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In presenting to the public the present edi., tion of this valuable history, the publisher thinks it necessary to apprise the reader of some change which has been adopted in the plan of the work.
The improvement in the art of versification has been so great within the last century, that much of the poetry contained in the following pages, now appear to disadvantage; and a large portion of it having very little connection with the narrative of the author's life, it has been thought expedient to transpose it to the latter part of the book, in the form of an appendix. By this means, the reader will be spared an unnecessary interruption; and those who wish to peruse his verses, may be gratified by turning to the appendix. A few pieces of a controversial nature have been omitted, from a conviction, that they could add nothing to the value of the work.
Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost, John, vi. 12. was the direction of our Saviour to his disciples, after he had fed the multitude. Which may well and usefully be applied, to the collecting and preserving the accounts of the lives of good men; men who in their day, have been eminently useful in the stations of life, wherein God, by his good providence, hath placed them. And this preserving, by publication, is the rather to be done, when they leave behind them an account of their lives, and of the signal mercies of God to them therein : for from such accounts may best be gathered, by the reader, the man's particular state, exercise and growth in the work of restoration, out of the fall and degeneracy; and, in the reading thereof, be not only excited to bless the name of the Lord, on his behalf, but also gain some direction from the path, so fairly tracked out; and a ground
of hope, that by being faithful, they may like. wise attain to the same good experience.
There is not with me any doubt, that something of this kind may be the lot of to whose hands this treatise may come; for that they will herein meet with an account of a variety of exercises, and the providences of God therein, all related with great strength and plainness of speech: our deceased friend Tho. mas Ellwood, having been a man whom God had endued with singular abilities, both as a man, and as a christian ; which is evident, not only from this short account of his life, which was written by himself, and by the supplement added hereunto; but more largely from his many useful labours and services, and the many books which he wrote in the defence of Truth, and the friends thereof; for which service he was in a particular manner qualified, by spiritual wisdom and christian obedience ; to which in him, was added great strength and depth of judgment, wherein he could discern the spirits of others, and was very much the master of his own, as did appear to such who knew lim, not only by the soundness of his reason. ing, and the seasonableness of his words; but also by his great and exemplary modesty, in