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as one to whom in a thousand kind and delicate attentions, this confidence was evinced, -permit me in this public manner to testify my grateful remembrance to you, whose memory will recal not a few of those moments when, in the sacred family circle, the unrestrained feelings of warm affection went forth to animate and cheer the domestic scene, and that love which is the fulfilling of the law, 'shed its mild lustre around the character of him, who in his official station inculcated its obligations, and in his unwearied consecration of himself to the glory of God and the good of men, illustrated its divine influences.
The following pages treat of a subject not recommended by the charm of novelty, but doubtless one which to you, now more than ever, is invested with deep and hallowed interest. It is one that for many years I have endeavored to entertain in my retirements for devotion as no unwelcome guest. Ever familiar to my mind, never has it been so much the companion of my thoughts, as since the loss of my spiritual father, my counsellor, my most honored, dear and most lamented friend.
Among the various works I have seen upon this subject, I have met with none which treats it in a more plain, practical, or satisfactory manner. I offer it to your acceptance, with the humble prayer that God would long and favorably extend your valuable life to your beloved family and friends; and that the perusal of this little volume may contribute, in some small degree at least, to those edifying reflections and holy consolations, which this solemn subject is so well calculated to inspire.
With great respect, I remain,
LEWIS PINTARD BAYARD.
Nero - York, September 13, 1832.
The subject of death, as it first strikes the human mind, carries with it something terrifying to the fears, unwelcome to the hopes, and revolting to the minds of those who make the present uncertain state, with all its sorrows and its separations, the object of their idolatrous attachment. It is not so much the blow which severs the frail thread of life that excites their apprehension. It is the uncertainty concerning their future and untried state of existence.
“ Distrust and darkness of a future state,
Is that which makes mankind to dread their fate ;
It is only by the power of Christian faith that an antidote can be provided against these terrors, and that the glooms which to the eye of unaided reason rest upon the grave, can be effectually dissipated. The Christian departing from this world is assured by the Gospel of CHRIST that he is leaving a barren and dry wilderness where no water is, for the blissful abodes of an undecaying happiness, where from the fountain of celestial comfort he shall be enabled to satisfy the most enlarged desires of the soul. To such in death there may be no greater exemption from bodily suffering, and in some instances even not so great as may be realized by the wicked. The victorious energy of faith it is which gives the Christian his peace in death. By faith he is contented to leave a tabernacle frail and perishable for a better habitation-a “house not made with hands eternal in the heavens.” But "all men have not faith ;" and it is for this reason that they both fear to die, and are so negligent in their preparation for the great eventful change.
To instruct men how to die the death of the righteous, is the object of the following volume, and this most important of all sciences is only to be learned by those directions which teach men how to live. Such is the method used by the pious author whose valuable treatise on this subject it is believed now first appears before the public in an English form. The translator has omitted the last chapter, which treats of the duties of those who, by a violent death, expiate the laws of their country, under an impression that it would unnecessarily increase the size of a volume which is designed for an easy