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THE MOST REVEREND
WILLIAM HOWLEY, D.D.
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY,
PRIMATE OF ALL ENGLAND, AND METROPOLITAN,
OF A PRELATE WHO WAS EDUCATED IN THE SAME SCHOOL AND
IN THE SAME UNIVERSITY WITH HIS GRACE,
AND WHO ADORNED,
WITH CONGENIAL TALENTS, VIRTUES, AND PRINCIPLES,
THE CHURCH OVER WHICH HIS GRACE PRESIDES,
IS MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
BY HIS FAITHFUL AND DEVOTED SERVANT,
JOHN S. HARFORD.
If the charm of a biographical work consists in the novelty of its incidents, or in the striking vicissitudes which it records, the life of a learned and pious Bishop, whose time was chiefly spent in labouring for the good of mankind, and in promoting the great objects of the Christian Ministry, would necessarily fail in general interest. But expectations of this description arise, as Dr. Johnson observes, from false measures of excellence and dignity, and “must be eradicated by considering that, in the esteem of uncorrupted reason, what is of most use is of most value.” In this point of view, those who teach us by their bright example how to live and how to die ; how to pluck the fruits of imperishable truth and unfading happiness, may well claim our sympathy and fix our attention. Of this number was the excellent Prelate whose life and character it is the object of the following pages to depicture. To deep and extensive erudition Bishop Burgess united a firm and inflexible adherence to his convictions of Christian duty both in public and private life, accompanied with deep humility, and guileless simplicity of mind and manners.
The particulars of his learned and literary life include much that is curious and interesting.
To trace the formation and development of his character, and its practical influence in the exalted station which he filled in the Church, has been the Author's endeavour. He writes from personal knowledge and authentic data, having been honoured with the friendship of the departed Prelate, and intrusted by him with the disposition of his papers and correspondence.
His aim being to interest general readers, various particulars, familiar to scholars, are occasionally explained, and when quotations from the learned languages are introduced, upon which the point or meaning of a passage depends, a translation is added.
In the original papers a few inaccuracies of expression, which, however, very rarely occur, have been corrected, and, in some instances, a slight transposition has been made in the order of the sentences, with the view of conveying more clearly the meaning of the writer.
The author cannot conclude without expressing his particular obligation to the Bishop of Nova Scotia, and to Dr. Gilly, for enabling him to present to his readers many interesting particulars respecting the late Bishop Barrington.
To Viscount Sidmouth, to the Bishop of Lincoln, to the Dean of Salisbury, to Archdeacon Berens, to Dr. Wordsworth, to Dr. Townsend of Durham, to Dr. Ollivant, to the Rev. Mr. Dansey, and to Mrs. George Marriott, he is also much indebted for the loan of letters, or for useful information.
But, above all, he begs to acknowledge his obligations to the Rev. C. B. Pearson, for invaluable co-operation and assistance.