« PreviousContinue »
WHO FELL A VICTIM TO THE EPIDEMIC PESTILENCE, which RAGED
• ON THAT ROCK, DURING THE AUTUMN OF THE YEAR 1828.
COMPILED CHIEFLY FROM HIS JOURNALS AND EXTENSIVE
By AQUILA BARBER,
TO WHICH IS ADDED, AS AN APPENDIX, THE
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
" Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not
known."-Psalm 1xxvii. 19.
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR:
JOHN STEPHENS, 16, CITY-ROAD. AND WANSBROUGH, RBDCLIFF-STREET,
In introducing the present Volume to the notice of the Religious Public, to offer any remarks on the utility or importance of Christian Biography might, probably, be deemed superfluous, if not intrusive. The providential and gracious dealings of God with his people are subjects, the value of which is too highly appreciated, to need any description or recommendation from the Compiler of the following Memoir. There is, however, one thing which has forcibly impressed his mind; it is, that, as the press is constantly sending forth publications of a biographical kind, there should be something peculiar in the circumstances, and something important in the character, of an individual deceased, to justify
the placing before the Public eye so formidable a thing as a history of his life. As to the character of his lamented Brother, the Compiler thinks he may safely leave the Public to form their own judgment; and with regard to the principal facts of his life, such, for instance, as the remarkable manner in which he was at length thrust into the Ministry ;-the untrodden sphere in which, as a Protestant Missionary, he was called to move ;—the consequent probable introduction of pure and evangelical piety into Spain ;-and the awful and mysterious circumstances of his early dissolution ; – these are events, which, it is believed, will not be regarded by enlightened persons with disappointment or indifference.
But knowing, at the same time, that, in many cases, what may appear both peculiar and important in the estimation of a near relative, may prove, in a great measure, void of interest to the Public at large ; it appeared to the Compiler advisable, to submit the original documents to the inspection of persons, who, by their ability and impartiality, might be reasonably supposed to be qualified to decide upon their merit. And the result of this expedient is, the appearance of the following sketch of 'A Brother's Portrait.'
However, the above-mentioned difficulty was not the only one, which, from the natural partiality of a relative, arrested the Compiler's attention. He considered, that, as his object was to give a faithful delineation of his Brother's character, moulded, as it was, by ordinary events and novel circumstances, by complicated afflictions and circuitous providences, and, above all, by the influence of Divine Grace ; it would be extremely difficult, if not totally impossible, to do it in his own language in such a manner, as to avoid the suspicion of being too lavish in his commendations, or too lenient in his censures. Hence, the best method appeared to be, to confine himself, as much as possible, to matters of fact, and those generally related in the words of the deceased himself; especially, as the Reader will have an ample opportunity of perceiving, that, in WILLIAM BARBER, there was but little disposition to exalt himself in the estimation of others.
Some surprise may, possibly, be excited at the introduction of so large a portion of private letters, which have so little connection with the facts in the life of the deceased; but when it is recollected, that the object of the Compiler was to give, not merely a narrative of events, but likewise the Portrait' of a mind, which was more than ordinarily gifted, both by nature and