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Hartford, July 18tn, 1848. MR. M. W. DODD,
DEAR SIR :-The Volume entitled “SPIRITUAL HEROES," is indeed one of the most readable books that has come in my way for a long time. It is written in a style of elegant simplicity, in an excellent Christian spirit, and abounds with incidents of thrilling and instructive interest. It is not a continuous historical narrative, but rather a series of paintings, presenting in strong and vivid colors some of the principal characters and events which are recorded in the annals of English history in the times of the Puritans and Nonconformists. No portion of English history deserves to be studied more attentively than this. It relates to a period when great principles were struggling into birth ; when that liberty was asserted and maintained which has, for so long a time, blessed our happy land, and which is now extending a like boon to other nations of the earth. No better service could well be done our countrymen than to make them, and especially the rising youth, thoroughly acquainted with the times to which this volume relates. And I would, could I make my voice to be heard in the length and breadth of our land, in the language of the accomplished
author, earnestly invite the youth thereof to study the lives and sufferings of their forefathers, those exiled confessors and martyrs, in whose humble annals they will find much of truth to instruct their understanding, and much of romantic beauty to kindle their imaginations, (little as that quality is generally thought to be allied to Puritanism and Nonconformity,) and much of Christian heroism to thrill their hearts and elevate their piety. From such a study they would learn what freedom is, what freedom cost, from what principles our freedom sprung, and by what means it is to be preserved to bless those who are to come after us.
Believing, as I do, that this volume of Mr. Stoughton's, (I know nothing of the author beyond this production of his pen, which you propose to republish,) is happily adapted to be useful to all who read it, I would gladly do any thing in my power to secure for it a wide circulation. For this an elaborate introduction is not needed. Such an introduction would be like placing a clumsy vestibule in front of a beautiful Grecian temple. No; let your readers enter the temple first, and they will thank you for not detaining them without, when there is so much within to gratify the taste, enrich the mind, and make the heart better. I cordially recommend the volume to all who love fine writing, noble sentiments, and a knowledge of such characters as truly deserve the name of “ Spiritual Heroes."