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fore ventured to make few or no alterations, unless by omitting some repetitions of the same sentiment. Had he suppressed the passages objected to, this register of the thoughts of the heart would resemble a register of the weather, in which no mention was made of storms or fogs, and nothing recorded but genial warmth, and a clear blue sky. But what is the use of such a register?

The editor is not surprised that the men of the world, who are ignorant of themselves and the law of God, and wish to remain so, should be disgusted with our Author's strong penitential language; yet he knows not how to account for the disgust of persons professing to be religious, but by supposing that they themselves are not yet brought to the knowledge of the truth. For the light of truth, shining into the soul, must make the same discovery of moral obliquity and pollution, that a sun-beam darting across a room makes of dust and impurity, which was before unperceived. Would these squeamish readers wish us to believe that their own hearts are constantly free from evil thoughts, and that all within them is peace unbroken, and purity unmixed? What hypocrisy or ignorance is this! The holiest of them must have attended very little to their own hearts and ways, if they do not know worse of themselves than any thing our Author has confessed; and it will be happy for them if they can adopt those passages which express the steadfast faith, unwearied patience, strong consolation, and other marks of a spiritual mind, which he eminently possessed.

Should any upright Christian, after weighing

what is said in the Preface, be still puzzled to make the existence of such evils in the heart consistent with such a state of holiness, let him try the following experiment upon himself. Let him carefully

attend to what passes in his own mind, and commit to paper his thoughts, wishes, and emotions, under the different circumstances that may befal him during the space of a week. Let him, at the end of the week, read over what he has written, and if he has executed his task with honesty and fidelity, he will start at his own deformity, and be unable to endure the sight of it.

The editor professes himself to be no admirer of those accounts of characters, or devout exercises of the heart, in which the bright side only is displayed, since they leave a wrong impression, and afford a partial view of the subject. This method of describing the character and the heart of man, has not been learned from the biographical parts of the Bible, or the Book of Psalms. Every thing is recorded without disguise by the sacred writers, both of themselves and others, though we may be often tempted to wish that the faults of some distinguished persons, whose history is blended with that of the church of God, had been concealed. Their example has not been followed as it ought. Little is to be found, even in the lives and journals of those who have been eminent in the religious world, but what is calculated to excite the respect and applause of their readers. What then is to be expected from the common class of biographers, but flattering pietures, calculated to mislead mankind.

Yet there are exceptions. To the honest heart, the penetrating mind, and powerful intellect of Dr. Johnson, the world is indebted for a superior method of biography. The persons whose characters he has described, are introduced to our acquaintance without any flattering disguise, and made known to us as completely as if we had enjoyed a domestic intimacy with them. And it may be observed, that his own character has been described with equal fidelity, and that posterity will view him exactly as he appeared to those who had daily access to him, when he was alive.

Some indeed, who dislike this honest dealing, affect to lament the injury done to the character of Dr. Johnson, by the unguarded communications of his friends, and particularly by the publication of his Prayers and Meditations. Yet this book was published by his own direction; and even the peculiarities in his devotional exercises which may be called superstitious, were permitted to appear, without any care on his part to excuse or conceal them. Hence it is evident, that he apprehended no dishonour to his memory, from being exhibited to the world as a penitent sinner, humbled with the view of past transgressions, trembling under a sense of the majesty of God, and imploring mercy through the› merits of his Saviour. Nor was Mr. Adam under any concern at the thought of having the secrets of his heart disclosed to the world, as is evident from the paragraph with which the chapter containing his confessions concludes. Both had discernment to see their own faults, and honesty enough to confess

them.

And

Both abhorred hypocrisy and guile, and wished not to appear better than they were. surely they have not suffered on this account in the esteem of the truly wise and good, unless a person can be wise or good who judges of characters by rules contrary to those which determine the judgment of God. For "thus saith the Lord, To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."

YORK, March 14, 1803.

W. R.

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