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Lee's Travels of Ibn Batuta.
Leifchild's Christian Antidote to Unreasonable Fears at the Present Crisis
-Letter to the Right Honourable Lord Holland; occasioned by the Petition from
the General Body of Dissenting Ministers of London, for the Relief of the
M'Crie's History of the Progress and Suppression of the Reformation in Italy,
Memoirs of the Rev. John Townsend
Miller's Memoirs of General Miller
Morison's Monthly Bible Class Book, upon the American Plan
Remarkable Events in Paris preceding the Capitulation
Neale's Mohammedan System of Theology
Newnham's Principles of Physical, Intellectual, Moral, and Religious Education
Niebuhr's History of Rome. Translated by John Julius Hare and Connop
Roman History. Translated from the German, by F. A. Walter, Esq.
Objections to the Doctrine of Israel's Future Restoration to Palestine, National
Otley's Essays on the Nature, Causes, and Effects of National Antipathies, &c. .
Pacho's Relation d'un Voyage dans la Marmarique, la Cyrenaique, &c. .
Report of the Speeches and Proceedings of a Dinner to commemorate the Aboli-
Russel's Analysis of the Second Decade of Livy
Vestry Library. Vol. I. Select Works of the Right Rev. Joseph
Schleiermacher's Critical Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke
Smith, Dr. J. Pye, on the Principles of Interpretation, as applied to the Prophe-
Whately's Essays on some of the Difficulties in the Writings of St. Paul, &c.
91. 188. 284, 380. 468, 566
THE PUBLISHERS of the ECLECTIC REVIEW have applied to me for my consent, that the present Number should commence a New Series; for which measure they urge the following reasons.
The New Series, commenced in January 1814, has now extended to Thirty Volumes; of which, many of the numbers having been for some time out of print, a complete set cannot be furnished. Now, as most persons object to purchasing an incomplete series, and as, moreover, thirty volumes may be deemed a sufficiently respectable number to form a distinct series; it has been represented to me, that this is a fit and proper opportunity for starting afresh with No. I.
The Publishers are also anxious to pledge themselves, that the typography and general appearance of the Review, shall in future be of an improved character, worthy of a long established Journal, and such as may at the same time justify the designation of a New Series.
Although I have yielded to their wishes, I feel impelled to state the grounds upon which I hesitated to concur in the measure.
The announcement of a New Series usually creates the expectation of some change, either in the general management or in the avowed principles of a Journal; some transfer of property, or compromise of party, or revolution of plan. Nothing of this kind has taken place, or is contemplated.
With regard to the principles of the Work, they are too well known to require avowal, except for the purpose of shewing that they cannot be abandoned. The original design of the Proprietors has never been
lost sight of, which was, to reconcile those long divorced parties, Religion and Literature; to create or cherish the love of literature in the Christian world, and to watch over the interests of religion as implicated in our literature. It rests its claims to public support on being the only Critical Journal, embracing the wide range of general literature, which is conducted with this view, and explicitly upon evangelical principles. It may also be affirmed, without disparaging the merit or usefulness of other periodicals, that in the pages of no other Journal will there be found a record of the various productions and progress of literature in England, during the past four and twenty years, to which the Christian scholar will be able to refer with equal confidence and satisfaction. This assertion is made in reference chiefly to the plan and the principles of the Journal, although there is no occasion for affecting to shrink from any comparison as to the general character of its articles. As Editor, how inadequately soever I may feel to have discharged the office, during the years that it has devolved upon me, I can take no lower ground in speaking of the Writers.
With regard to the plan of the Work, I take this opportunity of stating, that no one can be so much aware as myself, of the disadvantages attendant upon a monthly publication, and that, had I consulted my own ease, I should have announced the present as a Quarterly Series, agreeably to the public recommendation of an eloquent writer, and the private suggestions of many friends. The following paragraph, while it contains a eulogy most honourable to those who have earned it, states so clearly and forcibly, the object at which the Journal has aimed, and the disadvantages under which it has laboured, that I cannot resist the temptation to avail myself of it.
"It is clear from the assistance which political Reviews have given to their party, how powerful an instrument such a Review would be for promoting the influence of Religion. Not that such publications are even now deficient either in number or in excellence; but, from particular circumstances, they want that extended circulation which is essential to diffusive usefulness. To take the ECLECTIC alone as an example, a Review to which Hall, Montgomery, and Foster have contributed since its commencement, besides others nearly as eminent in
their particular departments, must contain a great variety of excellence. But a monthly publication is unfavourable for the selection of proper articles; and, of necessity, there is much inequality in a work which contains many brilliant passages of an eloquence seldom rivalled, and an originality of conception, which those who are economical of their thoughts, and instructed in the art of book-making, would never have expended in an anonymous publication. Were a quarterly work written with equal talents, but conducted upon a better plan, and if, above all, it forgot the minor differences which divide and distract the Christian world, it would act, not only on the minds of readers, but of authors, and would raise the standard of moral feeling, while it deterred from literary delinquency."*
This effect, it is presumed, our Journal has to a certain extent produced. And it is apprehended, that a mere change in the mode of publication would not render its influence more diffusive, inasmuch as, giving no support to any political party, it can receive no party support; nor can a literary and religious Journal compete in power with a political Review. With regard to the minor differences which divide the Christian world, they never have been-they never shall be-suffered to intrude into the region of literature, so as to influence a critical decision. There exists an anxious wish to merge those differences, so far as is compatible with a firm maintenance of the principles of religious liberty, and the honest discharge of the duties imposed upon a Reviewer, in reference to questions of biblical criticism, ecclesiastical history, and scriptural theology. In reference to these subjects, a negative opinion, or a silent one, would involve a dereliction of principle, by which not even the interests of charity could be subserved.
If, from the known sentiments of Writers whom I am proud to rank among my friends and contributors, the ECLECTIC REVIEW should be deemed the organ or the advocate of any denomination or religious party, I can only say, that nothing can be more unfettered by any ties of interest or obligation, than the conduct of this Journal. With regard to any such connexion, I must be permitted to reply, in the language of the illustrious Colonel Hutchinson,-I have not chosen the party, but the principles they profess; and I am not therefore so unreasonable as to
* Douglas on the Advancement of Society, pp. 192, 3.
expect their gratitude for services and sacrifices which they might be more ready to claim as their due, than kindly to appreciate.
With respect to the future management of the Work, I have no higher wish, than that all occasion for the Editor to employ his feeble pen, should be superseded by the more frequent aid of his oldest contributors, and the accession of others not less able and laborious. I wish that I could be permitted to express my obligations to those by name, who have, by anonymous labours very inadequately remunerated, so effectively served the interests of religion and literature. The reputation which not a few of them enjoy from their published works, enables them indeed to afford this generous expenditure of their time and thoughts; but I do not the less feel the value of the sacrifice,-a sacrifice, however, they are aware, in which one who can still less afford it, more than equally participates. And on the part of others, the labour and learning brought to bear upon many articles which have appeared in the series now terminated, are above purchase. It is for the gratification of giving this public expression to my feelings, that I have dropped the plural form, and venture to address the Public in my individual capacity as Editor. There are, alas! some honoured friends who are beyond the reach of my acknowledgements.
It shall not be through any want of diligence in the discharge of the important and highly responsible trust reposed in me, if the future Series does not maintain in all respects, the literary respectability, the critical impartiality, and the religious consistency, which, I will boldly say, characterize the past volumes of the ECLECTIC REVIEW.
LONDON, JAN. 1, 1829.