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RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, HISTORY, POLITICS,
SOCIAL ECONOMY, ETC.,
AND TO THE PROMOTION OF SELF-CULTURE
AND GENERAL EDUCATION.
65, PATERNOSTER ROW.
CO-OPERATION is not less necessary in the search for and the discovery of truth than in commercial pursuits, industrial processes, or political movements. Controversy is co-operative thought, the mutual culture of reasoning inquiry, and vigilance of intellect. That good fellowship and charity do not necessarily fiod themselves in alien company in the arena of controversy, the seventeen years existence and success of this serial, expressly devoted to impartial debate, and the free and open encounter of contending thinkers may be held as fair proof. In hundreds of debates in this battle-field of thought the armour of the combatants has been tested, and seldom indeed bave the courtesies or proprieties of sympathetic intellectuality been traversed or neglected during that lengthy period. The Conductors have endeavoured, so far as in them Jay, to do their part fairly, justly, and wisely, and they believe that their efforts have been largely beneficial, not only in encouraging self-culture among their readers and in increasing the forbearance of thinkers who differ honestly from each other, but also in lessening, among those who study these pages, the likelihood of their being confused by sophistry or involved in error, by exercising them to insist on clear thought, adeqnately argued and properly expressed. Practical training in the detection and confutation of error stimulates, strengthens, and braces the intellectual powers, and prepares the mied for the duties of social life, and the share which all intelligent men desire to take in the conųuct of the affairs which interest them.
The Conductors of this serial hare, perhaps, the smallest share in making it what it is. Not their opinions, but those of their cởntributors-who are welcomed from all classes of its readers—appear'z'a large pioportion of these pages. For the whole of what many must regard as the chest portion of this volume, the Controversial Papers, they are indebted to thieir subscribers ; to whom also much of the Essayist, the Inquirer, and other sections of the Magazine—with all the praise they merit-is due. It is not in self-complacency therefore that the Conductors refer to these debates as of high interest, not only for the matters to which they relate, but the manner in which they are handled. Though in the present volume there has been less variety in the topics controverted, they have been assured by many diligent readers that the logical acuteness and literary ability of these papers bear favourable comparison with those of previous years. Some may think that a little closer grappling with the arguments included in the pa pers of antagonists might have increased both the power and usefulness of these articles, though all must confess that as it is difficult to observe the true mean between ostensive and offensive controversy; if our contributors have erred at all, they have erred, on that side which is rare in debate, in gentleness and charity. To all contributors the thanks of Conductors and readers alike are hereby terdered for their co-operation in the production of this Magazine of reasoned thought, and manual of the means of self-culture.