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BURY, D. D.
JANUARY, 18 44.
ART. I. - INTRODUCTION. - The Boston Quarterly Re
view. — Greeting to Old Friends. - Design of the Work. — Change of Views. — Eclecticism. — SaintSimonism. —German Philosophy. — Philosophy of Life. Theology. — The Church. — Law of Continuity. Ultraists. Conservatism. Constitutionalism. - Moral and Religious Appeals.
At the close of the volume for 1842, I was induced to merge the Boston Quarterly Review, which I had conducted for five years, in the Democratic Review, published at New-York, on condition of becoming a free and independent contributor to its pages for two years. But the character of my contributions having proved unacceptable to a portion of its ultra-democratic subscribers, and having, in consequence, occasioned its proprietors a serious pecuniary loss, the conductor has signified to me, that it would be desirable for my connexion with the Democratic Review to cease before the termination of the original agreement. This leaves me free to publish a new journal of my own, and renders it, in fact, necessary, if I would continue my communications with the public. I have no fault to find with the conductor of the Democratic Review, Mr. O'Sullivan, a gentleman for whom I have a very
VOL. I. NO. I.
high esteem. His conduct, so far as I am concerned, has been honorable, and even generous; but my selfrespect prohibits me from living on another's generosity, or by means of an engagement profitable only to myself. I am, moreover, not unhappy to terminate an arrangement, into which I reluctantly entered, and from which I never really augured a favorable issue, and to return home, and, as it were, meet my old friends around my own fireside, where we may talk over matters at our ease, and in our own familiar way. I have never been at home in the Democratic Re
I have felt, all the while, that I was among strangers, speaking to a strange audience, who knew not my face, and recognized no familiar tones in my voice. We were not, as the Mesmerizers say, in communication. No magnetic chain of sympathy united us, and no household feeling could spring up between us. They looked upon me as a stranger, as an intruder, and seemed to be all the while wishing for my expulsion. Under such circumstances, I received as little pleasure as I gave. Joyfully, then, I return home, and, resuming my old familiar speech and dress, meet again the kind and constant friends, who have always stood by me, and cheered me on, from first to last.
Never had a periodical a better list of subscribers, than had the Boston Quarterly Review, during the whole term of its existence. They were few, but they were serious, honest, earnest, affectionate.
I felt, and still feel, though the faces of most of them are unknown to me, that they were ny warm personal friends. They might, or might not, always agree with me ; but they were always patient and respectful listeners ; always appeared to be willing to hear what, and all, I had to say. When a clamor was raised against me, which fetched its echoes from one end of the Union to the other, not one of them, to my knowledge, deserted me, or stopped his subscription, because he found me advocating offensive doctrines. Many of them have signified a wish, that I would speak to them
again through a journal of my own, from my own chair, not from that of another. Many of them, I trust, I shall meet again ; for the bond that unites us, I feel, is proof against time and distance, and against good fortune and evil. It is to them, to the little public that knows me, to whom my voice is familiar, and to whom familiarity has softened its natural harshness, that I chiefly address myself, in this Introduction; and not to a stranger public, who know me not, or only know me by uncertain report. I come into the circle of my friends, to exchange kindly greetings, and to allow my heart to expand, and to overflow with the warm sentiments, which have, since I went abroad, been pent up, struggling in vain for utterance.
We meet again, then, dear friends, after a short separation, and, I trust, unchanged. You may have heard strange rumors of me, but I come back what I was. The heart may be sadder, and less buoyant; but it beats still for the same great moral and social end, and retains all its old faith in God, in Christ, and human capacity. Believe none of the idle rumors which may have reached your ears.
have known me, so will you always find me. You have known me too long, and too intimately, to give in to the false notion, that I am constantly changing my opinions. They who have not know me formerly, as ye knew me, and who gathered my views from isolated extracts from my writings, or from the views of my presumed associates, beginning now to understand really somewhat of my doctrines and purposes, may very well fancy that I have changed, because they do not, upon a better acquaintance, find me what they had figured me to themselves; but you, who have read me from the first, were always able to find in my writings the germs, at least, of the doctrines and sentiments, which they now approve, and suppose I have but recently come to entertain.
Yes, I deny that I have changed, though I own that I seem to myself to have advanced. I am looking the same way, and have continued on in the same
direction ; but I believe, that I am further along than I was. When I first began speaking to the public, I was young, inexperienced, ignorant, though perhaps not remarkably modest ; my views were in the process of formation, rather than formed, and my mind, if not void, was at least in a chaotic state. I would fain hope, that years and constant study have, in some degree, reduced the primitive chaos to order, and ripened what was crude. My views have, in general, become more fully developed, and systematized ; I seem to myself to understand myself better, to know better what I would effect, and what means I must use to effect it. The young dreamer, the visionary speculator, let me hope, has ripened into the sober, practical
If this be to change, I doubtless have changed ; but in this I have only changed, as all change, who are not incapable of profiting by experience. But in all else, I seem to myself to be what I was. I bring to this new periodical, the same love of independence, the same free thought and free speech, the same unreserved devotion to liberty, the same unquenchable desire for individual and social progress, and the same power to live or to die for it, that made me so many enemies, and so many friends, in the Boston Quarterly Review.
So much, I have felt that I might, without egotism, be permitted to say of myself, in returning to the field of my former labors, in a Review of my own, through which I may speak out, in my own tones, when and what I please. Of the plan of this journal, of its leading purposes, and the general doctrines it will support, I may speak more fully, and at greater length.
The name I have chosen, is not chosen from a selfish vanity, but because it is honest and appropriate, and tells the public the simple truth. This is my Review; I am its proprietor; its editor ; intend to be its principal, if not its sole, writer, and to make it the organ of my own views of truth, on all the great or little topics, on which I shall judge it worth my while to discourse. It will be the journal of my own mind,