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upon the continent, the present translator desires to add his humble but unfeigned acknowledgment of its worth. If the reader derive as much pleasure and edification from it as the editor has derived, he will not only esteem highly the extensive and critical knowledge of the human mind, and the truly Christian spirit, which are displayed throughout it, but he will experience no inconsiderable satisfaction in reflecting, that among a people to whom Englishmen are so nearly allied by blood, by politics, and by religion, there should be found so large a number of readers and enthusiastic admirers of such a publication ;—he will earnestly wish and pray, that, for the honour of God and the spiritual benefit of man, there
his own countrymen, an equal willingness to accept so excellent a guide in devotional exercises of the heart—in rendering the common concerns of life subservient to the health of the soul, and its preparation for a more perfect state of existence.
With regard to the translation—it has been made as literal as the different idioms of the two languages would permit ; and, indeed, in
some instances, the construction of the English has been modelled after the peculiar character of the German—for the sake of retaining something of its natural expressiveness and force. This will be more readily excused than the opposite fault, especially by those who are acquainted with the powerful and noble qualities of the language of a Luther and a Klopstock.
It is necessary, in justice to the author, to state, that in a few cases-a very few-particular expressions and even whole passages have been accommodated to the view which the translator has taken of the subject, rather than that which is obviously intended to be given by the author. This has been done for two reasons: in the first place, it would not have been becoming in a clergyman of the Church of England to promulgate any opinions on important points, inconsistent with those which are entertained by himself and the majority of his Church :—and secondly, it seemed that such an alteration, wherever it was requisite, would render the work less liable to exception, and better adapted to the general use of English fami
lies. At the same time, the translator wishes it to be understood, that he does not unreservedly agree to every position of his author which has been allowed to remain in the following pages :—but he has not thought himself at liberty to exclude any sentiments of so pious and instructive a writer, on comparatively indifferent questions, and in matters of speculation, merely because they did not, in all respects, concur with his own.
The verses, which in the original are prefixed to the greatest number of the chapters, have been entirely omitted, as not being at all essential to the argument or illustration, and as rather weakening than improving the effect of the exordium—which in many instances is very striking and satisfactory.
The papers themselves have been taken, not in the order of the work, but five out of each of the eight parts, or years; for the purpose of presenting a better specimen of the whole, and of exhibiting a greater variety of subjects.
Should the sample now offered be received with only a small portion of the approbation and zeal with which the original has been
circulated, the translator is prepared to follow up the present volume with another series of papers, selected in the same manner, and not less deserving of attention.
When God, in the day of fearful visitation and calamity, amidst the storms of war for many years, spake to the people of the earth, and His voice sounded even more mightily than it did of old in the thunder and lightning on Mount Sinai : “ Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation :” (Exodus xix. 6.)—then the author of this work felt himself seized with a holy zeal, and he wrote it to awaken devotion, to raise the dejected, to instruct the erring. It appeared, at that time, as a weekly sheet, sucsessively for eight years (from 1809 to 1816 inclusive). After he had completed his labour, new editions of the weekly papers were prepared,--notwithstanding a work in such a form was inconvenient for the reader, and contained many things, which under a change of circumstances were scarcely intelligible or fit for the occasion.
This has induced him to give to the publication a more suitable form and arrangement, as well to facilitate the purchase of it to many families and individuals, as to render the whole more useful to the different ranks in society. He collected, therefore, out of the whole eight years' papers, those dispersed reflections which might be edifying in general to Christian families—those, especially, which might be profitable to the young man and young woman in their respective