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THE

BRISTOL AND WEST OF ENGLAND

Archaeological Magazine ;

IN CONNEXION WITH THE

BRISTOL AND WEST OF ENGLAND ARCHITECTURAL AND HERALDIC SOCIETY.

No. I.

MAY 1st., 1843.

Vol I.

PRELIMINARY ADDRESS.

Owing to various causes, amongst which we may place foremost the establishment, in the Universities, of societies which have for their object the preservation of our ecclesiastical antiquities and the diffusion of a better taste in modern church architecture, public attention has lately been much directed to archæological pursuits; a subject, that for a long period previously had excited so little general interest, that the few who devoted themselves with zeal to antiquarian studies were looked upon as a singular and harmless race of monomaniacs, spending their lives among old parchments and dust, for the achievement of objects or the gratification of tastes that no souls but themselves could understand. And, doubtless, long lives have been spent, in describing old stones and reading illegible inscriptions, without rendering the possessors much more wise or learned; but there are antiquaries of another class; and if it be confessed with Solomon, that “there is nothing new under the sun," or with Plato, that “all knowledge is but recollection,” the study of antiquities, properly directed, must be as wise and profitable as any other human pursuit. There are labourers who work in the dark to amass the material; but there are those, also, who melt and refine it, and apply it to useful purposes.

The establishment of the societies adverted to, at the Universities, has already spread a very general enthusiasm in the study of ecclesiastical antiquities, among that large and enlightened body, the English Clergy: and, as tastes cultivated, or feelings fostered by this class, are spread more readily among the multitude than those which have their origin

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