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blessed with such a friend, they who love and revere his memory can readily and entirely forgive every thing of that description, founded as it is on a want of acquaintance with his real character !
It may in this place be proper to mention, that the writer of the following compositions was born at Winchester, Sept. 9th, 1748; was admitted on the foundation at Winchester College in 1762; sent to New College, Oxford, in 1768; chosen a Fellow of Winchester College in 1785; elected Warden of the same Society in 1789; consecrated Bishop of Gloucester in 1802; and translated to the See of Hereford in 1815. He died April 29th, 1832; and was buried, by his own desire, in the village of Compton, near Winchester; amidst such unsolicited demonstrations of respect, regard, and affection, as must ever fill the hearts of his friends with a gratitude which no words can adequately express. A monument is raised to his memory in the church of Compton, by Westmacott; on which, after the name and date, is the following inscription, drawn the Author himself: -“ In the early part of “ his priesthood, he was curate of this parish. “ From that time he always retained a regard “ for it. And he now wishes to remind its
pa“ rishioners, that the salvation of their souls is
“ to be attained only by believing what is “ taught, and by doing what is commanded, “ in the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 66 Christ!!!
The works allowed to be published in this volume are selected from a number of other manuscripts, which bear testimony alike to the humble and sincere piety, the deep learning, the unwearied activity, the noble and independent spirit, the elegant and truly poetical taste, of their Author. His friends have been interested and much edified by perceiving, from these writings, that scarcely any thing was undertaken by him, of ever so worldly a nature, without a fervent prayer or thanksgiving to Heaven. His recorded expressions prove, that he “ set God always before him ;” that “ in all
he acknowledged Him," and earnestly implored Him to “ direct his paths !” They who enjoyed the great blessing of so good an example, most devoutly and humbly pray that they may be made duly and deeply thankful for so inestimable an advantage! May they, like him, by divine assistance, live the lives of true Christians ! like him, bear the infirmities and almost continual pain of advancing age, with unrepining and cheerful resignation! and, finally, like him, close their earthly career with tranquillity, in most humble, yet steadfast hope
“ his ways
and expectation of enjoying, through the merits and mediation of their merciful Redeemer, a glorious and happy immortality!
* The Editor has scrupulously abstained from preparing for publication any of the Author's letters, as not being in accordance with his wishes. Two passages, however, from his beloved relative's correspondence, he hopes he may be pardoned for inserting in this place; the first of which illustrates the concluding sentence of the Preface; while the second refers to one of the compositions contained in this volume. The former passage is taken from a letter written to a friend, and is in these words :-“ But we need not repine! “ Brighter scenes, and scenes which I believe to be as real
as my own existence, present themselves strongly to my “mind! Hic domus, hic patria est! and amidst all the
“slings and arrows' of care, to this place of abode, its
propriæ sedes,' the soul springs forward with avidity, and “ major videtur,' at the very contemplation of the non 66 6 omnis moriar! What a dreadful doctrine is that of “ Atheism, which would freeze our blood with the chilling “ horror of annihilation ! Even supposing that future exist“ence were but imaginary, still let it not be wrested from “ Man! In the very lowest contemplation, if it needs must “ be called an error, it is at least 'gratissimus error !' But " that there is a God, all Nature cries aloud !' and surely as “ He exists, there must be a future state !” The other passage alluded to, is taken from a letter written in 1811, and refers to the second edition of his “ Thoughts on the Trinity," which the Author was then preparing for posthumous publication. In this letter occur the following words:-“ I well “ weigh what is to be sent forth on such a subject ! 'semel “ emissum fugit irrevocabile verbum!' and Jones, Belsham, " and CARPENTER will lay hold of it with avidity and triumph. “ And yet, why should Man triumph in opportunities for “ diminishing the dignity of his Saviour? It is a strange “inconsistency, and a melancholy proof of the perils Man “ will run, in order to gratify his vanity in thinking differently