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a thought of any fitness in me to undertake it: but when he had twice enjoined me to it, I then declined my own, and trusted his judgment, and submitted to his commands; concluding, that, if I did not, I could not forbear accusing myself of disobedience, and indeed of ingratitude for his many favours. Thus I became engaged into the third Life.
For the Life of that great example of holiness, Mr. George Herbert, I profess it to be so far a free-will offering, that it was writ chiefly to please myself; but yet not without some respect to posterity: for though he was not a man that the next age can forget; yet many of his particular acts and virtues might have been neglected, or loft, if I had not collected and presented them to the imitation of those that shall succeed us; for I humbly conceive writing to be both a safer and truer preserver of men's virtuous actions than tradition, especially as it is managed in this age. And I am also to tell the reader, that though this Life of Mr. Herbert was not by me writ in hafte, yet I intended it
a review, before it should be made public: but that was not allowed me, by reason of my absence from London when it was printing : so that the reader may find in it fome mistakes, fome double expressions, and some not very proper, and some that might have been contracted, and some faults that are not justly chargeable upon me, but the printer ; and yet I hope none so great, as may not by this confeffion purchase pardon from a good-natured reader.
And now I wish that as that learned Jew, Josephus, and others, so these men had also writ their own lives : but since it is not the fashion of these times, I with their relations or friends would do it for them, before delays make it too difficult. And I desire this the more, because it is an honour due to the dead, and a generous debt due to those that shall live, and succeed us, and would to them prove both a content and satisfaction. For when the next age shall (as this does) admire the learning and clear reason which that excellent casuist, Doctor Sanderson, (the late Bishop
of Lincoln,) hath demonstrated in his Sermons and other writings; who, if they love virtue, would not rejoice to know that this good man was as remarkable for the meekness and innocence of his life, as for his great and useful learning; and indeed as remarkable for his fortitude in his long and patient suffering (under them that then called themselves the godly party) for that doctrine, which he had preached and printed in the happy days of the nation's and the Church's peace? And who would not be content to have the like account of Dr. Field, that great schoolman, and others of noted learning ? And though I cannot hope that my example or reason can persuade to this undertaking, yet I please myself, that I shall conclude my Preface with wishing that it
THE COPY OF A LETTER WRIT TO
MR. IZAAK WALTON,
LORD BISHOP OF CHICHESTER.
HONEST IZAAK, THOUGHafamiliarity of more than forty years continuance, and the constant experienceof your love, even in the worst of the late sad times, be fufficient to endear our friendship; yet I must confess my affection much improved, not only by evidences of private respect to many that know and love you, but by your new demonstration of a public fpirit, testified in a diligent, true, and useful collection of so many material parsages as you have now afforded me in the Life of venerable Mr. Hooker; of which, fince desired by such a friend as yourself, I shall not deny to give the testimony of what I know concerning him and his