« EelmineJätka »
UTTERANCE OF THE HEART;
IN THE COURSE OF
A REAL CORRESPONDENCE.
THE REV. JOHN NEWTON,
IN TWO VOLUMES.
Hæc res et jungit, junctos et servat amicos.
Hor. Lib. i. Sat. 3.
Prov. xxvii. 19.
PRINTED BY ANDREW BAL FOUR,
AND ADAM BLACK.
The deference due to the Public seems to require an apology for committing letters of private correspondence to the Press, while the writer is yet living. He is sensible that sending them abroad without his name prefixed, will not of itself be sufficient to obviate the charge of egotism. The manner of expression and thinking, where an author has been repeatedly in print, will mark him out to good judges when they see him again, so as to render any farther description unnecessary.
The solicitation of friends, though a trite, is not always an improper plea, and would probably in the present case be admitted, if he had not determined to conceal the names of his correspondents likewise, and to suppress, as far as possible, every circumstance which might lead to discover them. For they certainly did recommend the publication, and return him their letters purposely that a selection might be made. But as he does not think himself at liberty to declare them, he must forego the advantage of screening himself under the sanction of their judgment.
Posthumous Letters are usually published to a disadvantage. If it be supposed that the Author has friends, whose regard to his memory will make them willing to purchase what appears under his name, that circumstance has sometimes given occasion to an indiscriminate and injuuli cious publication of Letters collected from all quarters, in which more attention is paid to the bulk than the value. For amongst a number of letters written to intimate friends, some will be too trivial to deserve notice, and others may be so intermingled with details of private or domestic concerns, as perhaps to give pain to those who are interested in them, when they see them ili print. The writer of the following Letters thought himself more competent to decide at present, which and how much of the papers before him might be not utterly unworthy of being preserved, than a stranger could be after his de
Farther, he finds, that between an increase of engagements on the one hand, and the unavoidable effects of advancing years on the other, he can expect but little leisure or ability for writing letters in future, except upon necessary business. By this method of sending to each of his correspondents many letters at once, he takes leave of them with the less regret, persuaded that he thus communicates the substance of all he could offer, if he was able to write to them severally as often and as much at large as in times past.
Though some attention has been paid to variety, it was not practicable wholly to avoid what may be thought repetition, without destroying the texture and connection of many Letters ; particularly in those which treat of affliction. But where the same subject recurs, it is usually placed in something of a different point of view, or illustrated in a different manner.
Thus much to bespeak the Reader's favourable and candid perusal of what is now put into his hands. But the Writer stands before a higher tribunal; and would be much to be pitied if he were not conscious, that in this publication he has no allowed aims, but to be subservient to the gracious designs of God by the Gospel, and to promote the good of his fellow-creatures..
November 29, 1780.