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“To do good, and to communicate, forget not."
With Improvements by George Burder.
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL C. STEVENS,
A catalogue of desirable things,
THE EDITOR'S PREFACE.
THE following Essays were first published by Dr. Cotton Mather, at Boston in New-England, in the year 1710. The design of the author is thus expressed in his title-page, “Bonifa
An Essay upon the Good that is to be devised and designed, hy those who desire to answer the Great End of Life, and to Do Good while they live. A Book offered, first, in gen. eral, unto all Christians, in a Personal Capacity, or in a Relative: Then more particularly unto Magistrates, Ministers, Physicians, Lawyers, School-masters, Gentlenen, Officers, Churches, and unto all Societies of a religious character and intention : with humble Proposals of unexceptionable methods to Do Good in the world."
In the present Edition, this title is abridged, and the Running Title, used by the author in the original work, is substituted, Essays TO DO Good), which the rea ler may understand to sig nify, “ Attempts to do good:” which was probably the author's intention in the use of that phrase ; or, he may consider this little volume as composed of a set of Essays, on the noble saiject of doing good in this present evil world.
The various methods of doing good, bere proposed to the public, derive no small recommendation from the example of the excellent author, whose whole life was a practical comment on the subject, and who might have said to the readers of luis oin days, “ Be ye followers of me." To those who may not, ħave had an opportunity to peruse his life, the following slight sketch of it may be acceptable.
Dr. Cotton Vather, who was born, Feb. 12, 15:53, at Boston, in Neiv-England, was honourably descende i from faniliós whose eminent piety, and sufferings for righteousnessa sake, rendered them “the excellent of the curth.” Dr. Increase Dilatber, his father, was pastor of the North Church, in Boston, and President of Harvard College ; his mother was the daughter of the renowned Mr. John Cotton, a minister of exalted religion and uncommon learning.
At 12 years of age, our author hal attained a considerable knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; he was admitted into the college at 16; at 13, took his first degree ; and before he was 10, proceeded Master of Arts.
From his earliest years, he discovered a love to religion ; ho prayed much in private, and constantlv read 15 chapters of the Bible in a day. At 14, he kept days of private fasting and prayer; devoted a tenth of his little income to pious uses; and at 16, became a member of the church.
At this early period of life, he adopted it as a maxin, “that a power and an opportunity to do good, not only gives a right