agitation, was issued ; and the tract had a said to have so greatly influenced the public of the time. But powerful influence, even though, in the author's zeal for an accuthis is to measure them by our standard, after we have been long mulation of facts, he repeated the stories of ants, whose structures accustomed to expect and demand excellence in periodical litera- no traveller could approach without being devoured, and recounted ture. They were the best that had been hitherto known ; and those marvellous things, now laughed at by all naturalists, respectmeeting with great success, in proportion to the delight and sur- ing the sagacity of the beavers, and how they had overseers amongst prise which they created, editors and publishers were stimulated them, who "superintend the rest, and make signals by sharp to rise still higher, and to produce still better things. From the strokes with the tail, which are carefully attended to." influence of literature the transition is easy to that of science. It is now eleven years since this tract appeared ; and a brief Perhaps the greatest shock that has been given to established analysis of it may, therefore, be acceptable to some readers. The opinions and habits of thought by any modern scientific disco- author began by stating the pleasure to be derived from knowledge, veries, has been by the discoveries and inferences of geologists. as well as the advantages ; pointed to the mathematical sciences, Smith in England, and Cuvier in France, led the way to a science and showed that even amusement might be extracted from them ; which has done more to startle and amaze than even the mightiest defined Natural Philosophy, and explained with what objects it discoveries of Newton. For astronomy has visible testimonials of dealt; how admirably adapted animals were in their formation her own awful grandeur ; she seems to speak of a vast unknown ; to the conditions of their existence; and how ingenious were the and even if the mind feels a difficulty in rising up to the idea of a instinctive contrivances of birds, bees, and ants ; described man, universe, apparently boundless in its extent, there is, at least, a and how he is composed, of “two parts, body and mind, convagueness in the thought of worlds rolling in space, which is both nected indeed together, but wholly different from one another ;'' exciting and soothing. But geology deals with the fire and the explained how the whole circle of the sciences and arts might be flood; it descends into the dark places of the earth ; turns the made to minister to his intellectual improvement and physical en. globe into an immense laboratory; and picking up its bones, and joyment; and ended with the conclusion, " that the pleasures of fragments, and shells, tells us we are living in the midst of ruins, science go hand in hand with the solid benefits derived from it ; and are but the inhabitants of the sepulchre of time.

that they tend, unlike other gratifications, not only to make our But whilst the middle classes were thus abundantly provided with lives more agreeable, but better ; and that a rational being is bound intellectual instruction, or amusement, another great and growing by every motive of interest and of duty, to direct his mind towards class had been but little attended to, except in Sunday schools ; pursuits which are found to be the sure path of virtue as well as and this class had been struggling with the government from the happiness." peace of 1815. A continued series of events showed the force of All eyes were now turned towards the Society. Its scheme the pressure ; and at last, fear and alarm were created, that an seemed noble, generous, magnificent. As the Bible Society had its irruption was to be dreaded, in which our civilization would be bond of union in the circulation of the Scriptures without note or trampled down. The multitude, said the Edinburgh Review, “is comment, so had the Useful Knowledge Society, in the diffusion physically the most powerful in the state. Like the Hebrew cham- of science without admixture of theological or political opinion. pion, it is yet held in captivity by its blindness. But if once the l As Christians of all sects were banded together to diffuse the Book

