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"Can any thing of good come from Nazareth? Philip said to him:
COME AND SEE.-(John i. 46.)




141.800 k. 556.



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It is with a certain feeling of satisfaction that the Editors have put into their binder's hands a third collection of the Tracts, which the support they have continued to receive has enabled them to issue since the publication of the preceding Volume. They take it as a sign that the Series has, in the estimation of the Catholic public, fulfilled, on the whole, the object for which it was undertaken by them. That they have accomplished al that may have been looked for from them, or which at starting they themselves intended or wished to do, they are very far from thinking. The most to which they would lay claim is, in some sort to have supplied an acknowledged want, and to have done a work most needful for the time.

Some, indeed, have complained that several of the Tracts were of too high an order, or of too theological a cast for general readers; in short, scarcely popular enough in manner or in matter for the class of persons whom it was intended to address. But to this the Editors would reply, that their object was to address all classes; to exclude absolutely none; to provide a series of publications, the style and language of which should be suited to the intelligent in every rank of life. Such an object may have been an impracticable one, or they may have underrated the difficulty of attaining it; but at any rate this was their object. They addressed themselves to those who, whether educated or uneducated, are capable of appreciating facts and following an argument-not to those whose minds have been so little exercised as to be incapable (in their opi

nion) of profiting much by any thing but direct oral instruction. Tried by this rule, they do not think that the result has been as unsuccessful as to some of their friendly critics it may have appeared. The several writers, as a little observation will shew, have been careful to avoid, or the Editors have been careful to exclude, every thing, whether in matter or in phraseology, which the learned reader alone would understand, or which, to be mastered, required that sort of intellectual effort which only education, as distinguished from ordinary capacity, disposes the mind to make.

With respect to the manner in which a subject has been treated, or even the selection of the subject itself, it should be recollected that neither has been altogether a matter of choice. Many subjects, from their very nature, necessitate a certain mode of treatment, and that perhaps not the most obvious one; and, again, a subject which looks simple enough to a superficial observer is found to involve the discussion of points which dilate under the hand, and entail a closer line of argument or more copious illustration than may seem at first sight to be required. To state a Catholic doctrine or principle is not sufficient; it must be so stated as to meet objections, preclude misapprehension, and refute error. To treat a deep and really difficult matter-the object, probably, of heretical attack-in a broad, popular way, without being shallow, weak, and even (apparently) dishonest, is not the easy task which some who have not made the experiment may imagine. To deal with it thoroughly or worthily, much thought, and painstaking thought too, is due on the part of the writer, and a corresponding amount of attention requisite on that of the reader; and it is a question whether any real good is effected, except where both these conditions are complied with.

However, in saying all this, the Editors have no disposition to deny that tracts of a more lively and striking character would form a valuable addition to the series. They would simply wish it to be borne in mind that, as it was undertaken principally with a view of explaining Catholic doctrines and

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