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morality, as well as of private virtue, it is certain that national prosperity and individual happiness must be wholly indebted for their maturity to such an association. To expect elevation of character, either national or individual, upon any other principle, is to seek (in the expressive language of the highest authority) to “
gather grapes of thorns, and figs of thistles.”
How far these views of biography are just in themselves, or have been illustrated in the following work, it is not for the author to determine. The great variety of opinion existing on the character and sentiments of the subject of these Memoirs, renders an attempt to illustrate them compatible, at least, with the general ends of Biography. Entertaining the highest veneration for the
character which he has attempted to.pourträy, the author has aimed at clearing: it from those aspersions, which have their foundation in ignorance and malevolence.
While he has thus been anxious to vindicate an injured name, it will, he trusts, be apparent, that he has not been influenced by blind par
tiality or sectarian zeal. So far as he is acquainted with his own motives, he feels no hesitation in avowing, that they are such as he wishes to carry with him, unaltered, to the grave. If an attempt to rescue a great character from the fangs of calumny, and to vindicate the doctrines of the glorious reformation, should expose the author to the shafts of opprobious censure, he will be abundantly compensated by the verdict of an approving conscience, and the sanction of discriminating readers.
When it is considered that the public is not in possession of any detached Life of Calvin, in English, there can be no doubt but that such a work, executed with care and impartiality, must be considered a desideratum in Evangelical Biography.
With respect to the arrangement of the several parts, the author has adopted that which appeared to him, upon the whole, the most eligible.
It will be sufficiently obvious to every intelligent reader, that the materials for the
work have been derived from the most authentic sources, most of which are acknowledged. In addition to the Narrative of Beza, the author has to confess considerable obligations to a living author, Monsieur J. Senebier, of whose excellent work, entitled, “Histoire Litteraire de Genève," he has made considerable use.
Confident that the general principles maintained in the following pages require no apology, the author commends them to His blessing, whose glory they are intended to promote, and. who alone can render them really and extensively useful.
MR. ABBOT, St. Neots.
Mr. Bagster, sen. London.
Barnes, esq. St. Ives.
Mr. Campbell, Queen's College, Cambridge.
Mr. John Cole, Basingbourne.
Rev. Edward Edwards, Lynn.
Mr. Coxe Feary, Bluntisham, six copies.
Mr. Glover, Queen's College, Cambridge.
Mr. Stephen Haggard, Buntingford.