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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
LUCIUS R. PAIGE, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts
The first volume of this series was published in 1844; the second in 1845; and the third, in 1848. It was my intention that this fourth volume should be ready for publication in 1850. To my personal acquaintances I need not mention the causes which have so long delayed the execution of my purpose. To others, a detail of the labors which I have felt under obligation to perform, and of the trials, anxieties, and bereavements, to which I have been subjected, would be without particular interest. Let it suffice that I have appropriated to this work as much time and labor as appeared to be consistent with the due performance of other imperative duties; and that the completion of the volume has not been unnecessarily postponed.
Very possibly some may think it unnecessary to devote a whole volume to this one Epistle; but I felt unable otherwise to do even tolerable justice to the variety and importance of the subjects embraced in it. Long as the Commentary is, some portions of it are less extended than I desired, inasmuch as I was obliged to omit much which I had written, in order to keep the volume within reasonable compass.
In regard to the manner in which I have executed my task, I only remark, that I make no pretension to brilliancy of style; and if I did, I might reasonably doubt whether a commentary were a proper place for its display. As I said in the preface to the first volume, “ I have attempted to express the truth in a plain and distinct manner, so that it may
be apprehended by all classes of readers ; and if this has been accomplished, my object thus far is fully attained."
The generous commendation accorded to my former labors is both gratifying and encouraging. It may be too much to expect that the present volume will find equal favor. It has been prepared under disadvantages difficult to be described, yet very sensibly realized. With