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TO THE READER. ArYEi frequent solicitations from friends and strangers, in this city and State, and also in other States, communicated privately and publicly, I have, with unaffected hesitancy, given these pages to the public. My intention was to make about half the book consist of sketches of the advocates of religious lib- erty in other times; but having to leave the city, on mny return I found the letters printed off, leaving me but forty eight pages tor the proposed sketches. This will account for the extreme condensation in the sixth chapter. The seventh letter was also writ- ten after it was concluded to publish them in the present form. The six others, first appeared in the Louisville Morning Courier. Had I been in the city when the fourth letter was printed off, I should have omitted as many of the quotations as were from weekly Catholic news- papers. Their editors are (at the present time at least) considered entirely irresponsible; and it is an old trick of Jesuitism, to try to call away attention from the highest and authoritative sources of evi- lence, to the irresponsibility of an unendorsed edi- tor, or his reckless denial of what is quoted, if a sin- gle letter or comma be misplaced. The quotation from the Bo"ton Pilot was first seen by me in the