Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

PREFACE. XX111 spirit of sympathy and admiration ? Shall we not be prompted to contrast our own circumstances with theirs, and be excited to the warmest thank- fulness that we live not in the puritanic age, but . in days of greater christian,freedorn? Shall we not be constrained to exclaim, " The lines are fallen to us in pleasant places ; yea, Lord, thou bast given us a goodly heritage ?" The author has not attempted to justify any irregularities in the opinions, the spirit, or the conduct of the Puritans. Although he acknow- ledges that he has, in numerous instances, en- deavoured to prove their innocence, against the evil reproaches and groundless accusations of their adVersaries, so far as substantial evidence could be collected from historical facts ; yet he has never attempted to vindicate their infirmities, or to connive at their sins. They were men of like passions with ourselves ; and, from the cruel treatment they met with, we .cannot wonder that they sometimes betrayed an improper temper. Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad. Oh, that we may learn to imitate their most amiable endowments ! Though he does not expect to escape the cen- sures of angry partisans, he will thankfully receive any corrections or improvements from those who are 'disposed to communicate them, promising to make the best use of them in his power. If his endeavours should, through the blessing of God, prove successful in exciting Protestants, of various