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TO THE

FIRST VOLUME

il sex an Author, by appearing in print, re-
fusto an audience of the Public, and is upon
tik point of speaking for himself, whoever pre-
Huzes to step before him with a preface, and
osay, " Nay, but hear me first.” should have
Sweething worthy of attention to offer, or be
till be justly deemed officious and impertinent.
The judicious reader has probably, upon other
secasione, been beforehand with me in this re-

clom: and I am not very willing it should
boll be applied to me, however I may seem to
epose myself to the danger of it. But the

Bugac of having my own name perpetuated in
connexion with the name in the title page is so

thought of having

PRE FACE

TO THE

FIRST VOLUME.

When an Author, by appearing in print, requests an audience of the Public, and is upon the point of speaking for himself, whoever presumes to step before him with a preface, and to say, “ Nay, but hear me first,” should have something worthy of attention to offer, or he will be justly deemed officious and impertinent.

The judicious reader has probably, upon other occasions, been beforehand with me in this reAlection: and I am not very willing it should now be applied to me, however I may seem to expose myself to the danger of it. But the thought of having my own name perpetuated in connexion with the name in the title page is so

pleasing and flattering to the feelings of my heart, that I am content to risk something for the gratification.

This Preface is not designed to commend the Poems, to which it is prefixed. My testimony would 'be insufficient for those, who are not qualified to judge properly for themselves, and unnecessary to those who are. Besides, the reasons, which render it improper and unseemly for a man to celebrate his own performances, or those of his nearest relatives, will have some influence in suppressing much of what he might otherwise wish to say in favour of a friend, when that friend is indeed an alter idem, and excites almost the same emotions of sensibility and affection, as he feels for himself.

sodenly and powerfully withdrawn from those
pursuits, and he left them without regret; vet
Det til he had sufficient opportunity of counting
the cost, and of knowing the value of what he
gave up. If happiness could have been found
in classical attainments, in an elegant taste, in
the exertions of wit, fancy, and genius, and in
the esteem and converse of such persons, as in
these respects were most congenial with himself,
be would have been happy. But he was not
He wondered (as thousands in a similar situa-
tion still do) that he should continue dissatisfied,
wyd all the means apparently conducive to sa-
tisfaction within his reach --But in due time the
cause of his disappointment was discovered to
him-He hach lived without God in the world.
In a memorable hour the wisdom which is from
above visited his heart. Then he felt himself
a wanderer, and then he found a guide. Upon
was change of views, a change of plan and con-
dirt followed of course. When he saw the busy
z the gay world in it's true light, lie left it
bill as little reluctance as a prisoner, when
called to liberty, leaves his dungeon. Not that
ut became a Cynic or an Ascetic-A heart

led with love to God will assuredly breathe
bebetolence to men. But the turn of bis tem-
fit laclining him to rural life, he indulged it,

It is very probable these Poems may come into the hands of some persons, in whom the sight of the author's name will awaken a recollection of incidents and scenes, which through length of time they had almost forgotten. They will be reminded of one, who was once the companion of their chosen hours, and who set out with them in early life in the paths which lead to literary honours, to influence and affluence, with equal prospects of success. But he was

suddenly and powerfully withdrawn from those pursuits, and he left them without regret; yet not till he had sufficient opportunity of counting the cost, and of knowing the value of what he gave up. If happiness could have been found in classical attainments, in an elegant taste, in the exertions of wit, fancy, and genius, and in the esteem and converse of such persons, as in these respects were most congenial with himself, he would have been happy. But he was not— He wondered (as thousands in a similar situation still do) that he should continue dissatisfied, with all the means apparently conducive to satisfaction within his reach—But in due time the cause of his disappointment was discovered to him-He had lived without God in the world. In a memorable hour the wisdom which is from above visited his heart. Then he felt himself a wanderer, and then he found a guide. Upon this change of views, a change of plan and conduct followed of course. When he saw the busy and the gay world in it's true light, lie left it with as little reluctance as a prisoner, when called to liberty, leaves his dungeon. Not that he became a Cynic or an Ascetic-A heart filled with love to God will assuredly breathe benevolence to men. But the turn of his temper inclining him to rural life, he indulged it,

and the providence of God evidently preparing his way and marking out his retreat, he retired into the country. By these steps the good hand of God, unknown to me, was providing for me one of the principal blessings of my life; a friend and a counsellor, in whose company for almost seven years, though we were seldom seven successive waking hours separated, I always found new pleasure. A friend who was not only a comfort to myself, but a blessing to the affectionate poor people, among whom I then lived.

ay period of life, is happily employed in ilsinting and enforcing the truths, of which u received such deep and unalterable impreseo in his maturer years. His satire, if it may k called so, is benevolent, (like the operations inte skilful and humane surgeon, who wounds dy to heal) dictated by a just regard for the suur of God, and indignant grief excited by e protigacy of the age, and a tender com

resion for the souls of men.

Some time after inclination had thus removed him from the hurry and bustle of life, he was still more secluded by a long indisposition, and my pleasure was succeeded by a proportionable degree of anxiety and concern. But a hope, that the God whom he served would support him under his affliction, and at length vouchsafe bim a happy deliverance, never forsook me. The desirable crisis, I trust, is now nearly approaching. The dawn, the presage of returning day, is already arrived. He is again enabled to resume his pen, and some of the first fruits of his recovery are here presented to the public. In his principal subjects the same acumen, which distinguished him in the

his favourite topics are least insisted on in
the piece entitled Table Talk; which therefore,
teh some regard to the prevailing taste, and
at those who are governed by it, may not be
scouraged at the very threshold from pro-
bending fartber, is placed first. In most of the
linge Poems which follow, his leading design is
were explicitly avowed and pursued. He aims
b communicate his own perceptions of the
bath, beauty, and influence of the religion of

Bible- A religion, which, however discre-
wted by the misconduct of many, who bave
bei kroouneed the Christian name, proves itself,
Ved rightly understood, and cordially em-
Maced, to be the grand desideratum, which alone
co relieve the mind of man from painful and
atoidable anxieties, inspire it with stable

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