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Rev. John Witherspoon,
D. D. L. L. D.
LATE PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE AT PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY.
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED,
An Account of the Author's Life, in a Sermon occasioned
by his Death, by the
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
Printed and published by WILLIAM W. WOODWARD,
No. 17, Chesnut near Front Street.
IN presenting this last Volume of the works of Dr. WITHERSPOON to the public, the editor thinks it incumbent on him, to make known what pieces have heretofore been printed, and what are now published for the first time. This is certainly a matter of justice to the Doctor's memory, because he ought not to be charged either with the inaccuracy of compositions which he did not design for the press, or with finally determining to publish what he might have written with that in. tention, but afterwards resolved to suppress.
It will be observed then, that of the pieces in this volume, the following were published during the life of Dr. WITHERSPOON, viz. The Druid ; The Address in behalf of the College of New-Jersey; The Supplication of J.R
And it is supposed also, that the Letter sent to Scotland for the Scots Magazine, the piece signed Aristides, and the essays entitled Reflections on Public Affairs-On the Controversy about Independence-On conducting the American Controversy Thoughts on American Liberty—and On the Federal City, may have appeared before, but this is not certainly knownThe copies of them were found among the Doctor's papers, and in his own hand writing. All the rest, it is pretty well ascertained, have not till now been in print.
For the former of these, the Doctor's character is responsible, and needs no defence. For the latter, the editor is entitled to whatever blame these publications may be thought to deserveThey would probably have perished in obscurity, if his exertions had not been used in bringing them to light. He has to regret that a number of the speeches, and some of the essays and letters, are unfinished. In his opinion however, the parts which are given are so valuable, that they ought not to be lost because the whole could not be obtained. Sometimes they cast light on the transactions of Congress, or on the history of the revolutionary war of our country: Sometimes they serve to exhibit the peculiar character and turn of the author, or to make known some circumstances of his life, which his friends may wish to know;