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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by

FRANCIS BOWEN, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.




The following essays have all appeared, at various times, in the pages either of the “Christian Examiner," or of the “North American Review.” They are now printed by themselves, not from the mere ambition of making a book, but because they relate mainly to one subject, and fall naturally into a series, so that being read in connexion, there is a better chance, that their meaning and purpose will be clearly perceived. Some over partial friends had also expressed a desire to see them in a distinct publication; and as most of the pieces were written at their suggestion, or under their encouragement, compliance with their wishes seemed to be almost a duty.

In some of the shorter essays, a few paragraphs, relating only to an estimate of the books under re-view, are here omitted. With this exception, the articles are reprinted without alteration, — without changing even the personal pronoun, the use of which is sanctioned by invariable custom in periodical writings, in respect of the advantage it affords, in veiling the appearance of egotism. It is possible, therefore, that some repetitions and incongruities may be detected in different parts of the volume; and

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