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The public may, naturally enough, wish to know the reasons which induced the writer of these Reminiscences to offer such a work to their notice; and, in particular, why the materials of which it is composed were not sent to the editor and publishers of Mr. Hall's Works, to be incorporated into the common stock of information.
In answer to these inquiries, the writer observes, that he has been guided by the opinion of many highly respectable and judicious friends, who considered that a continued narrative, in a separate form, would be more valuable than if it had been interwoven in a general account; especially as Mr. Hall is here represented in his private, social, and public life, as a friend, a companion, and a pastor, by an eye and earwitness, who was honoured with his friendship for more than thirty years, and has narrated scarcely any thing but what actually came under his own observation. The materials which he possessed were chiefly in short-hand, collected during the period of Mr. Hall's residence in Cambridge, Leicester, and Bristol, commencing with the year 1795; and a selection of them is now given from a large mass, after very considerable labour and attention. The employment has been attended with many painful, as well as pleasing recollections, in retracing this long period, and in passing “over the mazes we have trod.”
These Reminiscences, therefore, it is hoped, will form a useful and instructive Appendix to “ Mr. Hall's Works, in six volumes," and serve further to gratify the public curiosity respecting him. The writer disclaims all ideas of competition, and all intention of interfering with the publishers who have purchased the copyright; and as he was no party to the transaction, they can have no possible claim on him for his materials, neither would the family be at all benefited. He has, however, requested Messrs. Westley and
Davis, his publishers, to present the profits of the first five hundred copies to Mrs. Hall.
Since Mr. Hall's death, the following gross mistatement has appeared in two or three periodical and other publications : — “ The intervention of malady separated him from a congregation which he had multiplied in number, and elevated in: character; and when he unexpectedly recovered, he found that his office was filled by another.” The truth is, that a number of respectable settled ministers actually volunteered their occasional services to supply the pulpit till his recovery, which offer was accepted—the late Rev. Andrew Fuller, and the late Rev. James Hinton, of Oxford, the Rev. Mr. Hillyard, of Bedford, and many others now living, supplied during the time. “ His office” was never “ filled” until after his second recovery, and he had sent in his resignation; and what is still more, the Rev. Dr. Cox, of Hackney, was his immediate successor, and was chosen on Mr. Hall's own recommendation; if therefore the above editors have any regard to the principles of truth and justice, they will immediately acknowledge that they have been imposed