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Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wis

dom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Prov. iv. 7."

Few subjects present themselves to our notice of equal interest and importance with the one before us; it is a truly practical subject and intimately connected with the wellbeing and happiness of man. Knowledge gives us power, and is the source of universal good. Ignorance is the cause of weakness, error, and evil. Knowledge formed a Bacon a Newton and a Locke. Ignorance has produced Savages, Thugs, and Cannibals. Knowledge directs its votaries into the paths of piety and true felicity ; showing them not only what is good, but furnishing them with powers suitable to its attainment and fruition. Ignorance, or falsely-pretended knowledge,” with devious step, and eye askance,--always illusory and deceitful.-smiles only to mock, and guides only to betray. It is an ignis-fatuus, which, the longer we follow, the deeper are we immersed in bogs and quagmires, and the more surely involved in inextricable ruin: so true is the saying of our Lord, “ If the light within us be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

In the present instance we have to consider knowledge, not merely in the abstract, but rather as related to, and connected with love. And herein we cannot do better than let the author speak for himself: we shall thus not only give the reader a much more forcible illustration of the subject than we could otherwise supply, but also afford him a pleasing foretaste of that intellectual banquet which is prepared for him in the ensuing discourse.

- This life of Love,” says our author, “is the perfection of man's faculties as to their intended end and use. As all the operation of the lower faculties, vegetative and sensitive, are subordinate to the use and operation of the intellectual part, which is the higher; so all the acts of the intellect itself are but subservient to the WILL, or to love and practice. The Understanding is but the Eye by which the soul seeth what to love, and what to choose or refuse. Love is the highest act of our highest faculty; and complacency in the highest infinite good, is the highest of all the acts of love. This is the state of the soul in its ripeness, when it is delightful ; embracing its most desired object, and is blessed in the fruition of its ultimate end : for love is the very foretaste of heaven, the beginning of that felicity whtch shall there be perfect.” Having proceeded thus far, and opened to our readers the portals of this noble fabric of wisdom and piety, we now invite them to enter and explore all its rich treasures. The specimen we have just now exhibited may convince them, that their time will not be lost, nor their highest and holiest aspirations want suitable entertainment or the most ample gratification. In conclusion we may observe, that although in the present edition, no alteration has been made in the general style and arrangement of the original (for we deemed it proper to let the author speak in his own language and after his own manner), yet, in order to increase its sale, and widely extend its usefulness, it has been thought desirable to reduce the bulk of the volume by omitting useless scholastic subtleties, and tiresome repetitions. Thus disencumbered of extraneous matter, the Editor, sends it forth with no small degree of confidence, on its mission of love: may it fix in its holy embrace the negligent and the careless, arouse the torpid and comfort the disconsolate and broken-hearted; may it, like the amiable Jesus, continually go about doing good, and may the sphere of its operations be commensurate with its great merits, and co-extensive with the catholic spirit of its author.

Dec. 25, 1839.


READER, UPON a review of this book, written long ago, I find that it is a subject as necessary now as ever; experience telling us that the disease is so far from being cured, that it is become our public shame and danger, and if the wonderful mercy of God prevent it not, is likely to be the speedy confusion and ruin of the land. As to the manner of this writing, I find the effects of the failing of my memory, in often repeating the same things, with little diversification : but I will not for that cast it away; considering that perhaps often repeating may make the matter the better remembered ; and if it do this, no matter though the Author be not applauded.

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1 CORINTHIANS, viii. 2, 3. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he

knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of Him.




PRESSETH ; AND WHY. THE calamitous divisions of the Churches of Christ, and the miscarriages and contentions of too many particular brethren, having been sad upon my thoughts above forty years, by this time, without imputation of hastiness and rash judging, I may take leave to tell the world, what I have discovered to be the principal cause, which is falsely Pretended Knowledge, or Ignorance of Ignorance, or a proud unhumbled understanding, confident that it knoweth that which it knoweth not. And consequently what must be the cure, if our calamity be here curable, viz. To know as much as we can ; but withal to know

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