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THESE miscellaneous remarks
were written in the animated moments of feeling, when their author was destined to holy orders, and while the impreffion, made by each paffage, was yet glowing on the imagination, and the heart.
They have now been in his poffeffion, or in that of his literary friends, fome years; in the course
of which, they have been handed about, with the moft flattering attention, from one perfon to another, equally eminent for the juftice of their criticism, and the delicacy of their tafte. A few years fince part of them were delivered, publicly, at Edinburgh, before feveral of the moft diftinguished literary characters, not only of Scotland, but of Europe. Amongst thefe, might be named, a Hume, a Kames, a Robertfon, a Ferguson, and a Blair.
Thefe honours, however, are none of them mentioned in the triumph of oftentation; but, by way of apology to thofe, who may deem an apology neceffary. What hath been fo
fo warmly received by fo refpectable an auditory, may reasonably hope the approbation of the world in general: and what was at first writ- · ten profeffionally, and to difplay the most excellent matter in the newest manner, cannot, furely, at any time, come abroad unfeasonably, or be thought out of character..
Be it, nevertheless, noted, that, in thefe ketches, minute points, of doubtful and difputed explication, have been avoided; it by no means,` being the ambition of this little volume to interfere with church controverfy. The genuine effufions of the author's mind in the progrefs of perufing the nobleft compofition in the
the univerfe-indulging himself, now and then, in a moral comment upon paffages of particular beauty; or, in a tender illustration of fome of the most striking and pathetic narratives, are now offered to the reader; in the hope of recommending, and ftill of more, endearing to him the original.
Nor hath the affiftance of former annotators been, in any degree, fought or folicited on this occafion; because, having taken in contemplation the great volume of Truth, without any commentary, the author is willing to venture fuch fentiments as were excited, by an unaided study of the tranflated text.