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THE ENTIRE WORKS
UNDER THE CARE OF THE REV. R. E. B. MACLELLAN.
COMPLETE IN TWO VOLUMES.
SIMMS AND M INTYRE.
THE present volume is, with the exception of one discourse, a republication of various tracts, which were called forth by particular occasions, and which were never intended to appear in their present form.—The reader cannot be more aware than I am, that they need many and great changes; but they would probably have never been republished, had I waited for leisure to conform them to my ideas of what they should be, or to make them more worthy of the unexpected favour which they have received. The articles, in general, were intended to meet the wants of the times when they were written, and to place what I deem great truths, within reach of the multitude of men. If the reader will bear in mind this design, some defects will more readily be excused. The second Review in particular, should be referred to the date of its original publication. Certain tracts, which drew a degree of attention on their first appearance, have been excluded from this volume. My reasons for so doing are various. Some have been omitted, because they seem to me of little or no worth; some, because they do not express sufficiently my present views; and some, because they owed their interest to events, which have faded more or less from the public mind. In their present form, I wish none of them to be found in a collection of my writings. I esteem it a privilege, that my writings have called forth many strictures, and been subjected to an unsparing criticism. I know that in some things I must have erred. I cannot hope, that even in my most successful efforts, I have done full justice to any great truth. Deeply conscious of my fallibleness, I wish none of my opinions to be taken on trust, nor would I screen any from the most rigorous examination. If my opponents have exposed my errors, I owe them a great debt; and should I fail, through the force of prejudice, to see and acknowledge my obligation to them in this life, I hope to do so in the future world. I have declined answering the attacks made on my writings, not from contempt of my opponents, among whom are men of distinguished ability and acknowledged virtue, but because I believed that I should do myself and others more good, by seeking higher and wider views, than by defending what I had already
* [Originally prefixed to “Reviews, Discourses, and Miscellanies. By William Ellery Channing."—Published at Boston, in 1830, in 1 vol. royal 8vo.]