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intellect has, like yours, sprung up amidst the "shallows of this world's advantages, dieth to "himself.' You will be written, well or ill; and
envy is a scribe as well as honesty. You told my "Father, that if he did not write his own Life, some "one would 'immolate his reputation at the shrine "of lucre.' The next morning he sat down at four "o'clock, and produced, with little intermission, "what you will shortly read. Would that I could, "for a moment, be Samuel Drew, and you Adam Clarke, in the application of the above."
The force of these observations Mr. Drew felt; but alas physical debility rendered him then unequal to the suggested task: Availing himself of a friend's assistance a few particulars of his boyhood were committed to wifing, when the encroachment of disease forbad further progress, and death transferred the brief manuscript from the Father to the Son.
Under an oppressive conviction of inadequacy, yet as a filial duty, the writer has endeavoured to give completion to the design of his parent. In prosecuting his undertaking, many interesting circumstances in his father's life, many pleasing traits of character, and many important facts, have, for the first time, come to his knowledge; and if the pleasurable feelings which these have raised in his own bosom be in any degree participated by those who peruse this. narrative, his labour will be amply compensated.
Consanguinity, while it opens the most authentic sources of information, imposes its peculiar restraints; and did the individual whose character is sketched in this memoir, exhibit fewer excellencies or greater infirmities, it might be difficult for the son to maintain the impartiality of the biographer. From this difficulty he trusts he is exempt.
Wishing chiefly to present the reader with those features in his father's character which are not seen in his writings, he has been less solicitous to shew the metaphysician, than to depict the man-to portray the philosopher, than to delineate the Christian. For this reason, many letters of profound thought and great value have given place to others written in the playfulness of humour, the warmth of affection, the unreservedness of friendship, or the glow of pious feeling.
To deprecate the severity of criticism, because the writer appears for the first time before the public, would be unavailing. He asks credit for upright intentions: -for the manner in which his task is executed, he wishes no other meed than justice and candour award. That the contents of this volume will be universally approved, he does not anticipate. Though irritating expressions have been avoided, no fact or opinion has been suppressed from a fear of giving offence; and if, in endeavouring to exhibit a faithful portrait, he has unwittingly provoked hostility, he must expect retaliation.
In the perusal of the following pages, those persons who knew Mr. Drew only as a Methodist, and who expect to see him, as a friend expressed it, "swimming in a river of Methodism," will probably experience a feeling of disappointment. Equally dissatisfied will those readers be, who, acquainted with his reputation as a metaphysical writer, seek in this volume a memoir of the accomplished scholar or the learned divine. But, though destitute of the ordinary features of literary or religious biography, there is a moral in the life of SAMUEL DREW, which must present itself to every thoughtful reader.
To the numerous individuals of rank and respectability, whose names, as Subscribers, are appended to this volume, and especially to those, who, by their communications and loan of letters, have aided his undertaking, the biographer feels great pleasure in acknowledging his obligations. Nor can he withhold a tribute due to the inhabitants of St. Austell, who have publicly recorded their high regard for his father's memory. To them, without the parade of a formal dedication, this narrative of their townsman's life is respectfully and gratefully dedicated, by his
St. Austell, February, 1834.
JACOB HALLS DREW.