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of Revelation, so men of various character were invited to join in once more in this country, it will not be the infidelity of Thomas the design of opening and expounding the Book of Creation to the Paine, nor even of Hume. It will be a subtler kind of infidelity, meanest of the people. Some called out to beware of enlightening one which does not commit the absurdity of disputing the evidences the masses, without, at the same time, amending their physical con- of revelation, but which dissipates the spirit of Christianity by a dition. Others looked jealously at an attempt to enlighten them scientific process. Of this there is some danger ; and it is a dan. at all, thinking it but a covert for insidious designs. Others again, ger to be guarded against. New views of truth should be freely though cordial friends of the diffusion of knowledge, were afraid of taken ; but truth remains the same, though we should shift our the disjunction of religious and intellectual instruction, and shook position again and again. All this, however, forms no objection to their heads, marvelling “ whereunto this would grow.” But the useful knowledge ; and the Christian who shrinks from acquiring great body of the people rejoiced to hear the voice of the Society, as much of it as he can, from the fear that it will lead him into and listened with greedy ears. It seemed as if the breaking up of infidelity, has yet to learn much of the nature of Christianity. the intellectual monopoly was a warning note of destruction to all The early Christians were deemed infidels and impious, because other monopolies. Learning might still try to seclude itself in they refused to sacrifice to idols, and preached the new doctrines halls and colleges, but science had taken staff in hand, had girded of the gospel. his loins, was about to travel over the whole country, to visit the But, while the Bible Society, after enduring storms that threatened manufactory and the mine, and to sit down by the poor man's fire- its very existence, is now carrying quietly on its great work in the side. Henceforth the meanest drudge had opportunity of placing full vigour of manhood, the Useful Knowledge Society, after an himself on an intellectual level with his more favoured brethren ; | infancy of much promise, has shrivelled into a lean atomy, with many of the “ difficulties" that impeded the “ pursuit of know- little more than the appearance of life. Making all allowance for ledge" were taken out of the way; and, quoting from Chenevix, the vast and momentous difference between the “ knowledge" it was announced that “the bent of civilisation was to make good diffused by the one Society and the other, we may ask—Why is things cheap.” No wonder, therefore, that the efforts of the this ? Why has the Useful Knowledge Society, instead of becomSociety struck with power into the heart of the nation. The ing a great institution, degenerated into a mere book association, Messrs. Chambers had sagacity to perceive that now was the time patronising a limited number of works? The truths of Revelation for a useful cheap publication ; then followed the Penny Magazine, are of paramount importance; but the truths of Creation are of the Penny Cyclopædia, with all the host of cheap periodicals that great value and interest, delightful to know, useful when known. rose and fell as the tide of excitement flowed and ebbed.

And to a practical working nation, such as Britain is, and must What the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge has be, our very existence depending on our ingenuity and skill, our done, may be summed up in a few brief words. By taking advan- dexterity, forethought, and knowledge, one would think that an tage of prevailing excitement, and concentrating public attention, ample field, for many years to come, was provided for the exerit has exercised great, and, we may justly add, permanent, influence tions of a Useful Knowledge Society. on the mind of the nation. It broke in upon old-established forms One chief cause of the decline of the Society's influence has of publication. By its really admirable and useful publications, been owing to what at first was considered its crowning excellence. it excited hundreds, if not thousands, to think, who could hardly Its motto, its cry, was—Facts! There seemed at first something be said to have thought before. By strongly stimulating the minds

so novel, so pleasing, so instructive, so useful, in its varied combiof the young men of its generation, it enlarged the circle of readers ; nations and exhibitions of facts, that people were delighted beyond and by accumulations and exhibitions of facts gave to the reading measure. It was an incessant appeal to the practical sense-rangof a people disposed to be practical a practical direction. It ing round the material world, and showing how all things in nature helped to uproot old prejudices and errors. It directed the attention and art could be made subservient to man's power and comfort. of the people to the treasures contained in our national collections; | These facts, too, so often upset preconceived notions, and demoand the curiosity thus excited will doubtless settle down into a lished old theories, that the young mind, willing to think for itself, taste.

felt all the gratification of discovery. But as "the body without We may freely confess one benefit which“ useful knowledge" | the spirit is dead," so facts, unconnected with principles appeal. has rendered to religion and common sense. At first, religious ing to the feelings as well as the understanding of men, gradually men were afraid that it would strengthen the hands of that vulgar, lose that gloss of novelty which makes them so pleasurable narrow, illogical nonsense called "Infidelity".

-a mixture of drivel. on first communication. It is now seen and felt, that a mere ling sophistry and coarse licentiousness—the dregs or sediment of extensive acquaintance with facts has not, of itself, a that infidelity which we have described as descending, and as being dency to elevate the character of a man, or a nation. There neutralized by the spirit of religion—which prevailed to some extent may be a morbid growth of the intellectual system at the expense among our working population, when the agitation concerning of the moral. It has been said that an “undevout astronomer is

