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In presenting to the public this collection of the Sermons, Orations and Addresses of President Maxcy, the Editor believes that he shall render an acceptable service both to the interests of the Christian religion and to the republic of letters. Dr Maxcy's writings are surpassed by few in intrinsic excellence and value, and are entitled to an elevated rank among the productions of American literature. The intelligent and cultivated reader will perceive in all ofthem genius, refined taste, beauty of imagery, and vigor of thought and diction.
The brief Memoir of his Life is a task which the Editor would gladly have declined, could some one of Dr. Maxcy's intimate friends or gifted pupils have been induced to undertake it. He deeply regrets that he never had an opportunity of seeing this accomplished and eloquent divine, and of witnessing the force of his reasoning, his command of felicitous language, his discursive and brilliant imagination, and his extraordinary power over the passions of men, that he might be able more accurately to delineate the features of his mind, and the minute lineaments of his character. Although
great exertions have been made by him to obtain reminiscences of President Maxcy to enrich the Memoir, yet they have been unsuccessful; and the facts embodied in this sketch have been derived almost entirely from conversations with his pupils and friends, and other scattered sources of information. He is convinced, therefore, that he needs the candor of the public with respect to the imperfect miniature here given of this remarkable man.
On all subjects President Maxcy thought for himself, and the Editor considers that it is a mere act of justice to let him express his own views without comment. He cannot, however, be considered as pledged to every opinion of the Author, or the inferences which may be drawn from them. Dr. Maxcy possessed that catholic spirit which resulted from deep piety and high mental endowments, and he could not substitute the shibboleth of a party, in the place of love to God, and the practical exhibition of the Christian virtues. His great and noble soul was incapable of contracting itself into the littleness of bigotry.
The labors of the writer in editing this volume will be amply compensated, should it be made instrumental in the promotion of sound literature, of patriotism and
New Haven, June, 1844.