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life into a lethargic church, and as having put to shame the contemptuous indifference of unbelievers. Under God, he changed our steril religious wastes into verdant, heavenly pastures, and sowed on good ground those seeds of practical piety, whose fruits yet bless and ennoble us in the institutions and habits that have been handed down to us from the religion of the last generation. More than any other he is sacredly embalmed in the religious remembrances of this people. No apology, it is presumed, is needed, now that his life and writings are out of the market, and out of print, for publishing the present volume. The religious wants of our people demand it. And few books are so inwoven with those endearing affections and interests that lead to an earnest and profitable perusal.

The volume consists of a Memoir, and some of his published productions. So far as is known, no edition of his Memoirs has been published since the year 1812, when two editions appeared simultaneously; one, the original, unaltered narrative of Dr. Gillies, in New Haven; the other, the same narrative revised and considerably amplified by Mr. Seymour, in Philadelphia. The original work of Dr. Gillies is, for the most part, a mere compilation. It consists of bare details of incidents, so disposed as seldom to point us to those individual peculiarities in which they had their origin, or bear along with themselves the distinct features and lineaments of Whitefield's character. The style too, is dry and careless. It contains, however, the facts which must be the basis of all other Memoirs of this wonderful man. Mr. Seymour essentially improved it, by remodelling, to a great extent, the phraseology; by incorporating many newly discovered facts, anecdotes, and accounts of several active contemporary characters, tending to variegate the narrative, and throw light upon Whitefield's course; and finally, by many of his own reflections and suggestions, giving method to the whole work, and prominence and distinctness to the noticeable traits in Whitefield. In this latter respect, however, it remained too deficient and feeble: and in this view-the only end for which biography is desirable, it is believed that the present edition considerably surpasses all that have preceded it. The chapters at the beginning and ciose of the Memoirs will be found to be in the main new, and to elucidate his character beyond any former editions. In order to enhance the value of the book, and not his own reputation, the Editor has not scrupled to appropriate and imbody in the narrative, whatever came to his knowledge within the brief time allotted to him for the revisal, calculated to illustrate the character of its subject. He has frequently incorporated matter from other books, sometimes slightly modified, and sometimes altogether unchanged, as seemed most conducive to his purpose. To Southey's Life of Wesley, this volume is especially indebted. This general acknowledgment, he trusts, is sufficient, and

is inserted here on account of a reluctance to break the contiguity of the narration by particular quotations and references. Some slight emendations of phraseology are also peculiar to this edition. On the whole, it is believed that the Memoirs have received some important improvements.

The collection of Sermons and other writings which fill the latter half of the volume, have for the most part not been extensively circulated in this country. The only volume of his Works, with which the public at large is acquainted, is a small volume of extempore Sermons, taken in short-hand by Mr. Gurney. To say nothing of the circumstances that these were improperly transcribed, as Mr. Whitefield often complains, extemporary effusions xcited by a transient impulse from the present feelings and passions of an assembly, lose all their point and force with the disappearance of the man and the occasion. It is often difficult to discover the greatness of speeches on paper, whose viva voce delivery held an audience fast bound, as it were, in a supernatural spell. Many find it hard to comprehend the excellence of Demosthenes' Orations, and the recorded speeches of the giants of the British Parliament, leave but faint traces of the mastery which moved at will a grave and obstinate assembly of legislators. The reason is, that the business of the orator is to kindle emotions from his own breast to the hearts of his auditors; and he knows little of the practical, or what philosophers call the "active and moral powers" in man, who has not learned that not mere logic or demonstration reaches the inmost springs of action, though it may be, and most often is the fittest medium or duct for conveying the vital warmth from soul to soul. The conviction of earnestness and seriousness in the speaker is the most indispensable element of powerful oratory. A pointed anecdote, or vivacious illustration, while it keeps alive attention by its variety and novelty, will oftentimes involve, and lead unschooled men to recognise and admit a truth, when a logical and profound analysis would be tame, dry, and far aloof from their apprehensions, and especially, their practical feelings. All who have had any successful experience in addressing public bodies, know this; and they soon learn that a scholar-like exhaustion of a topic, and the winning of an audience to the desired views in regard to it, are very different things. Hence the sense of disappointment felt by most speakers on their first appearance in public, at seeing their finely elaborated performances go off as dull and uninteresting, when the free and careless, yet hearty appeals of others stir and enchant the multitude. Hence too, a self-possessed man varies his mode of presenting a subject, from the form in which it lay in his mind after first analyzing it, as circumstances and his immediate aim demand. This variation is always in the way of simplifying and breaking up all those logical connections, which would have given it eclat before a society of scholars. Thus, a man may write and extemporize on the

same text, and his two performances will be likely to be very different, so that while his spoken discourse is superior for present effect, his written one is no less so for the judgment of after critics. From the transcripts of Whitefield's extempore sermons taken by Mr. Gurney, his sermons have been judged to be of so low an order as not to justify his great celebrity. They are a motley compound of anecdotes and fragmentary bursts of passion, and no way indicate depth, comprehensiveness, or sustained energy and brilliancy. But it should be remembered, that Whitefield habitually had all ranks for hearers; and that his lively and playful trivialities even, might have been entertaining and exhilarating to a mob, which would have retired from the massive sermons of Howe or Edwards. He was engaged mainly in calling sinners to repentance; and a very different manner may be suited to the business of first urging on men attention to religion, from what is fitted to instruct them in its duties and doctrines when they have become attentive. Discourses will be likely to suffer in the judgment of after times, greatly in proportion as they have been so diluted and adapted as to lay hold of and interest an unthinking crowd. Whoever will look through Mr. Gurney's volume, while he sees no great and far-reaching thoughts will see no contemptible degree of intellect in the preacher's avoidance of them, and his exquisite skill and tact in shaping his matter to the purpose before him. Some sermons have been inserted from it, in order to exhibit Whitefield's incomparable power of commanding circumstances, and interesting whatever was before him.

The collection, however, will be chiefly from sermons written and published by himself. It is believed that they will verify the preceding hints, and set forth their author in a far more advantageous light, than that in which those of his works most extensively known to the public have placed him. Their merit is not in their theological depth and subtlety, but in that higher demonstration of the Spirit, the unction, the life, the fervency, which marked the man in word and deed. It is believed, that if read with the true end of sermonizing in view, they will bear a favorable comparison with any sermons of this age, especially if we consider the demands of his hearers. A polemical tract is also inserted, in order to show his temper and power in this field.

The publication of this book was imperiously called for, both on account of its scarcity in the market, and the rich unction, which its circulation will be likely to breathe through the religious community. That it may awaken sinners and quicken saints, is the prayer of its Editor; who, with thanks to his friends for their kind suggestions, presents the book to the public as a worthy, and he hopes, an acceptable offering; not doubting, that it may avail to the stirring up of the pure minds of some, by way of remembrance.

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