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TO MRS. HOWE.
It was apprehended the entire thoughts of this great man, upon so important a subject, mig-t be very useful to the world, and acceptable to many: and though they are only a specimen of his ordinary course of preaching, without any finishing hand, or further design, or perhaps, always his ripest thoughts; yet they carry the lively signatures of the admirable genius, and excellent spirit, which always appeared in his composures, and rendered them so peculiarly fit to instruct and impress the minds of men. Whosoever considers the compass and variety of the matter, the thread and connexion of the thoughts, the striking imagery, and the pertinence and pungency of the expression, will see reason to admire the vast capacity of the author, and be easily disposed to forgive any lesser neglects and escapes ; especially when he only proposed to speak familiarly and without any written notes, and allowed himself a liberty in expressing the well digested and disposed conceptions of his mind.
It will be necessary for your satisfaction, as well as the readers, to assure you, that the same care has been taken, and the same method observed, in reviewing and transcribing this part of the subject, as was used in the other ; as the manuscript was written by the same skilful and diligent hand.
The intimacy of a long friendship, and mutual respect, the endearments of the nearest relation, for several of the latter years
of his life; the high honour you always paid him, and the singular value he expressed for you, living and dying ; give you the best title to these two volumes of posthumous discourses of the Spirit, and of family prayer; and to any respect we are capable of shewing you. We believe the noble argument as well as the excellent author, will be peculiarly acceptable and delightful to you, who were so well acquainted with his spirit and preaching; and may contribute to a well grounded peace of mind in a clearer discerning of a regenerate state; and to your daily walking in the Spirit, and improvement in the spiritual life. This is the sincere desire of,
Your respectful humble servants.