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TO THE SECOND EDITION.
The short period allotted to the editor for the execution of the present undertaking, prevented that deliberate consideration, and careful revision, which was no less due to the subject itself, than to his own personal feelings. In the present edition he has endeavoured to introduce a few improvements, by compressing some parts of the Memoir, and amplifying others. Grateful for the kind reception with which it has been honoured, he once more commits it to the divine blessing; and if the perusal of these pages shall be found to elevate the standard of ministerial doctrine, faithfulness, and zeal; and to promote the edification of the general reader, he wishes no better testimony to the memory of his deceased friend, nor a more gratifying remuneration for his own labours.
and conduct, and the incident that occasioned it—Reflections on the
Preliminary Remarks—Birth of Legh Richmond-his ances
try; education; and incidents of early years-Promise of
talent-Completion of his education at school. To record the excellencies of departed worth, and to endeavour to perpetuate their remembrance, is a tribute no less due to the present than to succeeding generations. Biography, indeed, has usually selected, as the subject of its memoirs, the lives of heroes and statesmen, in preference to the milder though more useful virtues of the pious and the good ; because the passions and interests of men never fail to be excited by the achievements of war, and the disclosures of the cabinet. But in pleading the cause of religious biography, may we not urge the
superior importance of its subject, and the hallowed tendency of its aim? Is the skill and discernment, employed in increasing the resources and glory of earthly kingdoms, to be compared with the divine science of saving immortal souls ? Are the triumphs of the cause of God less real, because they are eternal ?
Are its victories less interesting, because their object is to contract the limits of death and sin, and to extend the empire of the Son of God? It is no small praise to the age in which we live, that religion begins at length to assume the pre-eminence which its high claims and heaven-born character demand. The drama of human life has long been characterized by portentous events ; and reflecting minds seem disposed to recognise in the past convulsions of empires, as well as in the elements of discord that are silently preparing the way for new conflicts, that an Almighty hand intends to make these events subservient to the accomplishment of his purposes, and to the establishment of his kingdom.
Among those who have contributed to the revival of religion in the present day, the subject of the following memcir stands