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more than that degree of jealousy which will be easily allowed to such an undertaking. While I avow myself suspicious of what may
have been advanced by others under the name of Paley's Works, it is but fair that I should be fearful of detracting from the merit of the author by the insertion of any new matter unworthy of him.
If any thing more be necessary from the editor to the reader, it may be some little explanation with respect to the Sermons, both those that have been before published, and those that have been hitherto unpublished. As to the first, on the one side, in a codicil to the author's will there is an express injunction, “that the said Sermons shall not be printed for sale.” On the other side, there was an assurance that they certainly would be, and even were, so printed for publication surreptitiously. Dr. Paley's executors had to steer betwixt the difficulty of doing injustice to his memory by submitting to the sale of such a publication, and that of bringing upon themselves a charge of having sacrificed his injunction to pecuniary considerations. What ought to have been done it is now in vain to speak of. For what was done, the reasons are these. It was obvious, that the injunction might be fairly construed rather as precluding those who might be interested, from any spoliation upon his name, should this volume fall into improper hands, or rather perhaps as enhancing the gift, than from a fear that any thing unworthy of his name should appear. This latter supposition, indeed, as it would at once lessen the value of the gift, so it will be more than contradicted by the fact, that many of the Sermons so left for publication were more early, and more incomplete, and more unconnected productions of his pen, than many which were still in manuscript; and that he was not in the habit of revising what he had written of this sort with any suspicion of mere verbal inaccuracies, or the construction of his sentences. The money arising from the sale, therefore, by being disposed of in some public charity, was considered as placed out of the reach of any private advantage ; and after making some small deduction towards building one national school-house at Bishop Wearmouth, and another at Giggleswick, a place intimately connected with the author, the remainder was paid into the fund of the general Society for the Sons of the Clergy. So much for the publishing of these “ said Sermons,” which were only a small part of those left for publication, and a still smaller part of the whole collection, to which no such injunction applies. From these last, most
of those now first published have been selected; and if one or two of the former have been added, it has been for the sake of preserving a connexion with the former publication, evidently intended by the author himself, or of giving some strong and peculiar characteristic of his mind and sentiments.
As to the Sermons now brought forward, it may be acknowledged that much will be found in some of them, which will be recognized by any reader of only slight information; but it may be said also, that it seems worth while to see not only how old topics may be made interesting under a new dress, but how this author's manner of reading and reasoning led him to draw out the pith of even the closest writer. It may be well also to observe how he treats of even the most ordinary subject, and how much he disdained on more serious subjects to seek only those, on which he might indulge his natural fondness for originality.
With regard to the general arrangement of the volumes, it is yet incomplete, the second volume having been demanded and printed as the second, before the arrangement of this edition was thought of. As being the order which seems to have been contemplated by the author, and as being the obvious arrangement of his subject, the Natural Theology ought to have stood first - the Evidences next, to which, as being connected both in matter and time of publication, the Horæ Paulina and the minor Tracts might have succeeded. The Moral Philosophy and the Sermons obviously come last, as the result of the whole. This, however, concerns more the printer and publisher of the works than myselfa.
* The Editor's plan is adopted in the present edition.