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OF BALIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD, JUNIOR MINISTER OF THE EPISCOPAL
BRADFORD & INSKEEP, PHILADELPHIA; INSKEEP & BRADFORD,
PRINTED BY T. & G. PALMER, PHILADELPHIA.
THE REVEREND A. ALISON,
LL. B. F. R. S. LOND. AND EDIN.
PREBENDARY OF SARUM, &c. &c. AND SENIOR MINISTER OF THE
EPISCOPAL CHAPEL, COWGATE, EDINBURGH.
MY DEAR SIR,
I HAVE preached about philosophy and philosophers, till I am tired of the very names ; and, of course, my congregation must be still more tired than myself. There are people, however, who may derive some benefit from reading upon these subjects, which are in fact better adapted for the closet than the pulpit; and a reader possesses at least one advantage over a listener, whenever he is wearied, he can take the liberty to silence his instructor.
You were good-natured enough to give very unmerited praise to several of these discourses when they were preached; but I do not mean to impose upon the public, by saying, that you recommended me to print them. Indeed you carry your dislike to the publication of sermons somewhat too far, otherwise the world would long ago have been in possession of some, which probably unite the utile and the dulce, more than any others which were ever written.
Should I fail in my present attempt, it would yet afford me some consolation, if you might thence be induced to come forward in the great cause of genuine Christianity, and to disseminate that instruction in morals and religion, which you have already given with so much ability in criticism and taste. Achilles was roused from his retreat when Patroclus fell.
At all events, I am happy in this opportunity of expressing, my dear sir, the high sense which I entertain of your virtues and endowments, and of subscribing myself, your faithful colleague, and affectionate friend,