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The Biography and Writings of a Clergyman who has filled so large a measure of public notice, as the author of the present volumes of Sermons, may be expected to be a most interesting and valuable offering to the Church. Such was the extent of his popularity and fame, that few were ignorant of him; such was his influence as a minister of Christ, that many were made partakers of permanent spiritual benefits through his instrumentality; and such the variety and number of his written compositions, that much might have been expected to be reached, calculated to develope his character, and to bring to light the circumstances of his life. In this expectation, however, there will be some inevitable disappointment. His known unwillingness to hear much said of himself, led to the destruction of all such notes as may generally be found among the papers of a departed' minister of Christ, opening a more accurate and intimate knowledge of the events of his own life. His letters, though he wrote many, have not generally been accessible to his biographer, and letters received by himself were never preserved. The sources of information which have been laid open for the preparation of his memoir, have, therefore, been few, and but a short time has been allowed the editor, amidst his own pressing pastoral duties and cares, to finish the preparation of the whole. The present is the best offering which, under such circumstances, he is able to make. He was induced, from two motives, to accede to the repeated requests of the family and friends of Dr. Bedell, that he would undertake the duty which he has here attempted to discharge. The first was, that he might give his utmost aid to the comfort and advantage of the family of a most beloved and tried friend, for whom all the profits of the work are designed. The second was, that he might exhibit fairly to the Church, the principles and character of this friend, and to his brethren in the ministry, an illustration of his varied practical usefulness and
In the attainment of the first, there is every reason for hope that he will be gratified. Whether he has accomplished the second to the advantage of those whose benefit was designed, they must judge. In tracing the character and history of Dr. Bedell, candour and truth required a reference to facts, the recollection of which will necessarily give pain to some. The editor hopes that in such references he has accomplished the object for which he watchfully laboured, to exhibit simply the actual character and principles of the subject of his notice, without impugning the motives or character of any from whom he differed. In the hope that the result of his efforts may be acceptable to his brethren in the ministry, to the congregation so much attached to his departed friend, and to the Church at large, he cheerfully commits it to them, feeling that however laborious has been the undertaking, it has been a most delightful privilege to be engaged in such continued and intimate contemplation of the character and ministry of one, whose uninterrupted friendship in life, was one of his choicest blessings, and whose example will be a light in his path while earthly being is preserved.
GREGORY TOWNSEND BEDELL was born on Staten Island, in the harbour of New York, on the 28th of October, 1793. His father, Israel Bedell, was a man of true excellence of character, of a peaceful temper and spirit, and much beloved by those who were connected with him. He lived to see fourscore years, to witness the full eminence and usefulness of his only son, and to receive many happy proofs of his filial gratitude and love. He died at Elizabethtown, in New-Jersey, on the 30th of August, in the year 1830, in the comfort and confidence of a Gospel hope, and leaving behind him a character unblemished and unreproached. The mother of the subject of our present notice, was a sister of the Right Rev. Bishop Moore, of Virginia. She was remarkable both for her mental accomplishments and for her external beauty; adorned with a most amiable disposition; and kind and benevolent to the poor. She was early admitted as a communicant of the Protestant Epis