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One day, after all hope of recovery was gone, he called for a particular parcel of his papers, and, putting them in the hand of a friend who was sitting by him, desired that they might be burned. His friend dissuaded it; but he repeated the request, and said they contained nothing of any value. There is reason to think, that he did not then distinctly remember what papers were in that parcel (which he had made up before he had any apprehension of danger, and had not seen for many months); and that on this occasion some things might have been destroyed, which perhaps he wished to be preserved. I cannot otherwise account for the mutilated state in which I find some of his best pieces.
I have lost the pleasantest, and, for the last four years
of his short life, one of the most instructive, companions, that ever man was delighted with. But-The LORD GAVE; THE LORD HATH TAKEN AWAY : BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.-I adore the Author of all good, who gave him grace to lead such a life, and die such a death, as makes it impossible for a Christian to doubt of his having entered upon the inheritance of a happy immortality.
18th January, 1791.
OF these ESSAYS and FRAGMENTS, both Prose and Verse, the Reader will be pleased to remember, that very few were revised by the Author; that not one received his last emendations; and that far the greater part were composed in his seventeenth or eighteenth year, and some at a still earlier period. All the notes marked J. H. B. are by the Author; the other notes by the Editor.