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correspondence have been omitted which individually would have been as worthy of preservation as those that are retained; if still something like reiteration should be found, the Editor trusts that it is not to an immoderate extent, not to say that, within certain limits, it will serve to show, more distinctly the writer's mental habits,-what were his most accustomed channels of thought.
For the particulars relating to Mr. Foster's youth, the Editor is indebted to his only surviving friend of that period, Mr. Horsfall, and to the descendants of his tutor, Dr. Fawcett. Use also has been made of a paper in Mr. Foster's handwritting" Hints and Questions respecting my early History: "— unfortunately it is very brief, and breaks off abruptly.
In two instances the Editor has deviated from his first intention of inserting nothing in these volumes which had been already published by the Author, namely, the Letters on the Church, and those on the Ballot; he was led to do so from the consideration, that these productions having only appeared in a public journal upwards of ten years ago, must be new to many readers-that they contain Mr. Foster's deliberate sentiments on subjects of great social interest-and that the miscellaneous character of the correspondence seemed to render their insertion in it more suitable than a republication with any of his other works. *
On one point only of dogmatic theology Mr. Foster dissented from the religious community with which he was most intimately connected. Allusions to this subject (the Duration of Future Punishment) occur in two or three passages of his
*It may here be mentioned that the Reflections on Death (vol. i., p. 52), and the Letters to Mr. Hughes (ii., 155), Dr. Carpenter (ii, 157), Dr. Liefchild (ii., 161), and Mrs. H. More (ii, 191), are reprinted from the publications in which they first appeared. The Letter to an Unknown Lady (i., 78) had also been previously printed for private circulation; while this sheet was passing through the press, the Editor received information that her name was Carpenter.
early correspondence; but it is discussed at some length in a letter to a young minister, written in 1841 (vol. ii., p. 262). Without offering an opinion on "the moral argument," which to a mind of so high an order carried irresistible force, or inquiring what exceptions may be taken to those views of mankind and the present life to which it may appear that that argument owes much of its cogency-and while those who differ from him, and not a few, probably, who would assent to his views, may regret that the statements of Scripture are not more fully discussed-it may be permitted, in justice to his memory, to remark, that in Mr. Foster's mind, as is evident from his other writings, this belief was associated with the holiest views of the Divine being, and with a most elevated standard of moral excellence; nor among those who deem him mistaken on this subject, could any one be found who would more earnestly deprecate that a theological speculation should occupy the thoughts to the neglect of practical, personal piety. (LUKE xiii., 23, 24.)
In conclusion, the Editor's warmest thanks are presented to those friends of Mr. Foster (or their representatives) to whom the letters in these volumes are addressed. His acknowledgments are especially due to Mr. Cottle for the memoir of Miss Saunders with the accompanying letters, and for the introductory notice of his interesting and lamented relative. He would also express his obligations to the President of Cheshunt College for permission to insert the long and valuable letter on missionary undertakings (vol. ii., p. 276), and for the observations on some passages written (as might be anticipated) in a spirit of respectful and candid criticism. Northampton, May 15, 1846.
Newcastle-on-Tyne-Ireland-Return to Yorkshire (1792-1796)
Journal of three days at Dublin
Sentiments on church-membership
On friendship and personal reserve