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4

PREFATORY REMARKS.

FOR the fifth number of the Christian Monitor, we have abridged " A serious call to a devout and holy life, adapted to the state and condition of all orders of christians, by William Law, A.M.”

The original work has had the rare fortune to interest the generality of readers, while it has gained the high approbation of the most learned.

In proof of the former assertion, we may allege the great number of editions, through which it has passed. As evidence of the latter, it is necessary only to mention the commendation it has received from Dr. Sam. uel Johnson. “ When at Oxford,” says he, “ I took “ up Law's Serious Call to a holy life, expecting to “ find it a dull book, (as such books generally are,) “ and perhaps to laugh at it. But I found Law quite " an overmatch for me ; and this was the first occa“sion of my thinking in earnest of religion, after I 16 became capable of rational inquiry."

* Vide Boswell's life of Johnson, third edition, vol. I, p. 43.

In another place it is remarked, “ He 'much com6 mended Law's Serious Call, which he said was the 6 finest piece of hortatory theology in any language.”*

Even the historian Gibbon, who was himself an infidel, is forced to give the following honourable testimonyt to the merits of this work. « Mr. Law's 6 master-piece, the Serious Call, is still read as a

popular and powerful book of devotion. His pre“ cepts are rigid ; but they are formed and derived * from the gospel. His satire is sharp ; but his wis« dom is from the knowledge of human life ; and

many of his portraits are not unworthy the pen of “ La Bruyere. If there yet exists a spark of piety “ in his reader's mind, he will soon kindle it to a # flame."

No further apology can be necessary for attempting to excite attention to such a work ; especially when it is considered, that it is but little known in this part of our country, and that not one copy of it was to be found at any bookstore in Boston.

More important is it to give an account of the manner, in which the abridgment has been conducted.

Boswell's life of Johnson, vol. II. p. 118.
In his memoirs,

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