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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1931, by Jonathan Leavitt, in the Office of the Clerk of
the Southern District of New-York.
R. & G. S. WOOD, PRINTERS, 265 PEARL-STREET.
The Author of the following pages is a stranger to the American Churches: and should this brief notice of his work introduce it to some by whom it might otherwise remain unknown, the subscriber will feel that he has performed an act of kindness, not to the writer alone, but to the readers of this interesting volume. The subject of which it treats is presented in a manner unusually attractive. If it does not in every instance animadvert upon fashionable amusements with unsparing severity, the attentive reader will find in the end, that the author is no apologist for the arguments by which they have usually been defended. There is a candour and ingenuousness in his discussion, which may perhaps prejudice a few, but which will commend the work to others, by whom, but for this circumstance, it would probably be neglected. Christian parents and Christian families would do well to be familiar with this little volume. They will find no intemperate zeal, no railing and invective, in these pages; but a dispassionate and courteous investigation of the true tendency of customs so unfavourable to the cultivation of piety. Our children and youth are naturally far enough
from God. It were wise and kind not to multiply and increase the temptations and dangers which every where lurk around their path, and beguile them to ruin. The world is gay enough already. The way of death is sufficiently enticing, and abundantly strewed with flowers. All our vigilance and exertion, sedulously and anxiously employed, may well be put in requisition to rectify the vain imaginations of men, control their heedless spirit, and arrest their thoughtlessness by the great realities of religion and eternity. Nothing is more evident than that a passion for fashionable amusements banishes all serious regard for religion, silences the voice of conscience, and neutralizes the means of grace and salvation.
and salvation. They may not always prove the school of vice and profligacy, but they are always the school of thoughtlessness and vanity; where every thing else is fortified, rather than serious thoughts of God and a judgment to come. There is no apology for usages that endanger our immortality. “ What is a man profited, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?”
New-York, March 1, 1831.
TO THE ENGLISH EDITION.
INDEPENDEntly of the measure of talent employed in the present production, the Author entertains some apprehensions respecting its success. The work is undoubtedly a desideratum ; for, although the subject of Fashionable Amusements has engaged the attention of numerous writers, a volume devoted to the topic has never appeared. The subject, moreover, is inviting, as well as important, and, unless decidedly defective in execution, can hardly fail to become, in some degree, popular.
What, then, are the writer's apprehensions? He affirms them to be neither affected nor groundless. The spirit and tone of the volume, he fears, will, in