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J.H. 1825

TWO ESS A Y S:

BY THE LATE

REVEREND RICHARD RAIKES,

OF GLOUCESTER.

LONDON:

Printed for

J. HATCHARD AND SON, 187, PICCADILLY:

1825.

765.

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PREFACE.

Of the two Essays which are here offered to the Public, one, the first, appeared in the year 1806, and is now reprinted without variation from the original edition. The manner in which it was published, and the unobtrusive form in which it was drawn up, may, perhaps, account for the limited circulation it obtained at the time, notwithstanding its intrinsic merit, and the favourable opinion expressed of it by some distinguished persons. It is accordingly reprinted now, under a conviction that it amply deserves a further consideration; and with a hope that the public mind is at present prepared to appreciate more justly the value of the views and sentiments it inculcates.

The second Essay was left in an unfinished state. The subject had occupied the mind of its author for many years, and the composition had been slowly proceeding under various hindrances and interruptions, arising from the infirmities of age, and from a state of health which precluded all continued application. It was written, in fact, at intervals of time occurring rarely amidst the general languor of illness, and applied to that purpose by the energy of a mind intensely devoted to the subject, and anxious to improve every moment it was allowed to call its own. ture of the composition bears evident marks of the manner in which it was produced. The extreme diligence of the Author could hardly obviate by frequent reviews, the effect of the irregular application he was able to bestow; and it is

The na

probable that the critical reader

may

be struck with a want of connexion in the argument, and an inequality in the style, which only offer to others a melancholy memorial of the sufferings under which the work was carried on.

But even if these failings had been more striking and numerous than they are, it is not conceived they would have been sufficient objections to the publication. The Author possessed a taste too refined and cultivated to be indifferent to literary fame, but his warm and earnest piety led him to regard this as a very subordinate object; and to value elegance of stile chiefly as a medium for facilitating the inculcation of religious truth. The assiduous labour that he bestowed upon these pages, and the length of time they remained in his hands, were not the resources of a man jealous of his reputation, and apprehensive of censure; but they were the en

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