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THE strong expressions of approbation with which the "Portraiture of a Christian Gentleman" has been received both in England and in this country, have determined the subscribers, with the advice of some of their friends, to offer it to the American public. They do so, in the confidence that it will exert a strong influence in behalf of the great principles of practical religion, and afford instruction, in an interesting form, to many who might not so readily receive it from a different source.
In its original state, the work preserved a very close adherence to the peculiar circumstances of an English gentleman-more particularly in frequent references to the connexion of such an individual with the church establishment and civil polity of Great-Britain, Knowing the difficulty with which readers, especially careless readers, abstract remarks of general importance from such circumstantial allusions, and the hinderance to usefulness which they consequently present, the publishers have deemed it expedient to omit a few sentences.
and short passages of this description, and to curtail three entire sections, wholly relative to matters inapplicable to the citizen of the United States. They believe that this measure has deprived the work of little, if any, of its interest, and tends materially to increase its utility.
New-York, July, 1831.
T. & J. SWORDS.
MRS. HANNAH MORE.
MY DEAR MADAM,
HAVING recently perused your important work on the Spirit of Prayer with some advantage, I hope, to my own principles and practice, it came into my head to consider, with more than ordinary attention, the actual state of the believing world, as to the conduct and method of this essential duty in Christian families. When one's thoughts are stirred into strong action on an interesting and favourite subject, they soon ripen into projects; and we often find. a difficulty in restraining these projects within practicable limits. My first intentions were to write something for publication on the " practice of prayer," as a supplement to your valuable performance ;
but those intentions soon expanded into various larger undertakings, till, at length, they settled down into a resolution to obtrude upon the public the sketch of a "Christian Gentleman," as he presents himself under the various aspects of duty and demeanour proper to the purest conception of that character. Whether I have or have not drawn and coloured the picture correctly, no one is more competent to judge than yourself. I have endeavoured to portray a man worthy of being introduced to the honour of your acquaintance, and have, therefore, kept as close as I could to your own views of spiritual and moral excellence.
So far as my humble purpose shall appear to have been usefully executed, I am sure it will have the advantage of your countenance and approbation, and I desire no success for it on any other grounds. If, by the favour of Almighty God, I shall be accepted as an instrument in his hands of conveying profitable counsel to some
of my countrymen, who contemplate the qualifications of a gentleman through the medium of perverted sentiment, and the prejudices which naturally and almost necessarily result from a prevalent system of false education-if I shall be successful in bringing over a few to better judgment, in a matter which so greatly concerns the well-being of society, I shall consider my slight performance as superabundantly rewarded.
I am, my dear Madam, with the highest sense of what I owe to you, as one of a community so benefited by your labours, and for long-continued personal kindness,
Your affectionate friend and servant,
Clapham, Feb. 1829.