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So the insight which commands the laws and conditions of the true polity, precludes forever all interests in the squabbles of parties. As soon as men have tasted the enjoyments of learning, friendship, and virtue, for which the state exists, the prizes of office appear polluted, and their followers, outcasts.
A journal that would meet the real wants of this time must have a courage and power sufficient to solve the problems which the great groping society around us, stupid with perplexity, is dumbly exploring. Let it not show its astuteness, by dodging each difficult question, and arguing diffusely every point on which men are long ago unanimous. Can it front this matter of Socialism, to which the names of Owen and Fourier have attached, and dispose of that question? Will it cope with the allied questions of Government, Nonresistance, and all that belongs under that category? Will it measure itself with the chapter of Slavery, in some sort the special enigma of the time, as it has provoked against it a sort of inspiration and enthusiasm singular in modern history? There are literary and philosophical reputations to settle. The name of Swedenborg has in this very time acquired new honors, and the current year has witnessed the appearance, in their first English translation, of his manuscript. Here is an unsettled account in the book of Fame; a nebula to dim eyes, but which great telescopes may yet resolve into a magnificent system.
Here is the standing problem of Natural Science, and the merits of her great interpreters, to be determined; the encyclopedical Humboldt, and the intrepid generalizations collected by the author of the “ Vestiges of Creation.” Here is the balance to be adjusted between the exact French Schools of Cuvier, and the genial catholic theorists, Geoffroy St. Hilaire, Goethe, Davy, and Agassiz. Will it venture into the thin
and difficult air of that school where the secrets of structure are discussed under the topics of mesmerism and the twilights of demonology?
What will easily seem to many a far higher question than any other is that which respects the embodying of the Conscience of the Period. Is the age we live in unfriendly to the highest powers; to that blending of the affections with the poetic faculty which has distinguished the Religious Ages? We have a better opinion of the economy of nature than to fear that those varying phases which humanity presents, ever leave out any of the grand springs of human action. Mankind for the moment seem to be in search of religion. The Jewish cultus is declining; the Divine, or, as some will say, the truly Human, hovers, now seen, now unseen, before us. This period of peace, this hour when the jangle of contending churches is hushing or hushed, will seem only the more propitious to those who believe that man need not fear the want of religion, because they know his religious constitution, that he must rest on the moral and religious sentiments, as the motion of bodies rests on geometry.
In the rapid decay of what was called religion, timid and unthinking people fancy a decay of the hope of man. But the moral and religious sentiments meet us everywhere, alike in markets as in churches. A God starts up behind cotton bales also. The conscience of man is regenerated as is the atmosphere, so that society cannot be debauched. That health which we call Virtue is an equipoise which easily redresses itself, and resembles those rocking stones which a child's finger can move, and a weight of many hundred tons cannot overthrow.
With these convictions a few friends of good letters have thought fit to associate themselves for the
conduct of a new journal. We have obeyed the custom and convenience of the time in adopting this form of a Review, as a mould into which all metal most easily runs. But the form shall not be suffered to be an impediment. The name might convey the impression of a book of criticism, and that nothing is to be found here which was not written expressly for the Review; but good readers know that inspired pages are not written to fill a space, but for inevitable utterances; and to such our journal is freely and solicitously open, even though everything else be excluded. We entreat the aid of every lover of truth and right, and let these principles entreat for us. We rely on the talents and industry of good men known to us, but much more on the magnetism of truth, which is multiplying and educating advocates for itself and friends for us. We rely on the truth for and against ourselves.
ADDRESS TO LOUIS KOSSUTH
SIR: — The fatigues of your many public visits, in such unbroken succession as may compare with the toils of a campaign, forbid us to detain you long. The people of this town share with their countrymen the admiration of valor and perseverance; they, like their compatriots, have been hungry to see the man whose extraordinary eloquence is seconded by the splendor and the solidity of his actions. But, as it is the privilege of the people of this town to keep a hallowed mound which has a place in the story of the country, we knew beforehand that you would not go by us; you could not take all your steps in the pilgrimage of American liberty, until you had seen with your eyes the ruins of the little bridge where a handful of brave farmers opened our Revolution. Therefore we sat and waited for you.
And now, sir, we are heartily glad to see you at last in these fields. We set no more value than you do on cheers and huzzas. But we think that the graves of our heroes around us throb to-day to a footstep that sounded like their own:
"The mighty tread, Brings from the dust the sound of liberty." Sir, we have watched with attention your progress through the land, and the varying feeling with which you have been received, and the unvarying tone and countenance which you have maintained. We wish to discriminate in our regard. We wish to reserve our honor for actions of the noblest strain. We
please ourselves that in you is one whose temper was long since tried in the fire, and made equal to all events; a man who is so truly in love with a glorious fortune, that he cannot be diverted to any less.
It is our republican doctrine, too, that the wide variety of opinions is an advantage.
I believe I may say, of the people of this country at large, that their sympathy is more worth, because it stands the test of party. It is not a blind wave; it is a living soul, contending with living souls. It is in every expression antagonized. No opinion will pass, but must stand the tug of war. As you see, the love you win is worth something, for it has been argued through; its foundation searched; it has proved sound and whole; it may be avowed; it will last; and it will draw all opinion to itself.
We have seen with great pleasure that there is nothing accidental in your attitude. We have seen that you are organically in that cause you plead. The man of freedom, you are also a man of fate. You do not elect, but you are elected by God and your genius to your task. We do not, therefore, affect to thank you. We only see in you the angel of freedom, crossing sea and land; crossing parties, nationalities, private interests, and self-esteems; dividing populations, where you go, and drawing to your part only the good. We are afraid you are growing popular, sir; you may be called to the dangers of prosperity. But hitherto you have had, in all countries and in all parties, only the men of heart. I do not know but you will have the million yet. Then, may your strength be equal to your day! But remember, sir, that everything great and excellent in the world is in minorities. Far be from us, sir, any tone of patronage; – we ought rather to ask yours. We know the austere conditions of liberty, that it