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ALTHOUGH from its
very nature this volume may appear somewhat fragmentary, it will be found to be animated, it is hoped, by an unity of spirit and intention. Its chief object is to inculcate the necessity of purifying the intellectual faculties, by elevating them above the sordid pursuits of the world; and to impress upon the youthful mind, in particular, the inestimable value of learning when Christianized by devotion and humility of temper, and sought after and beloved for itself alone. Should any reader be induced by these persuasions to cultivate an acquaintance with those neglected treasures of eloquence and erudition, which constitute the true and abiding Classics of our Literature, I shall feel myself abundantly rewarded. In advancing my own humbler sentiments in the company of men whose names will perish only with their land's language, the motive may at least
mitigate the presumption; and in attempting to preserve so much of their discourses, as various opportunities have enabled me to collect, I have only to request that all the defects may be charged upon the relater; that all the merits may be assigned to them.