This volume is constructed on the basis of the "Compendium" compiled by the late Rev. W. M. Fernald, which is long since out of print. The larger proportion of the extracts contained in that volume will be found also in this; together with many new extracts, and a number of new subjects, added by the present compiler; and the whole have been almost entirely rearranged. The book being made up of extracts, the reader will reasonably not expect the same continuity that would be looked for in an original and connected work. A constant effort has been made, however, in the arrangement of the chapters, as well as in the construction of them, to give the volume as much of the character of a continued treatise as was practicable. It is hoped that this object will be found to have been so far attained, that the volume will not be ill adapted to consecutive reading, by those who would obtain, in briefer compass, a general view of the theology and spiritual philosophy embodied in the author's voluminous writings.
The large number of volumes from which the extracts are taken having been translated from the original Latin by different persons, at widely different times, it was deemed important, in such a work, that there should be some attempt at uniformity of style and rendering,—apart from any consideration of the very great and acknowleged imperfections of most of the translations. The translation is therefore for the most part new; and the com- paratively small number of extracts that have not been re-translated have been more or less carefully revised.