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IN November last, going to Shrewsbury to preach for the Swan Hill Sunday School, I called upon my amiable and worthy friend, the Editor of the following sheets. He shewed me a number of manuscript volumes, filled with the diary and remarks of Mrs. Savage; and intimated some design of publishing a selection from them. I was so impressed and delighted, after hearing various extracts, indiscriminately taken, that I applauded the wish, and endeavored to accelerate the accomplishment of it. Having therefore rendered myself in some measure responsible for the publication by my opinion and advice, I the more readily comply with his desire in writing a few words by way of introduction.
The relationship of this good woman will deservedly bespeak some peculiar attention to the following pages: for who, without sentiments of love and veneration, can think of PHILIP HENRY, her FATHER, and of MATTHEW HENRY, her BROTHER?
The Daughter and the Sister was worthy of her excellent kindred. She possessed much of their piety, and no inconsiderable share of their talent. She had their familiar acquaintance with the Scripture; their prompt remembrance of its significant phrases; and their easy and pertinent accommodation of them to events. She had the same devoutness of remark; the same sprightliness of observation; the same degree of quaintness-just sufficient to awaken notice, and aid recollection, but not enough entirely to offend good taste.
She was "a gracious woman, and she retains honor." By the Providence of him who has said "Them that honor me I will honor," after serving her generation according to the will of God, and falling asleep, her memory, at the distance of more than a century, is blessed; and her
works, written in the closet, praise her in the gate.
The species of writing in which she so largely indulged, was far more common in her days than it is in ours. It has been abused, and rendered ridiculous by its minuteness and too frequent publication: yet properly conducted, it would prove eminently conducive to usefulness. It would promote communion with Providence, and bring a man within the reach of the Promise, "Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord." It would secure the habit of retirement, and the practice of self-inspection. It would enable the writer, in review, to compare himself with himself, and awaken humiliation and repentance, when, instead of growing in grace and in the knowledge of his Lord and Savior, he found that he was standing still, or had left his first love.-And though we have not the formality of the thing in the Scripture, we have many indications of the principle: as in the names which Joseph and Moses imposed upon their children; in the stone
which Samuel reared and called Ebenezer; in the pot of Manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, laid up in the ark; in the command-"Thou shall remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness:" in the reproof "Of the rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten the God that formed thee:" in the resolution-"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."
Some Diaries were written, either for the express purpose of meeting the public eye, or in the apprehended probability of it. When this is known to be the case, we cannot peruse them with the same degree of pleasure and freedom, as when they seem written for their own sake, and betray no wish to produce effect. Nothing was further from the mind of Mrs. Savage, than the public exhibition of what she wrote. It was solely inscribed for her own use and edification. Her views in it she has thus recorded. "It is in my thoughts to do something in the nature of a Diary, being encouraged by the advantage others have gained thereby, and the
hope that I might be furthered by it in a godly life, and be more watchful over the frame of my heart, when it must be kept on record. I would approve myself to God, who alone knows the sincerity of my heart. To him I have made known my request herein, and I heartily beg that what I shall at any time put down may be the workings of my heart, and that in nothing I may bear witness against myself." In this temper of mind the whole seems to have been penned: and nothing can be more pleasing or edifying than the perusal of such unstudied, undisguised representations of her conscience and her character.
The inspection shews us, that a dissent from the national Church may be founded in conviction, as well as education; and does not necessarily imply a fastidious, or a factious disposition; that it does not render its subject blind to what is good or excellent in the doctrine and liturgy of the establishment, or prevent prayer for its success, or rejoicing in its welfare. It shews us too, how little it encourages disaffection to civil obedience, or forbids "rendering to