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REV. JOSEPH BUCKMINSTER, D. D.,
AND OF HIS SON,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
TICKNOR, REED, AND FIELDS, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
L4 내 185)
THURSTON, TORRY, AND EMERSOX, PRINTERS.
PREF A CE.
It may very naturally be asked, Why, if the lives of the persons whose memoirs are contained in the following pages possessed an interest for the community, the silence of nearly forty years should have remained undisturbed upon their memory? On the other hand, it may be asked, Why are the seals now broken, and the veil of domestic privacy withdrawn which concealed features composed in the unchangeable beauty of death? The history of the book is simply this. About fourteen months ago, I was requested, by a gentleman well known to the literary and religious public, Rev. Dr. Sprague of Albany, to furnish some recollections of my father and brother for a work which he is preparing for the press, — ' Annals of the American Pulpit, or Biographical Notices of Eminent American Clergymen of various Denominations.'
In recurring for that purpose to letters and papers which had fallen into my possession as the hearts
that dictated and the hands that wrote became cold in death, but which a sentiment, understood by every heart of sensibility, had suffered to remain undisturbed for so many years, it seemed to me, as I read them anew, that they contained much which should not be willingly suffered to die, — that they might touch other hearts, — and that, as the blessed dews and rain do not return merely to the fountains and rivers from which they are drawn, but are diffused in showers which revive distant places, so these letters also, intended only for private instruction, might counsel some other son, or encourage the heart of some other parent.
In preparing the memoir of my brother, I have been able — through the excellent arrangement of his papers at the time of his death, and the almost reverential care of his friend, Mr. George Ticknor, to preserve even the smallest fragment from his pen — to present of him nearly a complete autobiography. The thread with which I have connected the memorials from his own pen may seem, to those who have never heard of him, heavy and overcharged with eulogy, while, to the few surviving friends who enjoyed his intimacy, the portrait I have endeavored to fill up will appear, if not incorrect in its outline, cold and faint in its coloring.
The delicacy and reserve which I have felt in endeavoring to present to the public, in their true