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“ The path of the just is as the shining light -and, when these have been
MANCHESTER, WILLIAM IRWIN.
In preparing the following work for publication, the Editor has been influenced by a variety of considerations. To himself, it has furnished an interesting and congenial occupation for not a few solitary hours, whilst to a large circle of intimate friends, indeed, to all who had any acquaintance with the subject of this biography, it is believed that the volume will prove an acceptable memento of their departed friend. But to others besides these, it may supply matter of interest and instruction. The young will find in it encouraging evidence of the truth, that wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness,—that instead of interfering with the true enjoyment of life, or cramping the energies of the mind, religion heightens the one, and strengthens, whilst it regulates, the other. And those who are further advanced in years, especially of her own sex, may derive some encouragement from the practical exhibition of christian principle, in the various relations and duties of active life. Those also who take an interest in observing the development of character and the diversity of the human mind, may here find materials for profitable contemplation. But it is the christian believer, the faithful, yet oft-times fainthearted follower of a crucified Redeemer, to whom this volume will be especially valuable. It may serve to confirm his faith, and animate his hopes, and possibly it may tend to enlarge his conceptions of the glory of that gospel, which is “ the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth.”
A few short pieces of poetry have been inserted. Actuated by religious principle, and ever fearful of violating the limits of
strict veracity, the writer was restrained from availing herself of the ordinary poetical license, or of soaring far into the regions of imagination. Consequently, these simple lays may possess but few attractions for some readers, whilst to others, they may prove acceptable, not only as marking a refined taste, but as exhibiting the tendency of the author's mind, when expatiating with delight on the works of creation, to turn to the still more glorious theme of a Saviour's love.
The Editor has not been insensible of the delicacy of the task which he has undertaken. One of his chief difficulties in the execution, has arisen from his own name occurring so frequently in the original materials. In the following publication, it has been omitted, wherever it was practicable without interrupting the narrative, or doing manifest injustice to the character of a most devoted and affectionate wife. But little of editorial matter has been introduced into the work. Instead of adding to its value, it might have interfered with the faithful transcript of Maria Fox's mind, as presented in her own memoranda and letters.