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T HO MAS DIC K, LL.D.
ESSAY ON THE SIN AND EVILS OF COVETOUSNESS,
CO W E TO U S N E S S;
A VARIETY OF FACTS, SELECTED FROM SACRED AND CIVIL HISTORY
BY THOMAS DICK, LL.D.,
THE subject of the following treatise, considered in all its aspects, is one which has an important bearing on the happiness and improvement both of Christian and Civil society. Impressed with a deep conviction of this truth, the author intended, some time ago, to address his fellow-men on the subject; but other engagements prevented him from entering on the consideration of the several topics connected with it, till about the month of August last, when a Prize, to be given for the best Essay on the subject, was announced in some of our religious periodicals. Being then engaged in conducting his work “On the Mental Illumination of Mankind,” &c., through the press, and in various other avocations, he could not find leisure to finish the Essay within the time prescribed in the advertisement. It was, however, sent some time afterwards, and returned unopened, on the ground, “that the carriage and porterage of it were not paid,” and had it not been for a particular circumstance, the package might have been lost, as there was no intimation on its exterior as to whom it should be addressed and returned. These circumstances the author was disposed to consider as little short of an exemplification of Covetousness—the very evil which the Essays advertised for were intended to counteract. For, although a hundred Essays had been sent, the carriage of which was two shillings each, the whole sum thus expended would not have amounted to above £10—which could only be a trivial sum to the individuals who offered the Prize. And equity required, that those who had been at the expense of paper and quills, and who had devoted a certain portion of their time to the subject, in compliance with the request of those gentlemen, should have been freed from the expense of carriage, especially when no intimation of this circumstance was contained in the announcement. But we too frequently find, that it is much easier to laud a virtue than to practise it, and to denounce a vicious principle than to act in opposition to it.
The Essay is now presented to the public by the Author, on his own responsibility, as he originally intended, in the hope that it may not be altogether inefficient, in counteracting the principle of Covetousness, and stimulating the Christian to those noble acts of Beneficence by which physical and moral evil may be prevented, religious society improved, and the world enlightened and regenerated. Having been composed in the course of four or five months, and in the midst of many interruptions and avocations, it is hoped, the critical reader will candidly overlook any slight inaccuracies it may contain.
Should any pecuniary emolument be derived from the sale of this volume, the greater portion of it will be devoted to the purpose of social and religious improvement.
BRoUGHTY FERRY, near DUNDEE,