Excerpt from Memoirs of the Life, Ministry, and Writings, of the Rev. Adam Clarke
There is no species of composition more interesting or more instructive than faithful and well-written biography. Its im mediate tendency is to unveil man to man. It discovers the virtues and the vices, the nobleness and the meanness, of which he is capable and it shows how the original sameness of' human nature is varied by the operation of external causes, into ten thousand different shapes, and assumes as many shades and hues. It is calculated to awaken in the young an ardent love of virtue and solid excellence and of inciting in all a spirit of emulation to tread in the steps, which led those, who are now no more, to that eminence to which it is desi rable to attain. But man, to be known, must be viewed in every situation and wherever he is fairly exhibited; what ever may have been his rank, station, or circumstances of birth or fortune, a valuable addition is made to science. Whether the record respects the struggles of talents and worth through the chilling regions of obscurity and penury, up to the glittering eminences of fame and reward; or whether it details the operations of pride and ambition on minds born to wealth and power, it presents a useful lesson which all may turn to profit.
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