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I am aware of the many publications of this kind, and of the estimation in which they stand with the public ; yet, I am of opinion, that in a long course of reading, passages from authors of high literary reputation, combined with eminent piety, may be selected, which, when taken in their detached form, may make a deeper impression on some minds, than a more studied and lengthened address.
It has happened, and perhaps not unfrequently, that, from a casual glance on a volume taken up solely for amusement, lasting instruction has been impressed, and a subject for deep and profitable meditation furnished.
It will be seen, that I have observed no arrangement in the several articles contained in this work, but have simply noted down such passages, as, in the course of my reading, impressed my own mind, and appeared calculated to promote correct views of PROVIDENCE, in His several dispensations to mankind; and to inspire sentiments of compassion and respect for human suffering, in all its varied forms. With these humble pretensions to public regard and indulgence, I have, at the request of numerous friends, been induced to offer this volume.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
The favourable reception given to the first Edition of these Extracts, and the general expression of approbation conferred on the matter which they contain, together with a wish expressed by several friends, that they should obtain a more general and extended circulation, is the primary inducement for publishing a second Edition; which the Editor trusts will be found, on perusal, to be equally worthy of public regard and approval ; as it contains a considerable quantity of fresh matter, no less interesting than that already before the public.
In the additional selections, the Editor has kept in view, the general tendency of the subjects introduced, that they might harmonize with those already published. This he
The Extracts are out of the common way; and from
trusts will be found to be the case; and that, in con
formity with his original intention, instruction may be coupled with amusement, and thus a foundation laid,
upon which a superstructure of general utility may
INDEX OF CONTENTS.