useful knowledge" first began to be general. But it has done mad :" not som-for however elevating and exciting a first acquaintquite the reverse. We may say of the bulk of our population--that ance with the wonders of astronomy may be, a perpetual fami. is, of that portion of it enlightened by " useful knowledge”-that liarity with its facts has a tendency to encrust the feelings. It is it is a stage beyond that pitiful infidelity which only nibbles at almost essential to the character of a large-minded and liberal detached portions of revelation, and is incapable of seeing its entire citizen, that he should know something of the truths of Political breadth and scope, and of appreciating the grandeur and magnifi- and Social Economy; but these, of themselves, will not make him cence of the whole. Our young men, speaking of them generally, a good citizen. It is very necessary that the mechanic should know would now scorn an “ Age of Reason.” The time is fast going by something of the properties of the lever, and of the wheel and for stuff of that kind; and there is less occasion now to write axle ; but an intimate acquaintance with dynamics and chemistry elaborately on the external “ Evidences of Christianity."

will not necessarily make him a good man. The mind that repuCertainly, whatever danger there may be to Christianity from diates the sophistry which would stamp the Bible as a forgery and the spirit of inquiry which useful knowledge has excited, there is an imposition, may yet be quite incapable of appreciating in it none from useful knowledge of itself. If infidelity is to prevail / whatever is grand, and beautiful, and true. Facts are at all

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times valuable—nay, frequently precious : but to be for ever con- are to be found on every side. Virtue, benevolence, public spirit,
versant with a material literature, has a withering influence, dries and enlightened zeal for all the best interests of man, are in daily
up the spirit, and, if it does not weary the mind, gives it a hard juxta-position with vice, selfishness, meanness, and ignorance.
practical tendency. The truth is, the plan of the Society is too Mud hovels surround all our marble palaces ; our land is like the
narrow, though at first sight it may seem large ; with it the mind land of Egypt, when the favoured few had light in their dwellings,
of the nation has been carried a certain length, but it can carry it while gross darkness overshadowed the rest.
no farther. For all extensive, or great purposes, in any way an- During the last fifty years all classes have advanced in social
swering the promise of its popular infancy, the mission of the comfort—in the participation of personal enjoyment–in the means
Society is fulfilled, its work is done.

of enjoying life : but all classes have not shared equally, in proWhile the bulk of the people were enjoying the benefits of the portion to their numbers or claims. Hundreds enjoying affluence, diffusion of knowledge, the middle and upper classes were sharing thousands living in comfort, mingle with thousands who cannot be in the excitement, and participated in the demand for useful and said to enjoy a precarious existence. Such a state of things cannot practical instruction. The British Association for the Advance- endure for ever. It will either be mended, or there is great danger ment of Science is a useful knowledge society; and it has, in some of its being ended in a violent manner. In a population, increasing measure, made that fashionable, which, changing the word, was at the rate of at least three hundred thousand per annum, and with popular amongst the people. How long it will continue to exert a hand-working class rising in a sense of their importance, power, its influence, and to what extent that influence reaches, we cannot and wants, it is impossible that great wealth and great poverty can undertake to say.

safely be found to meet together ; that ease and comfort can daily
look uneasiness and misery in the face; that prosperity and dis.

tress can always shake each other by the hand. A change must
We have now arrived at a period, not of stillness, but of repose. come, be it for better or worse.
The public mind seems resting more on what it has done than on One cause of the many irregularities which exist in our social
what it is doing ; gathering strength, meanwhile, for a new race. condition, is the plain and obvious fact, that our physical resources
It seems a suitable opportunity for reviewing the past, and looking have outgrown rapidly all our means of moral improvement. We
to the future.

