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1

LIVES

OF

THE

CHIEF FATHERS OF NEW ENGLAND.

The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers ; let him not leave us, nor forsake us

1 KINGS 8: 57.

VOL. 1.

GENERAL INTRODUCTION.

VENERATION for departed worth is a sentiment so natural and proper, that he who is incapable of feeling it, must be regarded as hopelessly ungenerous and ignoble. The remembrance of the just is a blessing to them that cherish it. Such memories awaken a pure ambition; and lead to the virtuous resolve to emulate, to equal, to exceed the patterns we admire. The contemplation of exemplary goodness gives life to magnanimous thoughts, and beneficent purposes. It is wise to multiply these lessons, and to surround ourselves with these incentives of excellence. The Egyptian graced his habitation with the embalmed persons of his ancestry, hoping that thus their merits might linger in the abode of their descendants. The Grecian multiplied the statues of those who had been distinguished for public or private virtues, believing that the mute eloquence of the sculptured stone would not plead in vain for that respect which ends in imitation. So too let us adorn our dwellings with the memorials of the great and good. Let them be embalmed with the odorous spices of grateful remembrance. Let the very walls of our houses, garnished with their portraitures and the pictured story of their deeds, summon us to a righteous emulation. The

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