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Thus I have laid before the reader, in a serious and candid manner, what I hope will appear a sufficient apology for this offensive performance. Nothing could have induced me to the attempt, but the unwearied endeavors of many to represent it as an evidence of a bad temper and unchristian disposition, which the particular structure of the book made fome undiscerning persons rafhly affent to. I have not the smallest reason to repent of it on account of its nature, its design, or its effects upon the pub. lic. If there was any mistake, it was in point of prudence, which should have directed me to avoid bringing fuch a load of malice and resentment upon myself. This has afforded me one observation not very honorable to human nature, viz. That the rage of enemies is always more active and more lasting than the affection of friends. It often happens, that some who are very much pleased to find one stand forth as a champion for their political opinions, and ready to go, as it were, to the front of the battle ; when their enemies smarting with the wounds he has given them, traduce and vilify his character, these esteemed friends often, in a great measure, give it up, and discover much fatisfaction with themselves, that they had acted in a wiser and more cautious manner.

I conclude the whole, with beseeching all who are convinced, that the present state of the church of Scotland is such as I have represented, to exert themselves with zeal and activity for her preservation and recovery. There is a wonderful, though a natural union, among all worldly men againlt the spirit and power of true religion, wherever it appears. I am sorry to add, that this is one of the instances in which the children of this world are wiser

their generation, than the children of light. There are many whole conduct thow's them to be actuated by an equal mixture of sloth and despair. They are unwilling to act with vigor, and defend themselves, by alledging, that nothing can be done with fuccefs. How much better would the old Roman maxim be, “ Nunquam desperan“ dum eft de republica ?" and how much better reason have we to adopt it? Nothing is imposible to the power of God. I add, that the most remarkable times of the

revival of religion, in this part of the united kingdom, immediately succeeded times of the greatest apostacy, when “ truth" seemed to be “ fallen in the street, and “ equity could not enter.” This was the case immediately before the year 1638. Corruption in doctrine, looseness in practice, and flavish submission in politics, had overspread the church of Scotland : and yet, in a little time, the appeared in greater purity and in greater dignity than ever she had done before, or perhaps than ever the hath done fince that period. Let no Christian, therefore, give way to desponding thoughts. We plead the cause that shall at last prevail

. Religion shall rise from its ruins; and its oppressed state at present should not only excite us to pray, but encourage us to hope for its speedy revival.

1

THE

HISTORY

OF A

CORPORATION

OF

SER V A N T S.

Discovered a few Years ago in the Interior Parts of

SOUTH AMERIC A.

CONTAINING SOME VERY SURPRISING EVENTS AND

EXTRA

ORDINARY CHARACTERS.

ADVERTISEMEN T.

THE Reader will find himself obliged io the Author of ibe following History, for the pains be bath taken to render it as entertaining, and sentimental as possible. With this view be bah entirely avoided the use of foreign names, often hard to pronounce, and when pronounced wholly without meaning. Instead of this, when he had occasion to mention particular ranks of men, offices, or customs, be chose to express them by what did most exacily correspond with them in our own country. By this means the narrative, disencubered of definitions or circumlocutions, is rendered quite easy and intelligible.

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HE skill of an author, like that of a merchant, lies

chiefly in judging with readiness and certainty, what kind of commodities, and in what quantity, any particular age or place is able and willing to receive. This I have, of late, made very much my study, with regard to our own age and country, and the result of my inquiry is as follows. There are two sorts of subjects for which there is a general demand in Great Britain at this time, viz. (1.) Biography, if any thing may be so called that gives an account of the lives of persons that never exified, but in the imagination of the authors. This is indeed, a most fruitful subject, and under the various titles of Histories, Lives, Adventures, Memoirs, &c. teaches people how to live after any imaginable plan. (2.) The other is the formation of schemes and projects, to be carsied on by subscription, for the good of mankind, which VOL. III.

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