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It should be said, perhaps, that this book was written in the winter of 1887-88, with a view to its publication in the summer of 1888. Circumstances having delayed its appearance, however, a few minor changes and additions have been rendered possible, mainly in the character and recent dates of the notes of reference, showing how continuous and active are the conditions that gave rise to the book.
This explanation, it is hoped, will commend the work to the thoughtful reader, and relieve it of any idea of having been inspired by recent political events. The argument has lost nothing of its pertinence, at least, by reason of the delay which has been noted, and is wholly independent of party policies and ends. It is an appeal to the whole People, on a matter of vital interest to the whole Country. September 1, 1889.