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PREFACE.

THE friends of benevolence, in the present age, enjoy a triumph peculiarly interesting and gratifying, a triumph over every sordid and illiberal sentiment, which would check the advancement of intellectual improvement, or confine it to certain ranks in society. The poor of the land are now admitted to that equality which God ordains, and the order of society can maintain ; an equality in the enjoyment of every means for growing “Wise unto salvation,”

Perhaps next to the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, that of moral and religious tracts may be calculated to bring about this important end : actuated by this hope, the writer of the present work, united with others, in supplying a few pages in the “Cottage Magazine,” where the greater part of it has already been published, without any intention of extending its circulation beyond those limits. Several friends, however, whom the author esteems as judicious advisers, deeming it calculated for usefulness, she is induced to give it a wider range. Though the work is best adapted to the reading of that class for whom it was first designed (the writer hopes not altogether exclusively) ---the young, in a higher circle, may probably find some hints for

instruction ; and the benevolent donors of it to their poor neighbours, she flatters berself, will not find the duty of a previous perusal a tiresome task.

To those who entertain objections to fiction in the work of serious instruction, it may be satisfactory to be informed, that the incidents and characters introduced in these pages, are taken from real life, and, excepting in the mode of relation, imagination has had little share in the composition.

While the writers and distributors of religious tracts congratulate their poor neighbours on the advantages they enjoy over their forefathers, in the means of instruction, they wish also to point out to their consideration, the responsibility attached, and earnestly pray that they may be found amongst those faithful servants, who duly improving the gifts already bestowed by their heavenly Master, shall possess a greater ahundance,

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CHAP. IX.
Bible Reading, and its Effects.....

62

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CHAP. XIV. History of Mary Smith and Elizabeth Brown 110

CHAP. XV.
History of Mary Smith and Elizabeth Brown

concluded ...

116

CHAP. XVI. Walk and Conversation with Mr. Peach.... 127

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