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OUR CHRISTIAN CLASSICS:
THE BEST DIVINES,
WITH NOTICES BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL
JAMES HAMILTON, D.D.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
THE RIGHT HON. AND RIGHT REV.
THE LORD BISHOP OF LONDON.
My LORD,—Amongst other pleasant memories which, in common with many a contemporary, I have carried
from Glasgow College, is the commencement of that career which, through the mastership of Rugby, and the deanery of Carlisle, has borne up into the see of London the most popular of our fellow-students. At first attracted, and ever since retained, by that charm which a noble nature sheds around itself, we have rejoiced, as if personally promoted, in your rise to successive posts of influence and honour; and, although your life must henceforward be full of labour, in common with every patriot and every Protestant, we pray that this great metropolis, and the Church of England, may long benefit by that public spirit, that sound judgment, and that zeal for the best of causes which you carry to the discharge of your high and arduous duties.
In the following pages, it is likely that opinions and estimates of character may occasionally be found with which your Lordship cannot coincide ; but the strong are generous, and those who are most fully persuaded in their own minds, are usually the readiest to accord the right of private judgment. Nor, with your large and catholic affinities, will you like the book the less because it brings together so many of the great and good from various sections of the Church of Christ.
With much respect and affection, I have the honour to remain,
Your Lordship's faithful servant,
48 EUSTON SQUARE, December 1, 1858.
TAKE it all in all, no land can boast of such a Christian Authorship as England; but many of the greatest thinkers and most eloquent writers are locked up in ponderous or costly folios, inaccessible to ordinary readers. In the following pages, by means of characteristic specimens, the attempt is made to convey to persons of limited leisure a notion of the way in which the Masters in our Israel discoursed on the most momentous subjects; and it is hoped that the connecting notices, biographical and historical, and which extend to more than a third of the entire work, may promote the intelligent perusal and enjoyment of the accompanying extracts, or that they may even induce a few readers to acquaint themselves with the great originals.