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These volumes were originally written in the
form of letters, journal-wise, to various correspondents, and they are now carefully divested of every article foreign to the grand subject which it is contemplated to embrace.* They may be termed letters, scriptural investigations, dialogues, or sketches of sermons; and they are humbly addressed to the candid consideration of the believer in revealed religion. Condemned to a lingering and greatly debilitating malady, the writer has become, as far as his bodily organs are involved, helpless as an infant; and while his income is greatly and necessarily abridged, the exigencies annexed to his melancholy situation, imperiously accumulate many and heavy expenses. Thus circumstanced, his motive for publishing may not be considered as solitary. But, standing in his own
apprehension, upon the threshold of another and a bet
* Such was the primary design. But it was believed that among the numerous friends of the author, many would wish to retain a picture of the character of his mind, upon occasions less important, and less generally interesting, and this idea has induced the compiler to depart in some few instances from the plan first contemplated.
ter world, pecuniary hopes and fears, are nearly lost in that blissful futurity, upon which he verges; and he is especially solicitous to communicate to the sons and daughters of humanity, that sublime and never failing confidence, upon which his imprisoned spirit, through long days of adversity, and through successive nights of sorrow, hath calmly reposed. He unwaveringly believes that every possible felicity is in reserve for his species; and in humble and devout imitation of his great and adorable Master, while bidding the wandering race farewell, he bestows upon both enemies and friends, the ardent benediction of a spirit, replete with unbounded love for the children of men, for the offspring of Deity.
Boston, January 1, 1812.
Sermon delivered upon Romans iv. 25. Conversation.
Imperfect sketch of the author's first patron in