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INTRODUCTION.

Soon after the death of Mr. Frelinghuysen, a desire was expressed, in many and various quarters, for some permanent memorial of his life. His long course of private worth and public usefulness, the eminent positions he had occupied, his ability, his eloquence, his stainless probity, his consistent piety, his catholic spirit, his recognized leadership among evangelical Christians of every name, and his relations to all the great Christian enterprises of the age, seemed to call for a volume which should trace his career from its origin, and indicate the sources of the rare and rounded character which he maintained even to the last.

Circumstances, which it is needless to mention, turned the author's attention to the subject. Having a connection by marriage with some of Mr. Frelinghuysen's relatives, he had for more than twenty years enjoyed a considerable degree of intimacy with him, and was enabled therefore, on many points, to speak from personal observation. From the living representatives of Mr. Frelinghuysen he met the heartiest sympathy and co-operation. It was, indeed, at their suggestion and by their aid that the present volume has been prepared. It does not pretend, therefore, to have the coolness of judicial impartiality. The remembrance of Mr. Frelinghuysen's genial goodness is still too fresh to allow those who knew him familiarly to speak of his character with stoic calmness. Hic liber * * * professione pietatis aut laudatus erit

, aut excusatus. Yet the reader will look in vain for indiscriminate eulogy. It is believed that the delineation given does not transgress the bounds of truth, in letter, in spirit, or in the impression it is calculated to produce. The great aim has been to give, in moderate compass, as just and accurate an account of the growth and development of this remarkable man as could be obtained by patient and diligent inquiry. One reason of the insertion of so many statements and letters from different persons, as will be found interspersed through the volume, is to show how similar, or, rather, identical was the impression made by his virtues on all the classes of men, lay and clerical, with whom he came in contact. If any still deem the character described to be one of impossible perfection, it only remains to assure them that nothing is stated except what is believed on the amplest and most satisfactory evidence-nothing which would not be accepted by any of his numerous neighbors and townsmen as either true of their own knowledge, or as what their acquaintance with him would naturally lead them to believe and expect. Close and prolonged inspection is a severe test of character, but it is precisely those who saw Mr. Frelinghuysen at nearest hand and for the longest time who cherish the deepest reverence for his memory, and the strongest conviction of his unexampled excellence.

The author begs leave here to offer his grateful acknowledgments to the kind friends, too numerous to specify in detail, who have aided him by the communication of useful papers or statements. He has spared no pains to gather such information as bore upon the subject, but has reason to lament that, in several instances, it was found impossible to obtain details sufficiently authentic and definite to be inserted in this biography.

Still, he trusts that his work will not be found wholly unworthy of its subject, and he commits it to the press with the prayer that the blessed Savior, who was pleased to make Mr. Frelinghuysen so useful in his life, will vouchsafe to honor with a portion of the same blessing this imperfect record of his course and character.

New York, June, 1863.

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