« AnteriorContinuar »
was in comforting thc Sick, and performing all 0. ther necessary Offices of a careful Pastor. He was very faithful and zealous, in respect of his own Congregation and others; his Judgment being always
delir'd in Matters of Momcnt. We cannot sufficiently commend the Services he has render'd to the Church of God by his many Writings he hath publishid; whether we examine his Books of Devotion or of Controversy. There is so much Piety contain'd in the former, and so many excellent Texts of Scripture explaind in the latter, that many Religious Persons both have, and daily do find seasonable Consolations. That which he hath written against the Church of Rome, hath wonderfully strengthen'd the Protestant Profeffors. For by the Arguments that he brings the Ignorant and Unlearned have been able to confound the Monks and Priests, and to maintain the Principles of their Religion against the subtilest Missionaries. So that his Writings have caus’d him to be esteem'd the Scourge of the Roman Disputants. Nevertheless, as he was belov'd of the contrary Party, so he was highly esteem'd by the greateft Lords of the reformed Religion, as the Duke de la Force, the Mareschals of Chatillon, de Gaftion, and Turenne, and by the Lady de la Tremouille, &c. He had also great Respect paid him by the frequent Visits of Ambassadors from several Foreign Princes and States. He was a Person who express'd a particular Esteem and Veneration for the Church of England, as appears by his Letters to Dr. Durel. Hedy'd the 3.0 of November, 1669, in such an excellent and devout Disposition of Mind, as may be expected in a Person who was animated with an holy Zeal, and had with an unwearied Diligence consecrated all his Study and Labours to the Glory of God and the Service of his Church. He was more frequent in Prayer towards the Conclusion of his Life : *And when he was private and alone, he never heard the Clock strike, but he fell upon his Knees in Prayer to God.
This is the approved Character publish'd of our eminent Divine after a long Experience and Practice amongst departing Souls and in the Houfes.of
Mourning, at the Request of some of his Congregation,who mightily approvd of the proper and seasonable Arguments that he made use of to fortify dying Perfons against the Apprehensions of Death ; fuit able to their Conditions and Temper, he publish'd this Book of Consolations. About twenty Editions have been prini ed in France'; and one at Avignon in the Pope's Dominions with a Suppression ofthe Reverend Autlor's Name. How many Impresions have been publis’d in Holland, Germany and elsewhere, cannot determine. We find it translated into several Languages,but was not in our Mother Tongueçantil, at the Request of the Author's Son, nowe Dean of Armagh in Ireland, I translated it into English: What Reception it met with amongst us, let this tenth Impression declare. Ifalltherefore judge it needless, after so many publick-Testimonies of an universal Approbation, amongst Christians of all Professions to speak any thing in Commendation of this Defence against the Fears of Death. How fer
be to Divines in Funeral Sermons, in visiting the Sick, the Poor and Afflikted, and how proper to be left as Legacies to surviving Friends at Funerals, I leqve to others to judge, who shall fincerely desire to promote the Salvation of Souls
. And now I cannot but take fome notice here of the high Esteem and Commendation that a late Apparition,too well attested to be slighted, hath given of this Book. An exact Account of it you have in the printed Relation hereunto prefix'd. To rejectall
NarA 3 + ratives
viceable it may
ratives of this kind as fictitious, argues, in my judgment,as great an Error Weakness and Prejudice as to believe all that is reported of Apparitions. This comes tous'clothed with all the Appearance andCircumstances of Truth,that may reasonably be expected - in this case.So that none but an unbelieving Sadducee - or a prophane Atheist,will offer to question the Reality.To confirm the Possibility and Truth of some Apparitions, none can deny,that by this means our good God hath convey'd and confirmd to us feveral of the Mysteries of our Holy Religion ; as the Conception, Birth, Incarnation, Resurrection,and
glorious Ascenfion of our great Messiah, by the Apparitions of
Angels. And how often those heavenly Spirits were formerly visible in HumanShapes, for the Advantage,
Information and Safeguard of the Pious the Word of God sufficiently declares. Now,as we live in such an incredulous Age, that will not believe God, and his Divine Oracles, tho' attested by the working of Miracles,concerning the future State of the Righteous and Wicked, but requires a new Testimony andEvidence, as the Return of Souls from the Dead, to witness the Happiness of Heaven, the Torments of Hell,and the Immortality of the Soul: Who knows,but to render Men more inexcusable, God may condescend that a departed Soul, or its Good Angel'in its stead, may appear to declare these infallible and undoubted Truths to an unbelieving World? But we find by Experience, as in this case, that this kind of Evidence is far more liable to Exceptions, to be contradieted and rejected, as uncertain and fabulous, and Jooner than the sacred Methods that our wise God hath taken to persuade Men to the Divine Do
Etrines of our Salvation : As Abraham declares in the Parable of the rich Glutton', condemned to the Flames of Hell; Ifthey will not believe Moses and the Prophets ; we may with more reason add, If they will not believe Christ, and his holy Apofiles, and to many wonderful Miracles attesting God's Omnipotency, and Revelations from above, neither will they be persuaded, thoʻone rose from the dead.
I must here acquaint my Reader. That whereas inthe former Impressions of this Book, fome Errata have escaped, whereby the Author's Sense and Meaning may not be so clearly express'd as in the Original : And whereas also upon fome Subjects,our reverend Author distastes the Reader by two frequent Repetitions in his Prayers,containing Matters and Arguments of the foregoing Chapters: These and such trivial Objections have caused several Persons to find fault not only with the Translation, but even the very Book it self. To remedy therefore any thing of this nature, and to prevent al Com. plaints of this kind, and that so excellent and useful a Treatise may appear in our own proper and natural Language, not differing in any thing material from the French Copy; but suited as much as conveniently it may be to the nicer Palates of our
present Age; I have in this Edition taken the Pains to compare this Translation with a Book printed at Berlin, the Court of the King of Prussia, 1698. I have been in this more exact, and have alter'd some Words and Phrases, expressing more plainly the Author's Meaning, and in Terms more agreeable with our present familiar Way of Speaking: Besides, in this Edition of Berlin, I have met with
two or three Paragraphs which are not in the former French Impressions, and which I judgʻd not convenient to be omitted. Some of the Prayers that seemed too prolix, I have
abbreviated, comprehending only the principal Matters. And that nathing might bewanting in this Edition, that might more contribute
to the Reader's Satisfaction, I have bere renderdinEnglish the last remarkable P-affages of this pious and excellent
Minister of Christ, never before printed
in our own Tongue,as we find them at the End of the aforementioned Book: That you may here at once, as in a Mirrour, see the Behaviour,réligious Speeches, Faith, Patience and Resignation to the Will of God, of our reverend Divine at his Deceafe, reduc'd into Practice, according to the excel lent Advices and Consolations that he recommends to us, to arm our selves againft the Apprehensions and Approaches of Death.
I have no more to add ; But I beseech our merciful and heavenly Father to grant us all the Grace, the like Faith, and Christian Resolution, that we may not fear Death nor its Consequences ; but may be always ready prepared and provided to embrace it with Joy and Submislion to the Pleasure of God and the Decrees of Heaven, whenever our Almighty Creator and Redeemer shall think fit to summon us, and take us to himself. Amen.
"His Book in the Original hath been so well approvd of by all
Persons, tlo' of different Judgments in Religion, that it hath becn about twenty Times printed in France, besides what hath been done in Holland, and elsewhere, in other Languages: It is of very great pfe to Divines for Funeral Sermons ;, and is very fit to be given away by well-dispofed Perfan's at Funerals, and of excellent use to every "Christian Reader,