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labour,-from the utter impracticability of postponing it to a more favourable season ; and, in addition to all the preceding, the difficulties growing out of a sense of incompetency, perpetually felt, to discharge with spirit and success the functions of a biographer; the habits of my life, which have been those of demonstration, disqualifying me, at least in my own judgment, for biographical or other narration.

In the midst of so many difficulties, I have endeavoured, to the extent of my own information, and such authentic information as I could collect from others, to make the reader acquainted with the principal facts in Mr. Hall's life, with his pursuits, his manners, his deportment in private and domestic life, and as a minister. I have, in short, aimed to trace him from childhood to maturity, from maturity to his death, and throughout to present a plain, simple, accurate, and, I hope, a sufficiently full account of this most eminent and estimable man. His extraordinary talents as a writer will be infinitely better inferred from the perusal of his Works, than from any such critical examination of them as I could have presented. Some of the hints which are occasionally introduced as I have proceeded may, perhaps, assist in illustrating a few peculiarities in his intellectual character ; or, by connecting some of his productions with the circumstances in which they were composed, may probably cause them to be perused with additional interest. But I have kept in view a still higher object,—that of tracing him in his social and moral relations, and showing how gradually, yet how completely, his fine talents and acquirements became subordinated to the power of Divine grace, and devoted to the promotion of the glory of God, and the happiness of man.

Fearing, however, that my own biographical sketch will convey but an inadequate idea, even of Mr. Hall's private and social character, I have inserted, in an Appendix, communi

ations received from three friends, and which will, trust, serve considerably to supply my deficiencies.

Mr. Hall's qualities as a preacher I have attempted to describe briefly, as they fell under my own notice at Cambridge; at a season when they had nearly reached their meridian with regard to intellect and eloquence, though not with respect to all the higher requisites of ministerial duty. I have also inserted in the Appendix a short account of Mr. Hall's preaching in 1821, written by the late Mr. John Scott. These, with the more comprehensive, elaborate, and philosophical “Observations," from the pen of Mr. Foster, will, I trust, enable such as never had the privilege of listening to Mr. Hall's instructions from the pulpit, to form a tolerable estimate of his power as a preacher. Although, as will be perceived, I differ from Mr. Foster in some of his opinions and criticisms, yet I cannot but fully appreciate the peculiar fidelity and corresponding beauty with which he has delineated, not merely the more prominent excellences of Mr. Hall's sermons, both with regard to structure and delivery, but some of those which, while they are palpable as to their result, are latent as to their sources, until they are brought to light by Mr. Foster's peculiar faculty of mental research. And hence it will

, I am persuaded, be found, that while he only professes to describe the character of his friend “as a preacher," he has successfully explored, and correctly exhibited, those attributes of his intellectual character which caused both his preaching and his writing to be so singularly delightful and impressive.

In all that is thus presented, whether by my several correspondents, by Mr. Foster, or by myself, the object has not been to overload the character of our deceased friend with extravagant eulogium; but by describing it as it has been viewed by different individuals, to enable the public—and may I not add, posterity ?—to form, from their combined result, a more accurate estimate of his real character, intellectual, moral, and religious, than could be gathered from the efforts of any single writer.

To add to the usefulness of the Works, by facilitating reference to any part of them, a gentleman of competent judgment and information has prepared the general Index, which is placed at the end of this volume.

The whole Works are now committed to the public, with the persuasion that every part, except that which the editor has felt his own inability to execute successfully, will be favourably received; and that the greater portion of the contents will be found permanently interesting, instructive, and valuable.

OLINTHUS GREGORY. Royal Military Academy,

5th Dec. 1832.

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