both as regards the principles of the institution, and the institution itself, induced me to substitute the text authorities on the subject by a course of lectures.
These lectures, therefore, were originally drawn up with a view to oral delivery.
They were modified by the circumstances of their origin.
In preparing them for the press, however, I was led to consider the class of persons for whose use they were chiefly designed, and at the same time to adapt them as far as possible to the general reader.
I was aware of the difficulty of fixing definitely on the mind of the student the nature and limits of abstract truths, and that this difficulty is, if any thing, greatly increased when we pass to those whose reading is not characterized by habits of thought,--as would be the case with many of those whose interest in the general subject of slavery might induce them to read these lectures.
The task of meeting these difficulties was encountered with a measure of painful distrust.
My views on the subject of slavery, as a practical question, will be found very generally to accord with the popular ideas of those communities