ples of this and other faithful elders of that persuasion; the one, to inform their judgment; the other, to excite their practice. Education alone can lead to profess, but gives not strength to obey: whence it is, that the posterity of good men must unavoidably degenerate, unless they have recourse to their first principles. The foundation of your ancestors was THE LIGHT of Christ; a firm and unalterable basis. By its illuminations they regulated their thoughts, their words, their actions: instructed by its dictates, they renounced the pride, the pleasures, the lusts and vanities of the world; separated themselves from humanlyinvented modes and ways of worship, bore a steady and faithful testimony against many errors and corruptions of their times, zealously reproved vice and immorality; were exemplary to their neighbours in holiness and righteousness, ordered their conversations aright, obtained a good report among men, and in the end were made partakers of the salvation of God.: Would you be the happy successors of their virtue, as well as name? Follow the same guide: it will lead you in the same path, and reprove you, when you turn aside to the right hand or to the left. It will teach you a reverent and religious regard to the testimonies they conscientiously bore and suffered for; and, keeping to its direction, and guidance, you shall never return to the follies and vanities they came out of. It will

show you the emptiness of formal profession, and the necessity of an inward and spiritual work of regeneration; to the purifying, through the blood of Christ, your consciences from dead works to serve the living God. Turn not your backs on this heavenly monitor, which is with you, and in you. Keep in mind the exhortation of good old David, to Solomon, his son, namely, "And thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever," 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. May obedience, and the blessing of it, be the choice of you and your posterity; that, in the footsteps of your fathers, you and your children may succeed, serving the Lord in sincerity and truth, whose "mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children: to such as keep his covenant, and remember his commandments to do them," Psalm ciii. 17, 18.

Reader, I would not detain thee too long from the book itself: peruse it with attention and impartiality its design and tendency is thy information and spiritual instruction: the Christian experiences of faithful predecessors, being as so








many land-marks, to direct their followers in the way to Zion. And indeed, the examples of good men are then most cogent, and shine with greatest lustre, when, having laid aside with the flesh all human infirmities, their virtue stands exalted above the reach of envy, and their praise beyond the power of detraction.


London, the 9th day of the

month called April, 1726.





RICHARD CLARIDGE, the eldest son of William Claridge, of Farmborough, in the county of Warwick, yeoman, and of Isabel his wife, both sober and religious persons, of good reputation, and well to pass as to outward circumstances, was born at Farmborough aforesaid, in the Tenth Month, then called December, 1649.

He was brought up to learning from his childhood, and having a natural desire after, as well as aptitude for it, surpassed many of his equals in years at the grammar-school, and early attained a competent knowledge both of the Latin and Greek tongues.

Being well accomplished with grammatical learning, and ripe for university studies, he was entered at Baliol College, in Oxford, on the 30th day of the Eighth Month, 1666, being the seventeenth year of his age.

From Baliol College, he was removed to St. Mary's Hall (so called) in the same university, on the 15th of the Fifth Month, 1668; and had some encouragement from Richard White, then vice-prin


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