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THE FIFTEENTH EDITION.
SINCE the first edition of this little work, the writer has often been rebuked for not extending his narratives of cthers, ånd has as often been requested to conmunicate more circumstances connected with himself. To these rebukes and solicitations he continued to turn a deaf ear, from what he now believes to be mistaken motives. While lately doubting these motives, he cast his eyes on the title page, and read, “ The Ree trospect; or, Review of Providential Mercies, f-c.” and his mind was considerably affected. Yes, he said, these pages are a retrospective glance at a few events which marked a limited portion of my days. With gratitude and surprise I perceive that fourteen editions of these humble tales
have gone into the world, and with sorrow and confusion I have to confess, that nothing has been added to the original matter. His conscience smote him; a voice seemed to ask,
6 Have you, during all this period, recollected nothing more of the Lord's goodness and mercy, either before you embarked on the sea, or while you were there ? And has nothing transpired during all the years that have fled since
you your Retrospect, worthy of being recorded to the praise of the riches of divine:grace ?" He paused, reflected, and felt himself condemned in that he had not made known some more circumstances connected with: himself and with others, as well beföre ile enibarked, and while he was afloat, as since he had quitted a maritime life. Under these impressions he resumed his pen, and not only added various paragraphs to several of the original tales, but also drew up the nine additional Chapters, which in this edition are numbered as I, XII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX, and XXI.
To such readers as were interested with the work in its former size and limited range, it is hoped and believed that this enlarged edition will
prove acceptable. If, in these additional chapters, the writer has detailed many little things concerning himself, it has been, he can most solemnly declare, with the view of glorifying God, and of encouraging his readers to attempt buch-like duties whenever Providence may throw them within their reach. That such may be the result, he most sincerely prays; while at the same time he would praise and adore that condescending grace which has gone with the former editions so greatly beyond all his hopes and expectations.
What was stated in the former preface may here be repeated, namely, that the reader must not look for a regular and unbroken history, either of the state of the writer's mind, or of all the events which made up the years under review. For even in this enlarged edition the chapters convey but a partial, and often an unconnected account of both; and these, not unfrequently interspersed with other matters. System has never, in this work, been any part of his plan, and must not be looked for by the reader. His aim and desire have rather been so to construct each chapter, that of itself it might pro
duce some facts and reflections, which, by the blessing of God, would exhibit proofs of the mercy and kind providences of heaven as continually attending on, and over-ruling the events of human life, and all the affairs of men; that so in this, as in all things, God might be glorified through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.