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and you are requested to return it to me at your leisure. I make it an offering to your Miscellany, as the best means of rendering it permanentiy useful; and allow me to add, that the task of communicating to the literary and pious world so acceptable a tribute gives no small pleasure to
Northampton, Oct. 12, 1749. Reverend AND DEAR SIR, How shall I sufficiently thank you for the candour, condescension, and friendship, you have been pleased to exe press to me, in that very obliging letter which the last post brought me? Straitened, as I always am, for time, I could not persuade myself to delay acknowledging it by the first opportunity. Accept, I beseech you, the tribute of a grateful heart, —which finds itself sensibly cheared by such expressions of your regard,- from your poor fellow-sérvant, who does not esteem you the less his brother, nor feel the less of a fraternal love to you, on account of any diversity of forms, and what are called party distinctions. But I rejoice to be assisted and supported by gentlemen of your character and station, in my cordial though feeble endeavours to spread the spirit of true, catholic, vital Christianity; and to root out, as much as possible, that sour leaven of bigotry and faction, which is, under all denominations, too ready to insinuate itself, to the dishonour of our great Master, and the lamentable detriment of his family. But, blessed be God! I hope it begins to be expelled; and many excellent persons, in the establishment as well as the separation, have shewn so amiable a disposition to unite in bonds of mutual respect and friendship, while diversity of forms continues,--that I look upon it as a happy proof of the prevalency of real religion, in some considerable degree, and a blessed omen of its more abundant prosperity.
I think it a great honour to my writings to have been approved by so ingenious and worthy a person as Mr. Hildesley; an honour which I desire to lay down, with all humble gratitude, at the foot of him from whom every capacity of service, and every instance of acceptance and success proceeds. When I consider-I speak it from my heart-how very much inferior I am in all kinds of knowledge and furniture to many of my contemporaries, among different bodies of men, I have often wondered at the kind reception my writings have received in one place and another; and
have been astonished to observe the hand of providence raising up friends and patrons to them where I could not at all have expected or imaginedit. You, dear Sir, are one instance of this; there are others in the Established Church at home, and some abroal, in Holland and Germany, as well as our Plantations; and this to such a degree, as to have produced, what no man ever less dreamt of,-eleemosynary editions of some, and translations of others. And, if I know my own heart, it is not from the little vanity of having an insignifi. cant name repeated sometimes, by I know not whom, but from better principles, that this has been and is the joy of my heart, and a great encouragement to go on with my en. deavours, such as they are. And oh! that Divine Grace may take occasion to glorify itself in the weakness and unworthiness of the instrument! In this view, my generous friend,- for so I will presume to call you,-I earnestly entreat your prayers; and will detain you no longer than while I answer that part of yours, in which you are so good as to inquire what I bave written, and what I am now about.
The pieces, of any size, that I have published, are, the three volumes of “The Family Expositor;" four sermons on Education; seven to Young Persons; ten on the Power and Grace of Christ, and evidences of the Gospel; ten on Regeneration; “ The Rise and Progress of Religion;" and the “ Memoirs of Colonel Gardiner:" translations of all which are chiefly by means of one man,--who, till of late, never saw me,-either published in some foreign language, or ready for the press. To these have been added the fola lowing detached pieces, several of which are now out of print, and probably will continue so: “ Free Thoughts on the State of the Dissenting Interest;" three Letters to the author of “ Christianity not founded on Argument?” two sermons on Salvation by Grace; single sermons or tracts, on the following subjects, viz. the Funeral of Colonel Gardiner, and of Mr. Norris (the last on Enoch's translation); the Deaths of Children; the care of the Soul; against Persecution; the Character of a Gospel Minister, at Mr. John. ston's ordination; the Evil of neglecting Souls, at Kettering; Charge at Mr. Tozer's ordination; ditto at Mr. Jenning's; Fast Sermon at the beginning of the War; Thanksgiviny, for the retreat of the Rebels; Thanksgiving, for the Peace; Letters to Soldiers; Sermon on Compassion to the Sick; Account of Mr. Steff's Life; funeral Sermon for Mr. Shepherd; Christ's Invocation; Speech at Mr. Newman's Grave; Sermon on de fire at Wellingborough; and Principles of Religion, in verse, for the use of children,
And I will venture to mention to you two letters to the Protestants of the United Provinces, just at the crisis of their affairs, which were published in French, but never in English. Perhaps I never wrote any thing with so much effect as the former of them.
