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This volume is submitted to the public without any agency or interest whatever on the part of the author. The repeated calls for the single sermons and addresses, which had become scarce, although some of them had undergone several editions, induced the editor to collect and publish them in the present form ; and it is hoped this circumstance will place the Author beyond the imputation of any errors that may occur in the work.
DISTRICT OF NEW-YORK, ss.
the thirty-fourth year of the Independence of the United States of America, RYER SCHERMERHORN, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims proprio tor, in the words following, to wit :
MISCELLANEOUS WORKS. BY ELIPHALET NOTT, D. P. PRESI, DENT OF UNION COLLEGE. WITH AN APPENDIX.
In conformity to the act of the congress of the United States, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;" and also to an act entitled “ An act supplementary to an act, entitled an act for the encourage. ment, of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein men: tioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, en. Fraving and etching historical and other prints.”
CHAR. CLINTON, Clerk of the Distriet of New-Yorë
PREF A C E.
To a mind intent upon a sober estimation of personal merit, two sorts of relations naturally offer themselves for consideration. The one subsist. ing between the Creator and his creatures, is permanent; the other, confined to these last, is mutable.Should we adopt the choice of piety in this alternative, we might, perhaps, be led to conjecture, not only that the souls of all men have the same essential parts, but that these parts were originally the same also in degree ; and that the immense variety of talent, sentiment and character, existing in the world, owes its being wholly to a correspondent variety in the material constitutions of its subjects. If such be, indeed, the fact ; if the philosopher and the fool may ascribe their difference to a transient cause ; if Newton's mind was clearer than others only because it was less obstructed in its operations : what exalted notions may we not indulge of that intellectual change which awaits an entire disenthralment; what admi. ration of the powers that even the meanest spirit of earth will display when restored by death to the
perfect liberties of simple, unincumbered being? Hows
then, reverting to the present state, shall we distin. guish the grades of human excellence ? or how discover any excellence at all ? Verily the expiring maniac, to whose final groan God answers “Live !" shall supplicate the pity of his Father on the poor wisdom of this world.
But we must speak in the language of common remark. We must leave this humbling, unfrequented side of the alternative, and pass over to the wilderness of particular relations, where myriads resort, where temporal honors have a name, and where all the passions of our nature hunt their prey. Yet we come not hither to challenge those honors for our author. They cannot be totally withheld. Honored he must be, till genius and eloquence shall be contemned. Nor can the disingenuity of his censors affect the ultimate reputation of the individual, any farther than they can depreciate the absolute value of the qualities he possesses. He is therefore secure. But the occasion imposes a duty which this reflection alone does not satisfy.
It has been said, that splendid talents are seldom nice about exactness of expression. Reason, no less than experience, confirms the remark. Besides, what is to be the criterion of correct style ? The
usages of approved writers? These are at variance both with one another and themselves. The rules of philologers? We have also grammarian versus grammarian. A proper test is, indeed, very desirable. By the best we have, which is the judgment of polite scholars, not the caprice of critics, the compositions here offered, à