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In offering to the public this first American edition of the Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Charles Wolfe, the hope is confidently entertained, that it may prove an acceptable service, not only to the cause of refined taste and elegant literature, but of pure and undefiled religion. High as Mr. Wolfe must be ranked as a scholar and a poet, it is as the faithful minister of the Church of Christ that he presents the strongest claims to our affection and admiration, and to that which is far above every other motive, the approbation of God. It was much to produce, in the well known lines on the burial of Sir Join Moore,' the most splendid and touching lyric of the age--it was far more, to devote to an obscure country fock talents and accomplishments'which would have done honour to the proudest station, and to wear out prematurely in their service a life to which the walks of pleasure and the heights of ambition offered such powerful temptations. Let us hope that, through the blessing of its Divine Head, the example of this zeal and self devotion will not be lost to the Church of Christ. Let us learn from it, that earnestness and enthusiasm in the sacred cause may yet be in entire subjection to truth and soberness, and saved, by the divine guidance, from the dangerous errors of extravagance and fanaticism. Hartford, April 15, 1828.
G. W. D.
It was long a matter of painful doubt to the Editor whether he should be justifiable in committing to the press the collection of Remains contained in these volumes ; convinced as he was that none of them were ev. er designed for that purpose by the Author himself, who, indeed, would have shrunk from the idea of publication. However, his hesitation has been overborne by the strong hope that they may prove generally instructive as well as interesting, and afford a peculiar gratification to a wide circle of friends.
It was at first intended to publish the Sermons only; but, on a more mature consideration, it seemed advisable to give a short account of the Author, interspersed with his poems and other remains, particularly as many of them have been for a considerable time in private circulation amongst a few acquaintances, and would, most probably, have found their way to the press in some other shape. In fact, their publication appeared inevitable; and it therefore seemed better that they should go
forth to the public through the hands of a friend, who was in possession of all the original manuscripts, and who had also the happiness of an uninterrupted intimacy and communication with the Author, from the time he entered college until his lamented death.
The state in which the papers were committed to him rendered it a task of greater labour to select, arrange, and transcribe them for the press, than can easily be imagined. This circumstance, and the late arrival of some promised communications, caused a greater delay in the publication than the writer could have anticipated.
The miscellaneous nature of the work may possibly render it more generally useful than one exclusively upon religious subjects. Many, who admire the raptures of the poet, may be induced to regard with reverence the instructions of the divine : tliey may feel a peculiar desire to mark what thoughts a heart, animated by the Muse, can bring forth when hallowed by a loftier and purer inspiration.
The Editor is painfully conscious how imperfect is the sketch which he has here given of the Author's life and character ; and must throw himself upon the indulgence of the friends who are most deeply interested in the work, with an humble hope that they will make candid allowance for any error of judgment, or defect in execution, which they may observe in the performance of the pleasing but anxious task he has had to fulfil,