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MANSFIELD, IVER, BUCKS.
MY DEAR MADAM,
Esteem and gratitude have induced me to dedicate to you a code of Ethics selected from the Holy Scriptures, the first (so far as I am aware) that has been prepared in this brief and simple form by an Analysis of the Bible.
To your judicious counsel, excellent example, and truly Christian precepts, I am more deeply indebted than I can well express, and the hours passed in your society have been the happiest of a checquered, but I hope not useless existence.
You have rightly inculcated that morality however pure, or ceremonial observance however precise,-or obedience however strict, is not true religion; and that unless we love God with all our heart-with all our soul -with all our strength-and with all our mind-we shall most assuredly be mistaken in our endeavours to attain eternal life. But as I have had the high gratification of witnessing your sedulous attention in the several impor. tant stations of daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend, -and knowing that while modestly disclaiming all merit in your own case, you will agree with me in ascribing a proportionate degree of commendation to a due perform. ance of the duties connected with those relations, I trust
you will accept this little Manual, the preparation of which has been some solace to my mind in periods of anxiety, doubt and difficulty.
That you may be long permitted to adorn that sphere of useful life to which England mainly owes (however yet imperfectly developed) her moral superiority and Christian feelings-is,
My dear Madam,
the sincere prayer of
Your obliged and grateful friend,
RELIGION is so essential to the very existence of man, so inseparable from his nature and beingthat the most untutored savage has framed to himself some system of theological belief,-some mode of communicating with the Deity he adores, --some link of spiritual connection between the Creator and the created. But as if to demonstrate our fallen state, every attempt of mere human reason to connect materiality with immateriality has ended in idolatry,-in the deification of stocks and stones, finally degenerating into the grossest sensuality or fanaticism, and corrupting alike the mind and body of the worshipper.* He who in His incomprehensible love made man after his own image,' breathed into him the breath of life and endowed him with faculties capable of receiving a portion of his Divine intellect, in his infinite mercy provided for the eternal welfare of his creatures, as well as for their temporal happiness; and in conformity with that inexplicable harmony which subsists
* See the Second Edition of my History of the British Colonies,' for a description of various systems of idolatry.