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MA DE LEY:
ness of the character, (which could scarcely have been legible to the Author in his latter years) I judge them to have been the first essay of a genius afterwards so much admired. The Fragments, of which some appear as the thoughts of the day, others as notes of fermons, bear date the first few years of his ministry.
If, therefore, any part of this volume, however excellent, be deemed inferior to the more mature productions of the same admirable pen, it is hoped that candour will have at least as much weight as criticisin.
The Reader is farther requested, to remember that the pious Author wrote only for himself and his friends; that these sheets want his perfecting hand; and that the Editor thought himself entitled to take no liberties.
It is not expected that Mr. Fletcher's reputation as a writer will receive new lustre from these P);thu nous Pieces: But, if the many friends, who revere his iħemory, find edification and delight in perusing his apoftolick letters; if any, whose opposition of sentiment would not allow them to converse with him as a polemick divine, shall now receive him to their breasts, as a Christian brother; if any, who have not reaped the rich harvest of his foriner writings, are benefited by the gleanings of the field; and if the world in general is made better acquainted with the virtues of this excellent man: all the ends proposed by their publication will be obtained, and the Editor will think himmelf justified in giving them to the press.
That the benediction of the Almighty may attend these last labours of his Servant, that the