« VorigeDoorgaan »
THE Con luctors of the Remembrancer, if they had no other intention than to put forward a new candidate for that patronage by which miscellaneous literature is so liberally supported, would have been inclined to waive the ceremony of an introductory address; and they even now venture to introduce the work to public notice without insisting upon the critical or scientific communications, with which they hope to enliven its pages. It would be difficult to improve the method in which these subjects are commonly discussed, and it is not necessary to dilate upon the advantages of a system, when its value. is universally acknowledged. The number of writers and of readers has increased and is increasing, and in our opinion ought not to be diminished. Intellectual pleasures are. now cultivated with care, where their very existence was lately unknown; and this circumstance at once gives us a reasonable prospect of success, and furnishes an ample field for observation and enquiry. There is no approach to stagnation in the taste, or in the literature of the day. The waters have been diverted from their ancient channel, not by the gradual encroachments of the stream, but by the sudden violence of a mountain thaw-former boundaries and landmarks are not easily discerned, and if the current has become more powerful, and the banks more picturesque, yet the majesty, and the stillness, and the verdure of the scene are at an end. We are not disposed to regard this as an unnatural or an unpropitious event, because we believe that the irregularities will be gradually reREMEMBRANCER, No. 1.
moved, and that the fertility of the soil will be permanently increased. The licentious shoots which have been produced by an unusual warmth, will be pruned away; and the condemned old trunk, which was never more to put forth its leaves, will bear au abundant and well flavoured crop to the utter confusion of ingenious theorists, and to the consolation and refreshment of those who imagined that they had seen the downfall of literature and taste; and repined at being appointed to survive them.
Our design, in the shortest phrase by which we are able to express it, is to strengthen and extend the influence of religion; to demonstrate the authenticity of revelation; to discover and point out the manœuvres of scepticism; to trace certain senti:ments up to their source; to explain the connexion and tendency of principles, which appear harmless until they are united; to prove, that even now they are disseminated with a proselyting zeal, and that, contemptible as they may be thought, they are still able to do mischief.
In pursuit of these objects we seek not to conceal our alliance with those men, who see little or no prospect of extending the influence of Christianity, except through the instrumentality of the Church. Of course, therefore, the Church will find us zealous in its defence; anxious to do away the false impressions from which so much evil has arisen; to represent its merits and its claims in their proper point of view; to compare it with every other scheme which has been set up as its rival, and particularly with