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Keligion in Britain.
BY THOMAS WOOD, A.M.
AUTHOR OF THE MOSAIC HISTORY, &c. &c.
“ It warms my heart,
PUBLISHED BY LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, & CO.
A. CONSTABLE & CO. EDINBURGH.
The design of a Preface is to introduce a work to the attention of the Reader, and is frequently the means of raising his expectation, or lowering his hopes concerning it. Readers are as different in their literary taste, as in the main objects of their secular pursuits. Variety has a powerful charm, and something new is almost irresistible. Style is what some look for, and though it may be employed in decorating a subject of mere imagination, is welcomed with rapture. Some descriptions of character are most pleased with details of facts, and will not allow themselves to be decoyed into the regions of fancy. They whose minds are deeply embued with polite literature, are not at home unless they be conducted into the same school. There are some elevated geniuses too towering to pace the earth, which, in their aërial progress. through the heavens, count, measure, and weigh the stars, as more suited to their inclination. Others look back into ancient times, fond of antiquarian research, and no matter how homely in itself an object may be, if identified with very distant ages, it is a prize above all others most valuable.
Some are involved in political discussions, the rise and fall of states and empires, bestowing the mead of praise, or inflicting the lash of censure, on statesmen and events. While others, comparing the brevity of human life with the duration of eternity, examining their own personal responsibility and the doctrine of a future recompence, and balancing spiritual gain with the avarice of the miser, view religious principles and actions as the grand climax in the excursive range of their understanding and choice.