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JAMES USHER, D. D.
ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH;
HENRY HAMMOND, D. D.
RECTOR OF PENSHURST, KENT;
THOMAS WILSON, D. D.
BISHOP OF SODOR AND MAN;
JOHN EVELYN, ESQ.
AUTHOR OF "SYLVA," &c.
BY THE REV. RICHARD B. HONE, M.A.
CURATE OF PORTSMOUTH.
Since good men while they are alive have their conversation in heaven,
THE paths of good and pious men are commonly so full of peace, and the sorrows which befall them so mer cifully softened and blessed by a sacred influence, that few more engaging or successful methods of recommending the fear and love of God have been discovered, than the circulation of religious biography. With the desire of promoting so good a cause, by the blessing of God, the writer has prepared this volume; and he hopes that he may have given a fresh interest to the Memoirs it contains, by the collation of former Lives of the indivi. duals whose characters are delineated, and the addition of new matter gleaned from their own writings, as well as from many volumes of contemporary Biography and History.
He was induced to select, out of the great cloud of witnesses who encompass us, the names of Usher, Hammond, and Wilson,-partly because their examples seemed to be invested with a more than ordinary persuasiveness, owing to their delightful union of social virtues with heartfelt piety,—and partly because the best sources of information respecting them were accessible to him through the kindness of friends.
In searching for memorials of Usher and Hammond, he was led to the Diary of Evelyn, where, struck with the air of piety pervading the beautiful sketch of his daughter's character, he was allured into a more attentive perusal of that Journal; and there found so much to love, to admire, and to imitate, which had not appeared
in any other account, that he thought it might not be without profit to bring the placid life of its excellent author more immediately under the notice of Christian families.
If each of these Memoirs should be the means of diffusing but one useful suggestion, the writer feels that he will not have laboured in vain. He therefore commends to the serious attention of his readers, the prayer of the pious Archbishop; O Lord forgive me, especially my sins of omission! - the memorable advice of the amiable Hammond to the young; Withstand the first overtures of sin, be intent and serious in what is good, and make choice of a wise and virtuous friend;-the question of the good Bishop Wilson; Have you set up an Altar in your house? -and the last recorded declaration of the accomplished Evelyn; That all is vanity which is not honest, and that there is no solid wisdom but in real piety.
R. B. H.
Portsmouth, Sep. 30, 1833.