live in a world altogether different from the world of the eighteenth In looking back, we perceive a vast increase of the moral power century. The conditions of our existence are widely different-we of the people, arising, not from the mere increase of their numbers, have acquired new powers of enjoyment, and lost the old power of but from a thousand causes elevating their character. Science has endurance. Yet, while the very elements of our earthly existence created wealth ; wealth has stimulated science; literature has are entering into new combinations, a great portion of our moral infused a sense of opinion; and opinion has acted, after a long machinery remains the same. No mere diffusion of knowledge struggle, on the administration of law and government. The can cure the mischief. It will rather aggravate it. Some have mental revolution which we have undergone, and are still under expressed a fear that the empire of civilisation is destined to be going, is far too extensive and powerful for us of the present day broken up by an irruption of barbarism more terrible than that to estimate its influence rightly. Old stubborn prejudices have which overthrew the ancient power of Rome. Exaggerated as been melted down; the capacity of the existing generation has this fear is, we ought not to despise it. We know not what been extended; and practices once reckoned an essential portion struggles have yet to be made before the new forms of society of our national constitution have disappeared. Not only has have room to develop themselves. “ Civilisation,” says M. Gui. there been a rew distribution of political rights and privileges; not zot, "is still in its infancy. How distant is the human mind only a new power exerted by the governed on the governors ; but from the perfection to which it may attain—from the perfection vice and crime have felt the " spirit of the age,” the prisons have for which it was created ! How incapable are we of grasping the been visited, justice wears a more merciful aspect, and the value whole future destiny of man! Let any one even descend into his of human life has been raised. All this has been accompanied by own mind—let him picture there the highest point of perfection a large increase of social comfort; and were we to fix our eye to which man, to which society, may attain, that he can conceive, exclusively on what the “past” has done for the present gene that he can hope. Let him then contrast this picture with the ration, as compared with their forefathers, we might exclaim, present state of the world, and he will feel assured that society with some justice, that Great Britain was the most powerful, and civilisation are still in their childhood—that, however great the wisest, the happiest, the most comfortable nation on the the distance they have advanced, that which they have before earth.

them is infinitely greater.” But, looking at our actual condition and future prospects, there is The amendment of the physical condition of our population will much matter to excite anxiety. Taking civilisation to mean the be one prime ingredient in any scheme for our national improvegrowth of a nation in worldly prosperity, wealth, resources, in- ment. Such a subject does not at present come within our scope crease of population, security of life and property, advance in there are other and more legitimate mediums for its discussion. science and art, freedom of discussion and liberty of person, with But the moral education of our people is one which fairly presents large available resources for the spread of wealth and happiness itself to us, and in which we are anxious to be found engaged. Men throughout the bulk of the community, there is no nation like of all classes now feel the vast importance of the subject, and Great Britain in all history—we stand at the head of civilisation. almost every one who thinks about it has a remedial plan to proBut if civilisation also means the equal diffusion of happiness and pose. The great question is, to unite the discordant opinions, and social comfort throughout the community, there is no nation in to procure a unity of expression. What we can do, by means of all history which presents in the records of its condition so many a weekly periodical, to aid in bringing about such an expression of startling anomalies. Knowledge is spreading throughout all classes, opinion, we are very willing to try. and the means for its diffusion are powerful and prompt; yet the Let not the reader think that we are about to add to the hundred ignorance that exists in the community seems to kcep a-head of it. remedies which have been proposed. All we mean to do is, to Wealth flows in a thousand channels, but poverty and destitution | dedicate our “Journal" to the advocacy of the religious, moral,


and social improvement of the country, convinced that the time is

The Church of England has now more zealous and able approaching, when parties will meet each other more nearly on the ministers, and has a greater number of the laity more earnestly principles and mode in which the improvement is to be carried on. attached to her, than ever she had. True, these are divided into We are quite satisfied that on this momentous subject a new di- parties ; and it may be said that “a house divided against itself rection must be given to the public mind, a fresh impulse to its cannot stand.” But zeal and earnestness are great things; and spirit. Whether the public mind is yet ready to take this direction, when a Church is in motion it is more indicative of life than when or must have longer time to settle down; in what direction the it is still. There is much movement, too, amongst the Dissenters; movement is to be made, and who may be competent to point it and all this gives promise of some results, leading to the farther out-are questions for the sagacious to resolve. We do not pre- advancement of man. tend to have made the discovery, neither do we insinuate any peculiar competency for such a task. We are but uncertainly we have no visionary prospects, no ideal views. Believing that

5. But what do we mean by man being a "progressive creature ?" feeling our way; we fancy that there is a want amongst the

man individually will continue as he has been to the end of time, reading portion of the public, not supplied by any of the exist

a creature of nerves, feelings, appetites, and passions, a subject of ing periodicals. And in the firm belief that there is such a

moral government and trial, and at all times liable to error, we are want, we are satisfied that the success of our attempt will not depend on our readers, but on ourselves. There is a class that yet amongst those who look forward hopefully to the progress of

man collectively, and think that revelation and reason warrant us will support our Periodical, if it be but conducted with earnestness,

to expect that socially, morally, and intellectually, he will rise in propriety, and judgment; and to that class we now appeal,

the scale of existence. The process may be slow, but it is sure. submitting the “GUIDING PRINCIPLES" on which we propose

