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manual, and that the preparation for death which is considered in the preceding books may be applied with sufficient advantage to all sorts and conditions of men. This is the principal alteration which has been made; and this, with occasional variations of phraseology, the only material change which this volume has undergone in its translation. It is now submitted to the public with the hope that it may do good to the souls of men ; preparing them by a good life for a peaceful death and a blissful eternity. And if only one ransomed spirit in the future world of glory shall testify that so great a benefit has been derived from its perusal, the translator will consider such an event as an abundant recompense for the effort he has made to prepare it for the press.



I Have no doubt the same occasion to fear for this work what I apprehended in regard to my “Devout Communion."

The approbation bestowed on Mr. Drelincourt's “ Consolations, and the number of editions through which that work has passed, might give some ground for the persuasion that nothing new or important could be added to that which has been so well said .by this excellent servant of God. But a little reflection, perhaps, will convince the reader who takes the trouble to examine this book, that however excellent the work of Mr. Drelincourt undoubtedly is of its kind, something like the present performance was not the less needed. Mr. Drelincourt, in his work, has not pretended to show all the preparations which are necessary to a good death.,

Among the dispositions requisite to a good death, he has considered only one, which however important, is neither the most necessary nor the most efficacious; I mean that fortitude which arms the soul of the believer against the terrors of death, and which enables it to contemplate this last moment without fearing it. Now who but observes that this disposition, however desirable, is neither sufficient nor necessary. It is not sufficient. For we daily see those who dread neither death nor its consequences, and who die in this miserable insensibility. They have no other faith than that described in Scripture as a temporary faith. Though such may profess to be renewed in the spirit of their minds, they entirely want that which is its most important requisite. Notwithstanding, as they doubt not that their faith is a justifying faith, the faith of the elect of God, that the renewal of their minds is effectual, and that they have truly become the children of God, and heirs of his heavenly kingdom, they regard death without terror, and assure themselves that their death in particular will be infallibly succeeded by all the glory and blessedness of the life to come. Thus they have no apprehensions. Nevertheless they die in a state exceedingly bad. For how can it be possible to die well without a living faith, and a true justification. This disposition, therefore, is not sufficient. I add that it is not absolutely necessary.

Let us suppose a child of God truly converted from sin to holiness, but who doubts the sincerity of his conversion, a case which often occurs, and of which we have many examples. This uncertainty, with regard to his present condition, allows him not to consider death but with terror. For how can it be possible not to be filled with apprehension when he is not certain whether he should regard death as the entrance of hell, or as the gate of heaven. This believer then will tremble, and nevertheless be saved, and consequently die well ; for as we shall see in the sequel, an assurance of salvation, and a good death, are two advantages so strictly united the one with the other, that they cannot be separated. It is certain then that the disposition opposed to the terrors, which Mr. Drelincourt undertakes to allay by his “Consolations” is neither sufficient nor necessary, and that it is equally possible to die well without it, and badly with it, which cannot be said of some others, as will be seen in the course of this work.

It was thus proper to undertake a treatise which should comprise all, and which without being limited to a single disposition should point out all those absolutely necessary or simply useful, on an occasion so important as that which relates to our laboring for eternity,

This is what I have endeavored to do in the present work, where I have sought to omit nothing which might most effectually give to my readers those helps which they had a right to expect of me. To omit nothing, I have divided this little work into five* books. In the first, I have attempted to show the dispositions and reflections most necessary for dying well, in order that every person comprehending distinctly what a good death is, may see the object which should engage his exertions. In the following, I have considered what should be done in order to obtain these dispositions, and awaken these sentiments. And as there are three several condi

* For the omission of the fifth, see the Translator's preface.

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