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RECTOR OF ALDINGHAM, LANCASHIRE.
EARL OF LONSDALE.
IF eyer I could have occasion to put to you the question of St. Paul to Herod Agrippa, “ Believest thou the prophets ?” it must be only to answer for your Lordship, as the apostle did for the Jewish king, “I know that thou believest." Educated by the care of your learned and pious relative, whose studies took so decided a direction to prophetic subjects, “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” you have ever, amidst all the cares, the pleasures, and the splendours of greatness, retained uneffaced and unimpaired, your early impressions concerning the great charter of salvation, and concerning the powerful and decisive testimony, which the spirit of prophecy bears to its authenticity and its validity. For this reason it is, that I have craved permission to have the honour of thus prefixing your Lordship’s name to a volume intended to expand and elucidate an obscure portion of the divine oracles ; the germ, as it were, and convolved substance of those mystic scenes,
mystic scenes, which were afterwards drawn out in fuller and distincter view to the rapt sense, and have been described to us by "the warping voice, of him, who saw th’ Apocalypse.”
You, my Lord, will feel no displeasure on being reminded, “that to the great the consolations of religion are as necessary as its instructions.” You have paid your contingent to the contributions levied on mortality, in sustaining some of the rudest of those “ thousand shocks, which flesh is heir to.” Your Lordship knows and feels, that these, under the divine blessing, are the appointed means of invigorating, as well as trying, christian constancy; while by serering the attention and the affections from things worldly and visible, and warning us, that “we have bere no continuing city,” they both dispose and direct us to seek one to come.”
You are also now arrived at that period of mortal life, in which the retrospect is longer than the prospect: yet, whenever in recollection you tread back the trodden ground, the latter opens to your Lordship the brighter scene. Strengthened by so many prophetic declarations, promises, types, and visions, your eye of faith stops not at the precincts of the dark valley, but piercing all across and far beyond it, even “to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills,” reposes on the mansions, where perfection and bliss dwell with immortality. That your Lordship may yet continue for
many years to come, to "fight the good fight and to keep the faith,” until having finished your course, you fall asleep in that Euthanasia, to which christians, though not apostles, may