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incident, are none the less interesting and useful to the great mass of readers.
Their merit consists in presenting the history of a mind which has been called to contend with infirmities of temperament and habit, and to encounter circumstances of temptation, which are in the range of ordinary experience, while the motives and influences which secured success, are presented with a warmth and distinctness that shed light on the path of common Christian experience, and afford aid to all who are aiming to walk in the strait and narrow way.
The lives of such men as Brainerd, Martyn, and the noble army of confessors, who have toiled on the missionary field, present interesting incidents, combined with high attainments and invigorating examples. But they are in circumstances in which few common Christians are placed, and of course do not so powerfully appeal to the mind in the every day trials, which the majority of read. ers feel to belong to their own lot.
But the biography of more humble individuals, such an one, for example, as Harlan Page, stands entirely on another ground, and writes lessons of instruction more generally applicable, and thus more widely felt.
It is believed that the following record presents an experience which is peculiarly calculated to aid those, who, while compassed with infirmities, are still aiming at high attainments in Christian
character. It is not the detail of striking incident, it is not the development of a wonderful intellect, it is not a story of remarkable trials and deliverances, it is not the exhibition of illustrious piety, which has long cheered and illumined an extended sphere. It is the history of a mind which, embarrassed with infirmities of temperament, with the impediments of habit, with the weakness and discouragements of disease, found motives and inAuences that imparted unwonted strength and vigor, and secured remarkable success, and these are so presented as to awaken hope and encouragement in all, who, amid similar embarrassments, are pressing forward to the mark for the prize of their high calling.
In addition to this, it is believed that there are some portions of this individual's history, as a minister of the Gospel, which are somewhat peculiar, and that his example in these respects may have a useful tendency, as it regards the influence, health, and usefulness of any who may be led to follow it.
These considerations have had weight in deciding to present this volume to the public eye. There are other reasons of a more private nature, which have also been deemed worthy of regard. There is a class of intelligent and cultivated minds, now scattered over the nation, who once were gathered, with the subject of this memoir, in the venerable walls of Yale. They were the objects
of his Christian solicitude, the subjects of his prayers and labors, and some among them, hereafter, may shine as stars in his crown of rejoicing. To these, this volume will bring back memorials of the past, forgotten words of Christian faithfulness, touching the chords of distant years, and awakening echoes in the heart unknown to the world around.
There is another class who were united with him in preparing for the ministry, and who shared with him in the anticipations, hopes, and plans, which arise to the young novitiate as he looks ahead to the labors of pastoral life. To them, this brief history of his successful career, will come with some sadness, that it was quenched in noontide energy, with more of cheering encouragements, that their fellow disciple accomplished so much, and was so ready to depart to his higher service above.
There are three congregations, one of them a very large one, to whom he stood in the relation of a pastor. Deeply interested himself in the people committed to his care, and possessing, as he did, confiding frankness, ardent enthusiasm, and generous sympathy, he of course secured from his people strong personal attachment to an unusual degree.
There are many who have been cheered by his sympathy in hours of sickness and depression, many whom he has consoled in seasons of deep
affliction, many whom he has guided and enlightened in hours of mental darkness and distress. To these, the imperfect remains of his ministerial labors will come, clothed with sweet memories and sacred associations unknown to other minds. And those large classes of children, whom he has met to teach the power and wisdom of their Creator, as exhibited in the wonders of nature, and those whom, with such interest and perseverance, he trained to sing, with taste and skill, the praises of God, and those whom he watched over in the Sunday School and Bible Class—such, as they are now entering the active scenes of life, will greet this memorial of their teacher, pastor and friend with tender and grateful recollections.
There are those of both sexes, now in the meridian of life, who, in the large schools with which he has been connected, were playmates of his childhood and companions of his youth. These have roamed with him over stream and wood and rocky cliff, witnessing his enthusiastic love of nature's works, and sharing the buoyant hopes and exulting freshness of youth. Such will turn over these pages and find how all this enthusiasm and love of nature were consecrated to his great Master's service; and as the memories of childhood and youth soften the heart, it may find no unprofitable monitions in these memorials of their early companion and friend.
And there is a large circle of family connexions,
a father and ten brothers and sisters, who for four and twenty years have missed not a single golden link from the fraternal chain of family love; sisters, who watched his infancy, or shared the sports of his childhood; brothers, who have stood side by side with him in the ministries of the altar, or who were following him to these duties; from these he was severed by a blow as sudden as the bolt from heaven. He is gone!—the affectionate son--the warm-hearted brother—the earnest Christian--the faithful minister ;-and, with yearning hearts, they look around for some memorials of the departed, that his spirit may yet seem to dwell
It was with reference to these calls of the heart, that this biography was commenced, and without any determination, as to whether it should be for a private, or public record. When it was completed, the opinion of suitable judges led to the belief, that while thus meeting other demands, the minister of the Gospel and the common Christian would find, in these pages, much that would quicken their faith and cheer their spirits, as they trace the path of the good man in his course to heaven.
The subject of this memoir was the third son of the Rev. Lyman Beecher and Roxanna Foote, and