Imatges de pÓgina
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LONDON:

GILBERT & RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,

ST. JOHN'S square.

ΤΟ

THE RIGHT REV. AND RIGHT HON.

CHARLES JAMES BLOMFIELD, D.D.

LORD BISHOP OF LONDON.

MY LORD,

It was my grief, as it was my advantage, to attend the pious author of these Sermons, in his meek endurance of the sufferings of his last illness. One night we thought he had passed through the last pains of death, and was at rest; when, to our great surprise, he revived; and, in a few hours, began, with great calmness, to address a few parting words to such of his family and friends as were about him, and to charge us with messages of love to others. And it was in the midst of such discourse as this, that he said, "And tell the Bishop, that he was in my last thoughts and my my last I feel very

prayers;

grateful to him for all his kindness, and I hope

he will be rewarded for it."

He lingered some days after this; and on another occasion, when he was become exceeding weak, he beckoned to me and said, "I wish you to publish a volume of my Sermons, and dedicate it to the Bishop; I had long thought of doing it, as the only way in which I could show him my respect and gratitude; but I have not had leisure and health for it." And from some directions, which he then gave, his Widow is persuaded that the present Volume consists chiefly of those which he had selected for the purpose; and, when we felt any doubt, we chose those which had been more recently composed; or such as, from the frequent occasions when he had preached them, seemed to have had the preference in his own mind.

It is not possible to give to these words that solemn force, which was imparted to them, by the spirit of a dying Christian; such solemn scenes will not admit of description; they can be understood only by those, who bear a part in them.

No apology however can be necessary, for my offering to your Lordship, this tribute of affectionate

thankfulness, uttered by a pious man, while in the bands of death; for it is the solemn blessing of a good and faithful servant, when about to appear before his Heavenly Master; and men of all ages, and all nations, have ascribed a peculiar sanctity to the dying words of those whom they have accounted to be good and virtuous. And it is peculiarly gratifying to myself to have been charged with this duty; because I know the extent of that kindness, which my friend felt so warmly, and all the delicacy of manners and sentiment, with which it was conferred and received.

The circumstances, in which the author has left his Widow, and four children, are such, that it was found necessary to publish these Sermons by subscription; and those, who are anxious for the welfare of the family, feel a strong hope, that this fulfilment of the wishes of the Father, may become a source of future benefit to the Children.

At all events, your Lordship will find, in the list of Subscribers, sufficient evidence, that there were many who knew how to esteem the virtues and talents of my friend, and to applaud that

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