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while going over the perusal of these Essays, that they are the production of a layman. Let it be recollected, also, that here is nothing of private interest, nothing of party spirit, nothing of secular advantages (with which churchmen are so often reproached) to be promoted by the establishment of the doctrines contained in them if the names of a Lock E, a BOYLE, a NEWTON, have been considered as so many accessions to the weight of evidence in favour of the Gospel, on account of the lay character of the writers, every testimony coming from the same source, proportioned to its value, must be in a degree entitled to the same estimation.
But I must not rest here: the public indulgence will not, I am persuaded,
be withheld from me, if I advance one step further'n my apology for asking their patronage to this little volume. The merit of the Author, in his medical department, is well known, and universally allowed, through the whole county where he hath always resided; and where, while health enabled him to prosecute his labours, he derived the needed emoluments of his services, and the Public the benefit of his skill.
But a Power, whose wisdom cannot err, and whose love cannot fail, in arranging all events to one invariable purpose, in the real welfare of his people, hath been pleased, for a long series of years, to circumscribe the limits of Dr. Lowry's usefulness as a physician; and, by the frequent visitation of sickness, in a great measure to deprive
his friends of his aid, and himself of his professional support.
It hath formed no small alleviation to a mind so well taught as Dr. Lowry's, to consider that by this dispensation he is not wholly laid aside, but only his usefulness directed into another channel: so that, by this appointment, though the neighbourhood where he dwells cannot always reap the benefit of his medical abilities; yet the religious world, in a more enlarged sphere, shall gather instruction from his spiritual attainments; and, notwithstanding he is confined within very scanty limits in ministering to the relief of the diseases of the body, the Lord will enlarge the opportunities of his being made instrumental to the comfort of the soul.
If the Lord should bless these Essays (as I would fain persuade myself he graciously will) to much good, I shall hope, also, that the Lord will dispose the heart, among those to whom he hath given ability, that, while benefited by his spiritual things, they may gladly communicate of their carnal things; that that sweet Scripture may be fulfilled in his experience: The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.