As to works now in hand, the chief, beyond comparison, is
, the three last volumes of the Expositor; the first copy of which is prepared, and, should I die, would probably be printed, having been reviewed and corrected by me; though I intend to transcribe it, and hope to have finished the fair copy of the first volume, i.e. the fourth of the work, by Midsummer; a large collection of Scriptural Hymns; a volume of Sacramental Meditations; four dissertations on critical subjects, viz. Jewish Proselytes, Sin Offerings, Trespass Offerings, and the Cherem: besides some little pieces; such as, a Letter on Family Prayer, which I am just sending to the press; two Sermons on Union among Christians, from Phil. ii. 1, 2; Sermons on working out our Salvation with Fear and Trembling; and some others, which may, perhaps, if I live to dispatch what I have mentioned, make 'two octavos. And it is probable, that, after my death,* there will be published my course of pneumatological, ethical, and theological lectures; and, perhaps, lectures on preaching, and the pastoral care.
Thus, Sir, you have the most particular plan that any man has, of my intended labours for the press; and I beseech you to pray, that, it the execution of these designs may be for the glory of God, and the good of the Church, it may please God to spare my life, and confirm my health, that I may be able to finish them; and that whatever has been done, or may be done, may be crowned with his blessing, on whichi all depends. To that, Sir, I most cordially recommended you, in your important sphere; heartily praying that God may animate, direct, and succeed you in all your attempts to promote religion in the large, and, I persuade myself, very happy, society under your care. And I conclude with assuring you, that, should Providence ever bring you into these parts, your conspany will be esteemed a great favour by, Reverend and dear Sir, your affectionate though unworthy brother, and much obliged, humble servant,
* This happened at Lisbon, whither he went for the recovery of his health, on the 20th of October, 1751, at the age of 49 years and 4 wonths, about two years from the date of the above letter.
I shall always be glad to hear of so kind a friend; but hope you will pardon me, if, amidst my various engagements,
I prove, as I do to the best friends I have in the world, a very bad correspondent. 1794, May.
LXXXIV. Letters from Doctors Hildésley, Hales, Leland, and
Mr. Samuel Richardson.
Chelsea, June 30. THE ready attention with which you inserted in your Magazine Dr. Doddridge's letter to Dr. Hildesley, is not unnoticed. My friend Mr. Giberve, no less than myself, feels encouraged to add the following, wbich he reserved from amidst many others : and to see them in the list of your perinanent publication will be a circumstance of satisfaction to us both:
To collect a set of medals, or of ancient portraits, has, at times, been the eager pursuit of ingenious and good men, What I now forward to you are not unworthy of the like regard ; and to class on the same line a Hildesley, a Richardson, a Hales, and a Leland, is to form a constellation of no ordinary lustre. They were all of the benign aspect; they did not live in vain; they speak forcibly, and from the heart; and thus once more exhibit a proof of the old and animating adage :
Great souls by instinct to each other turn,
The good bishop's two letters, and the narrative of his Jast illness and decease, seemed too interesting to be omitted. Such of these papers as you prefer, or all of them, if approved, are at your service. They are genuine: the originals are here inclosed for your inspection ; and I give them to your readers, that, like my relation and myself, they may be at once amused and advantaged.
Dr. Hildesley to the Miss Ithells.
Hitchin, 13 Dec. 1754. NOTHING could excuse the liberty I take of intruding a book upon the ladies at the Temple-who, I doubt not, are amply furnished with choice of the best of every kind but my thorough persuasion, that what I here presume to recommend to their perusal will be quite acceptable to them.
If this be looked upon as a compliment, I can only say, it is a just one. It is too sure, that, in this age of variety of self-fying engagements, there are not many to be found who have a relish for such sublime and spiritual enjoyments as these “ Meditations” are capable of affording. It gives me great pleasure to think how much you will both rejoice in them; and how ready you will be to say, with Dr. Young, and some others who admire them, that “they should never be far out of our reach.”
Were this world and its contents designed for our chief end and happiness, right it might seem to be as anxious, and solicitous, and eager, as we see the generality of its votaries are,-to obtain and pursue the gratifications peculiar to our animal frame and mortal condition. But, if our true and permanent felicity is to be had and sought elsewhere, namely, in a state as different as earth is from heaven, and time from eternity; if the close of a few more revolutions of the same sort of unsatisfying days, months, and years, we have already past, will instantly convince us of this difference, when it will avail us little to remember what degree or station of life we bave filled here, but what we have known, and done, of the will of hin that placed us in it; (then) from these considerations we are naturally Jed to think, farther, that, as sure as God is a spirit, the joys of heaven must be spiritual; that even our bodies, with which we are to arise, are to be spiritualised, --for, fesh and blood cannot inherit, cannot partake, or have any sense of, the delights of the kingdom purchased by the blood of Christ.
What, then, must needs be the truest wisdom of a rational thinking creature, but to provide in earnest for this certain inevitable change! that it may be, with all advantage, to eternity? But alas! how few are there so wise