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PREFACE.

The writer of fiction, or rather of history founded on facts, with fictitious superstructure, needs time, or distance of period, between the occurrence of events and their being presented to public notice, that the fanciful embellishments of imagination may be interwoven without danger of detection. But the writer of sober truth, one that would fain "a plain unvarnished tale deliver,” regrets the absence of those who were cotemporary with the characters and acquainted with the circumstances: Sensible of the value and importance of corroborative testimony, nothing can be more delightful than to know that many will rise up and say—"yes, that account is correct; I was acquainted with the circumstances and knowing to the facts."

The writer of this Memoir laments the departure of so many of that precious band of brethren, who were cotemporaries and fellow laborers with the senior Mr. Covell, whose hearts were “knit together as the heart of one man,” in the one all-absorbing desire to promote the establishment and extension of the Redeemer's kingdom-to plant the standard and extend the triumphs of the cross in every section of our favored country. Not that their wishes were bounded by territorial limits, or that they felt not for the aggravated horrors of a world perishing in pagan darkness, but because they were few in number, and limited in pecuniary ability; and while their whole heart prayed to God,—“send out thy light and thy truth; let all nations come and worship before thee; give the heathen to thy son for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession; and let the whole earth be filled with thy glory," they were obliged to restrict their “labors of love,” to portions lying in their own more immediate neighborhood.

Some few of the venerable body yet remain. To them this humble offering of a daughter's love will be a welcome compilaLion, as several of them have already expressed. Indeed had it

not been for the approbation and assistance of these my dear father's friends, I must long since have abandoned the enterprize in despair.

Desirous that the memoir of both father and son should be authentic, after having collected my meterials and written out my narrative, I journeyed about from friend to friend, as far as convenience would permit, and submitted my manuscript to the supervision of those who were best capable of determining its accuracy. Some on whom I would gladly have called with my book, probably possess information that would have rendered the work more acceptable, but not finding it in my power to visit them, and failing of receiving the desired information by letter, I have only to bow in submission to my heavenly Father, and bless his holy name for the plenitude of his goodness in granting me so much.

To all who have aided me, either by advice, documents, verbal information, written or oral approbation, or by other expressions of kindness, I tender my grateful thanks. To some, “I was a stranger and they took me in.” May they be remembered of Him who taketh note even of “a cup of cold water."

As it is customary for writers, when first appearing before the public, to make some apology, and to express a sense of their unfitness and inadequacy to satisfy the expectations which their title page may be supposed to excite, I will say that I am no stranger to these feelings, and with truth may add to them a fearfulness, or jealousy over myself, on account of the interesting relation subsisting between myself and the lamented subjects of my narrative, lest filial and fraternal affection should influence me to exhibit them too much in the superlative.

I hope I have not erred in delineating their characters as exhibited in their course; but if in aught I have been mistaken, or misinformed, I shall be happy to be corrected, and hope to be pardoned. My wish is, to raise a just memorial to these dear servants of God, and to leave on long record, a testimonial to the faithfulness of Him who hath promised “never to forsake the righteous, or suffer his seed to go begging bread."

Believing as I do, that religious biography is one among the many precious streams, which make glad the city of our God, I dcem no apology necessary for presenting my work to the religious public. On the contrary, if apology be needed at all, it must be on account of the long delay. I would that it might have appeared sooner, and that some more experienced and long accredited pen might have undertaken the pious and interesting

duty; but no one appeared at liberty to engage. My brother often communed with me on the subject of our father's Memoir, and gathered many of the materials for the work, but declined becoming the writer himself, both because every moment of his time was in imperious requisition, and because having no personal recollection of his father, he feared he should not be adequate to the task. In nearly our last conversation on the subject, he said to me, “Sister, I should be as happy to become our dear father's historian, as you could possibly bę to have me, did I consider myself equal to the undertaking. I have not like you enjoyed fourteen years of intimate acquaintance with him, of course I can not so well know the genius of his mind, nor the incidents of his life; and I am convinced, that if it be the lot of any one it is yours; and if you conclude to undertake, I shall be happy to render you any assistance in my power.”

But it was not until after I had been called to part with this dear brother and friend, that I found opportunity to gratify this long cherished wish of my heart; and then instead of a brother's aid in preparing a biography of our father, his own letters and journal lay before me as documents for his own. All my hopes concerning him, and all the visioned happiness of coming years, in beholding the pleasure of the Lord continue to prosper in his band, together with all the actual and rich enjoyment of his visits and correspondence, were all buried in his grave, and I found myself thrown directly upon that blessed “Friend who sticketh closer than a brother."

Lonely and sorrowing I sat down to enjoy and to perform my mournful task. Slowly have I progressed, on account of occasional ill health, and domestic affliction and care. But having obtained help of the Lord, I have at length arrived at the conclusion, and submit mỹ work with all its imperfections, to the indulgence of the Christian community, praying the great and glorious Head of the Church to add his blessing to this and every effort to show forth his faithfulness to those who put their trust in him, and his power to make even feeble instruments efficient in rolling forward his purposes of love and good will to man.

Pownal, June, 1839.

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