One generation will gradually become wiser, better, more free fromı to conduct it.

prejudice, more enlightened, than the one that preceded it. Step 1. We are cordial friends of the “ diffusion of knowledge," but by step the race will be lifted up. It will gradually ascend a higher do expressly desire to link this with a distinct and specific avowal platform, and obtain a clearer view of its interests, obligations, of Christian principles and spirit. The attempt to combine what is and rights. The force of enlightened public opinion will be the called “useful knowledge” with religious feelings and instruction moral lever for elevating man individually and collectively. has been more than once tried, but, in our opinion, neither wisely

6. Almighty God, having committed the civilization of man to nor well.

himself, undoubtedly expects from all of us an account of our 2. The Christianity we wish to advocate is a Catholic Christi- stewardship—what each of us has done in his sphere, be it large or anity, in its widest range. The division of Christians into sects small, for promoting the good of his fellows. Christianity, the and parties has been mourned over for ages as a great evil. Yet prime civilising agent, has been committed, for its propagation, to there can be no doubt that the divisions of the Christian Church the exertions and activity of men-much more all the minor civil. have been overruled, under the providence of Almighty God, for ising agents, inventions, discoveries, " diffusion of knowledge," great good. As far as we can see, had there been no divisions, force of example, and the like. But we may civilize unequally, intellect in the church, and much of it in the world, might have and thus produce intermediate mischief. To take an imaginary slumbered ; the principles of religious liberty might have been example :- :-we may stimulate the intellect of our population, unknown; and all that energy of will and intenseness of purpose without at the same time advancing their moral character, or concentrated in particular bodies, and producing so much of good bettering their physical condition. Then, if a time of pressure and to the human race, might have been dissipated over the surface distress arrived, feeling more acutely than they might otherwise of a “

Pacific Ocean," or rather lost in a “ Dead Sea," on the have done their distress, and understanding wherein their strength banks of which but little fruit either of hope or promise might be lay, yet perceiving dimly how to remedy their condition, such a scen to grow.

population might put forth rude hands to the artificial framework 3. Nevertheless, believing that man is a progressive creature, advance, though Britain were cast down to the bottom of the sea.

of our society, and shake it to pieces. Doubtless, man will and that the chief agent in carrying him forward is Christianity, But such an event as we have imagined, would be a great interwe believe that a time is coming when sects and parties will be

mediate mischief. It would retard the progress of man by upsetfused together, or melted into one another. A great agent in effecting this revolution will be, the diffusion of knowledge under ting the machinery now existing in Britain, for the spread of the guidance of the spirit of Christianity.

· Whoever,” says

Christianity, and the civilization of the world. Robert Hall, “forms his ideas of the Church of Christ from 7. It is, therefore, the duty of all men to endeavour to advance ine an attentive perusal of the New Testament, will perceive that MORAL as well as the intELLECTUAL character of their fellows, unity is one of its essential characteristics, and that, though it be and thus to lend a helping hand, however feeble, in promoting the branched out into many distinct societies, it is still but one." To ADVANCEMENT OF man. It is our wish to dedicate this periodical this we may add, that in whatever form the future unity of the to such a cause ; and most unfeignedly shall we rejoice, if we attain Church will be manifested, it cannot remain in its present form— the smallest influence, and prove of the slightest use. And to all broken up, torn, divided, and excited, by party strife and con

who have at heart the progress of the race, and who wish to see troversy.

man becoming a wiser and a better being, we say, not in the spirit 4. We derive great hope from the fact that there is a general being amongst the humblest of the humble workers in the cause

of arrogance and presumption, but with a perfect consciousness of excitement, if not a movement, in the Christian Church.


