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LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER,
PRELATE OF THE GARTER,
AND ONE OF HIS
MAJESTY'S PRIVY COUNCIL.
IF I should undertake to enumerate the many favours and advantages I have had by my very long acquaintance with your lordship, I should enter upon an employment, that might prove as tedious, as the collecting of the materials for this poor monument, which I have erected, and do dedicate to the memory of your beloved friend Dr. Sanderson. But, though I will not venture to do that; yet, I do remember with pleasure and remonstrate with gratitude, that your lordship made me known to him, Mr. Chillingworth, and Dr. Hammond; men, whose merits ought never to be forgotten.
My friendship with the first was begun almost forty years past, when I was as far from a thought, as a desire to out-live him; and farther from an intention to write his life: but the wise Disposer of all men's lives and actions hath prolonged the first, and now permitted the last; which is here dedicated to your lordship (and as it ought to be) with all humility, and a desire that it may remain, as a public testimony of my gratitude.
Your most affectionate old friend,
And most humble servant,
I DARE neither think, nor assure the reader, that I have comınitted no mistakes in this relation of the life of Dr. SANDERSON; but am sure, there is none that are either wilful, or very material. I confess it was worthy the employment of some person of more learning and greater abilities than I can pretend to; and I have not a little wondred that none have yet been so grateful to him and posterity, as to undertake it.
For as it may be noted, that our Saviour had a care, that for Mary Magdalen's kindness to him, her name should never be forgotten : so I conceive, the great satisfaction many scholars have already had, and the unborn world is like to have, by his exact, clear and useful learning; and might have by a true narrative of his matchless meekness, bis calm fortitude and the innocence of his whole life ; doth justly challenge the like from this present age; that posterity may not be ignorant of thein: and it is to me a wonder, that it has been already fifteen years neglected. But, in saying this, my meaning is not to upbraid others (I am far from that) but excuse myself, or bey pardon for daring to attempt it.
This being premised I desire to tell the reader, that in this relation I have been so bold, as to paraphrase and say, what I think he (whom I had the
happiness happiness to know well) would have said upon the same occasions; and if I have been too bold in doing so, and cannot now beg pardon of him that loved me; yet, I do of my reader, from whom I desire the same favour..
And, though my age might have procured me a writ of ease, and that secured me from all further trouble in this kind; yet I met with such persuasions to undertake it, and so many willing informers since, and from them and others, such helps and encouragements to proceed,' that when I found myself faint and weary of the burthen with which I had loaden myself, and sometime ready to lay it down; yet time and new strength hath at last brought it to be what it now is, and here presented to the reader; and with it this desire : that he will take notice that Dr. Sanderson did in his will or last sickness advertise that after his death nothing of his might be printed ; because that might be said to be his which indeed was not; and also, for that he might have changed his opinion since he first writ it, as it is thought he has since he writ bis Par Ecclesiæ. And though these reasons ought to be regarded, yet regarded so, as he resolves in his case of conscience concerning rash vows, that there may appear very good second reasons, why we may forbear to perform them. However, for his said reasons, they ought to be read as we do Apocryphal Scripture; to explain, but not oblige us to so firm a belief of what is here presented as his.
And I have this to say more; that as in my queries for writing Dr. SANDERSON's Life, I met with these little tracts annexed; so in my former queries for my information to write the life of venerable Mr. Hooker, I met with a sermon, which I also believe was really his, and here presented as his to the reader. It is affirmed (and I have met