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CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.
ART. IV. - Address of the Democratic State Convention of
BOSTON QUARTERLY REVIEW.
Art. I. - INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.
In adding another to the numerous periodicals of our country, I have not much to say by way of introduction, and nothing by way of apology. I undertake the present publication, with a deep feeling of responsibleness, and with the hope of contributing something to the moral pleasure and social progress of my countrymen.
Had I consulted my ability to conduct a periodical as I would see one conducted, or had I listened to the counsels of some of my warmest and most judicious friends, I had not engaged in my present undertaking. But I seem to myself to be called to it, by a voice I dare not and even cannot disobey if I would. Whether this voice, which I have long heard urging me to the work, be merely an illusion of my own fancy, the promptings of my own vanity and self-esteem, or whether it be an indication of Duty from a higher Source, time and the result must determine. It speaks to me with Divine authority, and I must obey.
No man is able to estimate properly the value of his own individual experience. All are prone to exaggerate, more or less, the importance of what has happened to themselves. This it is altogether likely
VOL. I. NO. I.
is the case with me. Yet in my own eyes my experience possesses some value. My life has been one of vicissitude and trial. My mind has passed through more than one scene of doubt and perplexity. I have asked in the breaking up, as it were, of my whole moral and intellectual being, What is the Destiny of Man and of Society ? Much of my life has been spent — wasted perhaps — in efforts to decipher the answer to this question. In common with others, I have tried my hand at the riddle of the Sphinx ; and in common with others too, I have, it may be, faith in my own explanation. In seeking to solve the problem which has pressed heavily on my heart, as well as on my mind, I have been forced to appeal from tradition and authority to the Universal Reason, a ray of which shines into the heart of every man that cometh into the world ; and this, which has been forced upon me, I would force upon others. The answer, which I have obtained and which has restored peace and serenity to my own soul, I would urge others to seek, and aid them to find. For this purpose I undertake this Review.
I have not sought to solve the problem of the Destiny of Man and of Society, without thinking for myself. By thinking for myself, I have found myself a solitary being, in a great measure shut out from communion with my race. Whoever thinks for himself, will find himself thinking differently from the majority around him, and by this fact he will be alone in their midst. He will find few who can sympathize with his soul, recognise his voice, or comprehend his language. However his heart may yearn towards his brethren, and however affectionately he would fold them in his bosom, he must submit to be regarded as a stranger, as an alien. He cannot speak to them and make them acquainted with what is concealed within him, through popular organs, or the established channels of communication. Those channels, though readily opened to others, are closed to him. They, who have it in their power to open them to whom they will, and shut them to whom they will,