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CONTRIBUTIONS,

BIOGRAPHICAL, LITERARY, AND PHILOSOPHICAL,

TO

THE ECLECTIC REVIEW.

BY

JOHN FOSTER,

AUTHOR OF “ESSAYS ON DECISION OF CHARACTER," &c., &c.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

THOMAS WARD AND CO., PATERNOSTER ROW.

1844.

ANG

PREFACE.

The Eclectic Review was commenced in January, 1805, by a number of gentlemen, of whom William Alers Hankey, Esq. is believed to be the only survivor. Their object was to provide an antidote to the irreligious spirit which then pervaded the periodical press of the country. Churchmen and dissenters were united in its early conduct, and for some years it maintained an absolute neutrality on those ecclesiastical points wherein they differ from each other. To such an extent was this neutrality observed, that some historical questions of general interest, and of great importance, were designedly avoided, lest they should lead to the expression of opinions which by implication might be deemed incompatible with it. An illustration of this is afforded in the review of Macdiarmid's British Statesmen, where Mr. Foster's remarks, in reference to the lives of Strafford and Clarendon :

“ By the principles of our undertaking, we are pledged not to advance any opinions on the grand controversy between the religious establishment of our country and the dissenters from its communion ;—or more precisely, we are engaged to avoid discussing the abstract propriety of an establishment, and also the propriety of that form of

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