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The following Essays have been collected, for the first time, from such of the author's periodical writings as it was thought might furnish another publication similar to the “ Indicator.” Most of them have been taken from the “ London Journal,” and the remainder from the “ Liberal,” the “ Monthly Repository,” the “ Tatler,” and the “ Round Table.” The title, of course, is to be understood in its primitive and most simple sense, and not in its portentous one, as connected with foresight and prophecy; nor would the author profess, intellectually, to see “ farther into a millstone” than his betters. His motto, which thoroughly explains, will also, he trusts, vindicate, all which he aspires to show;
which is, that the more we look at any thing in this beautiful and abundant world with a desire to be pleased with it, the more we shall be rewarded by the loving Spirit of the universe with discoveries that await only the desire.
It will ever be one of the most delightful recollections of the author's life, that the periodical work, from which the collection has been chiefly made, was encouraged by all parties in the spirit in which it was set
up. Nor, at the hazard of some imputation on his modesty (which he must be allowed not very terribly to care for, where so much love is going forward), can he help repeating what he wrote on this point, when his heart was first touched by it:
6 As there is nothing in the world which is not supernatural in one sense; as the very world of fashion itself rolls round with the stars, and is a part of the mystery and the variety of the shows of the universe : so nothing, in a contemptuous sense, is small, or unworthy of a grave and calm hope, which tends to popularize Christian refinement, and to mix it up with every species of social intercourse as a good realized, and not merely as an abstraction preached. What! have not Philosophy and Christianity long since met in the embrace of such loving discoveries? and do not the least and most trivial things, provided they have an earnest and cheerful good-will, partake of some right of greatness, and the privilege to be honored, if not with admiration of their wisdom, yet with acknowledgment of the joy which is the end of wisdom, and which it is the privilege of a loving sincerity to reach by a short road? Hence we have had two objections, and two hundred encouragements ; and excellent writers of all sorts, and of all other shades of belief, have hastened to say to us, “Preach that, and prosper.'
Have not the "Times' and the Examiner' and the Atlas' and the “ Albion' and the • True Sun,' and twenty other newspapers, hailed us for the very sunniness of our religion? Does not that old and judicious Whig, the Scotsman,' waive his deliberate manner in our favor, and cordially’ wish
us success for it? Does not the Radical Glasgow Argus,' in an eloquent article, “fresh and glowing' as his good-will, expressly recommend us for its pervading all we write upon, tears included? And the rich-writing Tory, Christopher North, instead of objecting to the entireness of our sunshine, and requiring a cloud in it, does he not welcome it, ay, every week, as it strikes on his breakfast-cloth, and speak of it, in a burst of bright-heartedness, as dazzling the snow'?”
And so, with thanks and blessings upon the warmhearted of all parties, who love their fellow-creatures quite as much as we do, perhaps better, and who may think, for that very reason, that the edge of their contest with one another is still not to be so much softened as we suppose, here is another bit of a corner, at all events, where, as in the recesses of their own minds, all green and hopeful thoughts for the good and entertainment of men may lovingly meet.
[Given at our suburban abode, with a fire on one
side of us, and a vine at the window on the other, this nineteenth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and forty, and in the very green and invincible year of our life, the fifty-sixth.]