" COME OVER AND HELP us." Church OF ENGLAND presents the pleasing spectacle of being in a movement state. In such a movement, error and truth may swim together, like the iron and earthen pot in the fable: but error will From these statements, it will be seen that the guiding principle be broken by truth in the collision. It is always a hopeful sign to of our periodical is to be—" THE DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE see a discussion about fundamentals, provided the discussion is UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTIANITY :" or,

in other words, "THE MORAL AND SOCIAL ADVANCEMENT OF and appropriate selections, and by presenting the subject, MAN UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF A RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE."

not in detached portions, but in wholes, we shall be able to It remains for us briefly to point out what we propose to do, in give a connected view of the operations of the various Bible thus endeavouring to lend our aid to such a cause.

and Missionary Societies, whether at home or abroad. I. We wish to present a Weekly Literary Journal and

III. That Britain, in the providence of God, is intended as Review, throughout the whole of which will be clearly dis

a bee-hive of civilisation, seems as unquestionable as that cerned an earnest desire to enlist the feelings as well as the Britain exists. Particular attention will, therefore, be diintellect of our readers in the cause of social improvement. rected to our colonies—those vast possessions, which are We shall, therefore, give a series of essays, or papers, comparatively so little known to the inhabitants of the modirected to the consideration of great social questions, and ther country. Their physical geography, and natural producalso intended to promote the moral improvement of our tions; the condition and treatment of their aborigines ; the readers.

means that have been adopted, or may be suggested, for their Here, we desire to explain why we do not think ourselves improvement ; just systems of emigration ; the progress of altogether precluded from discussing political questions. The settlements, &c.; are important subjects for our consireader assuredly need not be afraid that we are going either deration. to violate the law, or to injure our chances of a general cir

IV. We shall exercise a vigilant attention to all new disculation, by discussing any of the current political topics of the day. The Newspaper Press of Great Britain is fully coveries and appliances in science and art, convinced that, competent to carry on its work, without the intrusion of properly directed, they may become the most powerful unlicensed peddlers. But there are Political Truths of great auxiliaries of Christianity. It is impossible not to feel this, and general importance, which may, without offence to either

when we contemplate the wonderful and increasing facilities law or propriety, be discussed in our columns. The Christian for internal communication—the already stupendous, but yet man who shrinks from an investigation of political topics, as

not half developed, progress of steam navigation—and the inconsistent with Christianity, but ill understands his privi- immense extension of religious, moral, and useful knowledge, leges. Under a professedly Christian Government, he is in

which has resulted from the labours of the printing machine. a very different position from that which he would occupy

Whatever, therefore, in science or art, appears to us as calunder an established Heathen authority. In the one case,

culated to convey a moral lesson, to increase the stock of his rights as a citizen, and as a member of the social body, practical information, or to diffuse physical comfort and conare recognised in conjunction with his profession of Chris- venience through society, will have strong claims on our

notice. tianity ; in the other case, he must often forego his privileges of citizenship, lest their exercise should bring a scandal on V. Reviews of such books as we think have reference to his religion, or hinder its propagation. This is the spirit of

our “ leading principle," and are worthy the notice of our all those exhortations in the New Testament, respecting readers, will from time to time be given. In this departobedience to "the powers that be.” The Gospel was intro- ment we shall not confine ourselves to the productions of duced under an established Pagan government; and it was Great Britain. Foreign literature generally, and more no part of Christianity that existing establishments should be particularly that of “The United States” of America, will overthrown by any other process than the diffusion of its be consulted for whatever may tend to promote the views spirit. Paul himself asserted his political rights at the proper we wish to carry out. With the latter country, as a powerful time, and on the proper occasion, demanding, when the mob and zealous ally in developing and establishing the principles were shouting after him, if it were “lawful to scourge a of universal civilisation, we have now a much closer union, Roman, and uncondemned?" If the Christian really believes and a far deeper interest, than when it formed a portion of that his faith is one day to overspread the whole earth, should

our own colonies. he forego one of his most important duties, when, by the exercise of it, he may be aiding and not hindering the cause

VI. Believing that principles and facts are to many minds of truth?

rendered more apparent by familiar illustration, we shall

continually appropriate a portion of The Journal to tales, II. We wish to act as a Christian spectator, reporting what sketches, and essays, of a lighter cast, hoping thereby to is now doing all over the earth for the improvement of man. amuse and instruct, without losing sight of the leading objects For this purpose we shall describe foreign countries, either which direct us. as presenting eligible fields for missionary enterprise, or as making progress under the exertions of Christians, and by Having thus briefly stated the views we entertain in enthe translation and circulation of the Bible. The materials deavouring to establish the “ London SATURDAY Journal," for such a purpose are scattered over various reports and and some of the objects at which we propose to aim, we may periodicals, expressly devoted to the subject. By suitable now turn round to that portion of the public, for whose sup

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