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Wuen a Preface is presented to the eye of the reader, it is natural for him to expect that it should give some account of the volume to which it is prefixed. This is a task which an author frequently finds attended with some difficulty; but in no case is the reader's expectation less likely to receive gratification, than in a preface which attempts to delineate the outline of a Magazine. In all publications of this kind, variety must be included; and in the same proportion that the articles become multifarious and diversified, the difficulty of classification increases. None but literary painters of the first eminence can draw a periodical work in miniature.
By glancing over the Index of this Third Volume, its varied contents may be perceived; but it is only by perusing the articles themselves, that the reader will be able to form his judgment upon the merits or defects of the subjects wiehate submitted to his observation.
In the prospectuses which have been circulated respecting the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE, and in the prefaces: prefixed to the two preceding volumes, the principles upon which it is.conducted have been fully avowed; and we flatter ourselves that an appeal to the volumes themselves, will justify the expectation which our readers were instructed to entertain.
The numerous testimonies of approbation which we have received from various quarters, assure us, that our Numbers have given general satisfaction, and to preserve that character which the IMPERIAL Magazine has obtained from the enlightened and judicious, we learn that little alteration will be necessary in those plans and arrangements which we have hitherto pursued. In the same course which we have adopted we hope therefore to persevere, without being warped by the dictates of bigotry, the reve. ries of enthusiasm, or the laxity of culpable indifference.
In giving encouragement to free inquiry, we hope, however, always to bear in mind, that the claims of truth are imperative; and to these we hope invariably to pay an implicit homage, without cherishing doubts respecting first principles and established propositions, or becoming the exclusive apologists for any dogmas that may have found their way into human articles or manufactured creeds.
The various questions from our correspondents, which we have introduced in nearly every number, have produced in several instances some masterly replies, and elicited many important truths. It is only by making our appeal to scriptural authority and fundamental principles, that we can perceive the distinctions which subsist between the indiscriminate adoptions of credulity, and the selections made by rational and scriptural belief.
From the investigations of several passages of holy writ which have appeared in our pages, we may learn, that all argument is
not exclusively on either side of a question. This should teach us to moderate the asperities of censure against others, who may have taken views of the same subject different from our own, and lead us to examine with caution, those opinions which offer themselves to us without a correspondent degree of evidence.
But while we thus recommend diffidence and caution, we must not forget, that, on multitudes of subjects relating to divinity, to morals, and to science, various questions may be proposed, to which no satisfactory replies can be given. He, therefore, who refuses his assent until all difficulties are removed, will live in the region of scepticism, and die without a creed.
Into the field of politics it has been rarely our lot to enter. The Imperial MAGAZINE espouses neither Whig nor Tory principles; but it embraces every opportunity of introducing articles which tend to check the progress of anarchy, or to benefit the condition of mankind. The conductors of this journal are well aware, that amįdst the fluctuations of public opinion, the orders and gradations *o£ şociety must be preserved. When these cease, civil gayernment is .bo niore; and consequently, every effort that is made to weaken the ties which bind man to man, tends to dissolve the social compact, and to introduce disorder and confusion into the.community.
The enormitie's shich are daily committed, the culprits which are arraigned, and the executions which frequently take place in the metropolis, are dreadful evidences of the prevalence of vice, the source of which may be traced to that laxity of morals, which the principles avowed in many modern publications are calculated to diffuse through society. The moral poison thus disseminated, operating upon the degeneracy of human nature, easily finds a lodgment in the heart, which no antidote can reach, and communicates a contagion which no antidote can expel. So far as human means are concerned, it is only by pre-occupying the mind with scriptural truths, with moral principles, and with just conceptions of things, that these evils can be prevented.
To several topics of natural and experimental philosophy, the pages of this volume will shew that we have not been inattentive; and various papers bear evidence, that we have not been destitute of original communications.
The plates which adorn the present volume, have been procured at a vast expense, which nothing but an extensive sale could justify, and which nothing could have induced the proprietor to risk, but a confident persuasion that his numerous subscribers would continue their patronage of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE, and, so far as they deem it worthy of support, recommend it to their neighbours and friends.
INDEX TO VOLUME III.
ABILITIES, Natural or Acquired. Replies Cain, Punishment and Mark of, ... 702
to a Query on, ... 846, 926, 1091 Caloric,.... ... 436, 528, 726, 791, 1137
Adam's Fall, Replies to a Quers on, 828, Caroline, Queen, Death and Funeral of, 865
Alfred the Great,
928 Caution-Catholic Emancipation, .... 348
332, 416, 560, 605, 976 |Chemical Essays, , 436,528, 726, 971, 1137
Authors and Books, Observations on, 715 Christophe, Character of,
Bethel C'nion and Seaman's Friend Soci- Conjunctions of Saturd and Jupiter, 561, 1014
1054 Conscience, Replies to Queries on, 167, 171
578, 1053, 1058 Conversations on English Grammar, re-
21 Cordwainers, Reply to a Query on,.... 1203
Sentence for a Libel,
Ode on the,
Botolph, Account of the Parish Church
Breaches of Tender Engagements, ... 461 | Defectibility of the Human Mind, 895
Brutes, on the Intellectual Faculties of, 308 Deism, the Folly of,
Burying in Churches, Reply to a Query
Reflections on, ...
414 Departed Spirits, Reply to a Query on,.. 998
Byron, Lord, on the Genius and Writings Devotion not to be constrained,
251, 978 Discourses by Buckworth, reviewed,
-Vindication of, 810,1016, 1113, 1115
by Chalmers, do.
945 Division of the Earth, Answers to a Query
- Beneficence of,
Edward and Matilda, a Poem,
238 Human Knowledge, on the Origin and
Edwin's Grave, a Monody,
356 Hunt, Mr. Leigh, the Poetry of, 606, 695,
I and J.
Insanity, Nature and Causes of,
Females, Impropriety of triling with, 831
trasted with the Precepts of
Fishing, a Poem,
Human, on the Origin & Na-
ture of, respecting God & di-
Fuel, Economy in,
Gambling, Extract from a Treatise on,.. 320 Leech used as a Weather-glass,
Geology, Essays on,.... ...... 64, 108 Light, Observations on,
1237 Likewise and Also, Distinction between, 258
Haryest Home, by Becker,
descriptive, respecting, 53, 145,
282, 337, 468, 651, 816, 1032
... 976 Love, on Dissimulation in,
Heathen, Salvation of the,
40, 348 Luther, Martin, Life of,