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and their eloquence, give as good an account of their stewardship as the bishop of Sodor and Man!”



Walcot, 12th month, 12, 1780. My worthy friend There are times when our minds are particularly impressed with sentiments of a social kind, and our souls expand in the feeling of religious good. Such are the times when communication will not only be sincere, but carry with it an evidence of that truth which reduces to one level the little and the great. Our minds are blessed various ways; but all good is derived from the one immortal source of it, even from God himself. Yet I desire to receive and esteem as I ought, those instrumental means which Divine Providence is appointing in aid of human weakness.

“ I am now reading with admiration and delight the works of thy late venerable father, so lately given as another scriptural blessing to mankind. And while I read, I cannot but secretly applaud the twofold motive by which they were brought forth and ushered into the world: in the old age of his son; a last testimony of filial reverence, and a laudable concern for the good of the present and succeeding generations ! Suffer me, then, to congratulate thee on living to see the publication of this invaluable work. Thy only remaining solicitude must be that of all good men, that the public in general may be wise enough to read it with a serious and devout attention. But, alas! my good friend, so general is the folly of the multitude, so great their depravity of mind, that wisdom is treated with contempt ; and the writings of the wise and good, inspired from heaven for the purpose of salvation, must give way to the amusements of a comedy, and be rejected for the poison of a ludicrous romance! There are other classes of readers, too, from whom little must be expected ; speculative men, whose principal aim is to find out some new thing, that they may be wiser in their own conceit, and able to amuse their fellow-creatures without the requisite qualifications for making them better : such men will perhaps affect to treat the most spiritual part of this excellent work as the fruit of a mind unnecessarily burthened with a weight of extreme devotion; others, admitting in theory all due reverence to the christian religion, yet under the influence of prejudice in matters of mere opinion, may not receive the work with that willing mind which would lead them to look into a book published by some favourite sectary, or some wild enthusiast. But as the memory of the just is blessed, so are their works. And though there were among the Jews those who disregarded Moses and the Prophets; and the present age aboundeth with those who will neither hear them nor the Gospel of Him who is risen from the dead : yet shall the words of the wise remain, to be as goads and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one Shepherd. They are not given forth in vain, for they are parts of that universal and eternal Word of God, which shall accomplish the work whereunto he hath sent it.

“ The Sermons, I think, are simple, clear, and interesting, beyond any body of discourses which I have seen. The other parts are certainly not inferior in their kind. But what a rich fund of pure, sublime, and heavenly devotion is the Sacra Privata ! There we find the true picture of a truly christian mind. A progressive series of faithful exercises, in communion, through Jesus Christ, with God the Father, who seeth and heareth in secret, and who, with the abundant graces of his Holy Spirit, rewardeth his children openly. Such were the primitive apostles and preachers of the gospel of Christ; such was the bishop of Man; and such as they were must all men be, who ever come to be adorned with the real beauty of holiness. They only are pleasant in their lives, and in their death they are not divided !

“The Sacra Privata is a treasure to which I often resort in my short relaxations from the cares of the day; and I am fully convinced, that nothing short of apostolical wisdom, piety, and purity of soul, could bring forth such fervent strains of devotion. May it, and the works at large, be blessed to thousands and tens of thousands, while the name of the author shall be had in everlasting remembrance.

“In coming to a conclusion of these few sentences, I must indulge in a more particular and affectionate address to thyself. I think of thee with that unfeigned esteem and regard which an honourable and peaceful old age

inspires. Honourable in itself, and deriving a peculiar honour from a father so truly great and good !

“ I consider thee as one whom the course of nature is soon to remove from among the living, and number with the generations that are gone before. Such must be a time of great seriousness; a time for that resignation, which I am persuaded thou feelest, to the Divine Disposer of all events. To be resigned in such a situation is the most happy of all privileges ; a last great instance of that goodness and mercy which followed the royal psalmist all the days of his life, and which we humbly trust had not forsaken good Hezekiah when he turned his face to the wall and wept !

“I have no pretensions to ceremonious addresses or conclusions, and they would ill become us both; but in the fervent spirit of christian goodwill, I wish thy every day of declining from this world may produce new comfort from another, and the better comforter. And that thy last day may bring thee to a communion with thy father's spirit, made perfect for a glorious immortality. “ Thy very sincerely affectionate friend,






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