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WHEN the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE was first announced to the world, it professed to take its stand on neutral ground, and to maintain a spirit of independence, over which the influence of sect and party could not extend. This avowal gave some umbrage to various theological dealers in truth, who wished to secure a monopoly, although they disclaimed all pretensions to infallibility; but it was only in secret whispers, invidious hints, and ungenerous surmises, that the cloven foot of this spirit was permitted to appear: it was "Willing to wound, but yet afraid to strike."
While, however, the liberal principles of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE gave offence to some, they were hailed by others with the smiles of approbation; and men of independent spirits and splendid talents soon began to rally round the standard of a Periodical, that opened its pages to all who had fortitude enough to embrace truth, although it wore not the habit of any particular order. To these circumstances we are indebted for many valuable communications which enrich our columns. They have been transmitted by correspondents of superior learning, intellect, and character, though frequently concealed under fictitious signatures, lest they should give offence to their weaker brethren, or draw upon themselves that vengeance which every sect has in store for those transgressors who dare to think that any truth can lie beyond the confines of their established creed.
Let it not, however, be thought, while the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE triumphs in being "Slave to no sect, and takes no party road,"
that its principles are indifferent with regard to the great doctrines of Christianity. An unremitting aim to promote the interests of religion, of morals, of experimental and practical godliness, as revealed in the Bible, and sanctioned by it, stands foremost among its distinguishing characteristics. For this, no other evidence can be necessary, than that which an appeal to its NINE volumes will afford.
To the leading articles in which these principles are inculcated, in connexion with scientific subjects, many subordinate branches of useful information are added, in the numbers of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE; the columns of which are occasionally enlivened with interesting narratives, instructive and amusing anecdotes, and relations that tend to develop varieties in the human character.
Of the Engravings which adorn the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE, nothing need be said. For the superior excellence of these, both in resemblance and execution, every number carries its own voucher.
We may, however, be permitted to observe, that in making selections for this department, we have been guided by the same spirit of liberality that is conspicuous in our columns. The pulpits of the Dissenters and of the Episcopalians, the Mitre, the Bar, the Bench, the Senate, and even the Throne itself, have furnished us with subjects. Our primary aim has been to select such individuals as have rendered themselves conspicuous by their piety, their virtues, their literary talents, their scientific attainments, their distinguished situations, their unwearied researches, or their striking peculiarities; and we appeal to the catalogue of those numerous engravings we have already published, for the accuracy of this statement.
Connected, however, with this branch, there is one occurrence which demands an apology. This is, the omission of the portrait of the late William Gifford, Esq. which we had given our subscribers reason to expect.
The death of this gentleman taking place on the last day in 1826, we published his interesting memoir in our number for April of the present year, announcing it to be accompanied with a portrait. At that time we had no doubt of being able to procure one, from which to take an engraving. We, however, found on inquiry, that the only one to be obtained had been taken about thirty years before, and that the likeness was not calculated to excite admiration. Under these circumstances, we chose rather to omit it altogether, than to introduce what would give no idea of his features, and would form but an indifferent associate with those that grace the numbers of the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE. This elucidation we hope will prove satisfactory to our readers, especially as the full complement of portraits will appear in the volume.
Of our future labours we beg to assure our numerous subscribers, that nothing accessible to us shall be wanting, to render the IMPERIAL MAGAZINE deserving of that patronage which it has so liberally enjoyed. Its principles are permanently established; and we know not how to give a better pledge of their continuance, than by making the volumes already before the world, a security for what we may hereafter publish.
LIST OF PLATES.
1. REV. ROBERT HALL, M. A.
SOUTH-WEST END OF THE VOLCANO OF KI-RAU-E-A, IN HAWAII, 2. HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS FREDERICK DUKE OF YORK, .
3. RIGHT REV. REGINALD HEBER, LATE BISHOP OF CALCUTTA, 4. HIS MAJESTY GEORGE IV.
5. RIGHT REV. THOMAS BURGess, D D., late BISHOP OF SALISBURY, 6. J. NICHOLS, F. S. A.,