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This Volume has not been prepared hastily, nor under the influence of
undesirable unworthy feelings and motives. It has been the result of long-continued reflection and observation, and has been a cherished design of the Author for many years, should Divine Providence allow him to survive the revered individual and friend, whose intellectual and ministerial cha
racter he here delineates.
He had been collecting materials for some period, and preserving, in short-hand, notes of conversations with Mr. Jay, opinions on character, on preaching, on books and authors, which, at various times, he had expressed to him ; and also his own estimate of his mental and moral habits of his ministerial excellence and usefulness. He had, moreover, been frequently and earnestly solicited, by superior literary and ministerial friends, to have his “Portraiture” prepared, in the event of Mr. Jay's decease.
He ingenuously acknowledges that he had always been a great admirer of the venerable William Jay, in his ministerial capacity and in his character as an author of eminent reputation; and, so far back as the year 1830, he purposed, should he outlive him, to furnish, in addition to all which might be written, some truthful and affectionate memorial of him, carefully prepared, without at all interfering with Mr. Jay's autobiography.
His object is not to detail the circumstances of his life—that he himself has done, in his own striking and impressive manner, and his own family will furnish everything additional up to the closing scene—but to submit some personal recollections of him, and to present an outline of his character and usefulness, which he hopes will be interesting to those who were more nearly connected with him, and which the religious public generally will approve. An unexpected providence, of a bereaving kind, peculiarly afflictive, and also a solicitude to recover his own health, required him to reside in Bath during the closing year of Mr. Jay's pastorate, and hence he has been able more accurately and vividly to communicate his own impressions of Mr. Jay, as he really thought, felt, and acted towards the close of his valuable life.
The writer of the following pages has been frank and undisguised in the expression of his sentiments, wishing to be perfectly honest and ingenuous.
The volume has required thought and effort, and he has re-written the whole from his short
It will afford him peculiar pleasure to find that, like his other publications, it is received with kindness and cordiality by an enlightened
and discerning public ; and, if it be deemed a just and descriptive view of the good and distinguished man whom it professes to delineate, he shall feel much gratified.
No person will perceive anything that is narrow, unkindly, or waspish in this volume. It is a little tribute-affectionate and filialwhich he was desirous of offering : a token of sincere regard which he was anxious to proffer in relation to the character and memory of a most honoured servant of God. It is his strong desire that it may be neither unacceptable nor