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“To bave no errors is a privilege above the condition of humanity; under it, happiest is he
who has fewest of them."
HORACE, Lib. I. Satire 3.
PRINTED AT THE CAXTON PRESS, BY HENRY FISHER,
WHEN 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 which are 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