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THE unprecedented patronage which the Morning DEVOTIONS, and the CONTEMPLATIONS ON THE SUFFERINGS OF Christ by STURM, have deservedly received from every class of readers, and their consequent incorporation with the Standard Literature of this country, has operated as a flattering encouragement to the publisher of the above mentioned works, to present to the public, a translation of the EVENING DEVOTIONS, FOR EVERY DAY IN THE YEAR, by the same inspired Writer. To descant upon the merits of Sturm as a pious and moral Author, would, with the knowledge which we now possess of his works, be superfluous; it will, therefore, be merely necessary to state, that in the EVENING DEVOTIONS will be found the same tone of holy and pious feeling, the same purity and delicacy of thought, and the same unalterable love of the beauties and excellencies of the Christian religion, by which all his other writings are so eminently distinguished. With the EVENING DEVOTIONS, the entire works of Sturm, with the exception of his Sermons, may be said to be incorporated with our National Literature, and it may be confidently affirmed, that they will tend in a great degree, to enhance the good opinion which the British public have already expressed of his works. It may, however, be necessary to state in order to obviate any mistake which might very naturally arise regarding the different works of Sturm, that the EVENING DEVOTIONS and the EVENING REFLECTIONS are two distinct works, the former being a practical exposition of the duties of Christianity, embracing those subjects which could not be discussed within the limits of the MORNING DEVOTIONS ; whilst the latter is confined to the contemplation of the works of God, as a guide to the knowledge of natural history.
Of the manifold benefits derived from occasional devotion,
and which are so particularly held forth in the works of Sturm, no eulogium will be here required, but if there be anything, which disposes our heart to permanent and pious feelings, or which excites us to the performance of good and virtuous acts, it is a communion with God in an hour of retirement, when the soul, exalted above all the cares and distractions of this life, turns to its everlasting Father, and yields itself up wholly to his gracious Providence. Nothing tends so much to the increase of domestic felicity as occasional devotion, when the father or the mother in the midst of their family, occupy themselves with high and sublime objects, when they enter into communion with God, their Creator ; when they instruct themselves in the truths of the religion of Jesus Christ, and reflect on the expectations of their soul, which is created for eternity. After such a communion a holy serenity is diffused over the mind, and the pious resolution is formed to act virtuously on earth, and thereby render ourselves worthy of a higher and more blessed communion in another world. There is, certainly, not any thing which can be more conducive to the happiness of a family, than the possession of those works, which conduct the mind, in the hour of private meditation, to the consideration of those great and important truths on which the happiness of mankind is founded. In every state and condition of life, the sacred truths which are to be found in every page of the Devotions, will, if properly and firmly impressed upon the heart, be productive of an everlasting fruit, of inestimable benefit in this world, and of the most glorious results in another. To the youth of either sex, who, with joyous prospects are about to enter upon the dangerous career of life, those admirable precepts will be found, by which they can be guided to the true knowledge of God, of His divine Son, and of His sublime doctrine. Then, under all the accidents and casualties of life, they will be able to maintain a dignified composure in the joys of prosperity, and a pious and holy spirit ia the hour of affliction.