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FEARS of DEATH.
но, W T 0
Prepare Ourselves to Die well.
Written Originally in FRENCH
Church of PARIS,
Translated into E NGLISH
The Thirteenth Edition newly Corrected: With
an Account of the Author, and his LAST
R. WILKIN, A BETTESWORTH, R. ROBINSON,
M, DCC, XXXII.
P R E F A C E
HE true Chara&ter of Monsieur Drelin
court, the Author of tbefe excellent Meditations, we find published by Mr. Bayle in his great Historical Dictionary, &c. as followeth: CHarles Drelincourt, Minister of the Church of Paris,
was born the 10th of July, 1595, at Sedan, where his Father was admitted to an honourable Office, being Secretary to Henry Robert de la Mark, Duke of Bouillon, and Sovereign Prince of Sedan; afterwards he was advanced to be Secretary to the chief Council of that City. His Son Charles was put to study Ethicks and Divinity in that University ; but was sent to Saumur to compleat his Philosophy under Mr. Duncan. He was ordained Minister in June 1618, and began the Exercise of his Function near Langres, continuing there until he was called to the Church of Paris in March 1620. He was married in the Year 1625, to an onely Child of a rich Merchant of Paris, called Monsieur Balduck, who had newly embraced the Protestant Religion. Providence blessed him and his Wife with a numerous Issue, he having had Sixteen Children by her ; and gave no less Success to his Ministry. His Sermons were very powerful : But his chief Talent was in comforting the Sick, and performing all other necessary Offices of a careful Pastor. He was very faithful and zealous, in respect of his own Congregation and others; his Judgment being always desired in Matters of Moment. We cannot sufficiently commend the Services he has rendered to the Church of A 2
God by his many Writings he hath published ; whether we examine his Books of Devotion or of Controversy. There is so much Piety contained in the former, and so many excellent Texts of Scripture explained in the latter, that many Religious Persons both have, and daily do find seasonable Consolations. That which he hath written against the Church of Rome, hath wonderfully strengthened the Protestant Profesfors. For by the Arguments that he brings, the Ignorant and Unlearned have been able to confound the Monks and Priests, and to maintain the Principles of their Religion against the subtileft-Missionaries
. So that his Writings have caused him to be esteemed the Scourge of the Roman Disputants. Nevertheless, as he was beloved of the contrary Party, so he was highly esteemed by the greatest Lords of the Reformed Religion, as the Duke de la Force, the Mareschals of Chatillon, de Gastion and Turenne, and by the Lady de la Tree mouille, &c. He had also great Respect paid him by the frequent Vifits of Ambassadors from several foreign Princes and States.. He was a Person who expressed a particular Efteem and Veneration for the Church of England, as appears by his Letters to Dr. Durel. He died the 3d of November 1669, in such an excellent and devout Difpoficion of Mind, as may be expected in a Person who was animated with an holy Zeal, and had with an unwearied Diligence confecrated all his Study and Labours to the Glory of God and the Service of his Church. He was more frequent in Prayer towards the Conclusion of his Life: And when he was private and alone, he never heard the Clock strike, but he fell upon his Knees in Prayer to God.
This is the approved Character published of our eminent Divine, after a long Experience and Practice amongst departing Souls and in the Houses of Mourning, at the Request of some of his Congregation, who mightily approved of the proper and seafonable Arguments that he made use of to fortify
dying Persons against the Apprehensions of Death; fuitable to their Conditions and Temper, be pubkished this Book of Consolations. · About Twenty Editions have been Printed in France, and one at Avignon, in the Pope's Dominions, with a Suppression of the Reverend Author's Name. How many Impressions have been published in Holland, Germany and elsewhere, I cannot determine. We find it translated into several Languages, but was not in our Mother Tongue, until
, at the Request of the Author's Son, now Dean of Armagh in Ireland, I translated it into English: What Reception it met with amongst us, let this Thirteenth Impression declare. I Mall therefore judge it needless, after fo many publick Testimonies of an universal Approbation, amongst Christians of all Professions, to speak any thing in Commendation of this Defence against the Fears of Death. How serviceable it may be to Divines in Funeral Sermons, in visiting the Sick, the Poor and Aflicted, and how proper to be left as Legacies to surviving Friends at Funerals, I leave to others to judge, who shall fincerely desire to promote the Salvation of Souls
. And now I cannot but take some Notice here of the high Efteem and Commendation that a late Apparition, too well attested to be sighted, bath given of this Book. An exact Account of it you have in the printed Relation hereunto prefixed. To reject all Narratives of this kind as fictitious, argues, in my Judgment, as great an Error Weaknefs and Prejudice, as to believe all that is reporta ed of Apparitions. This comes to us cloathed with all the Appearance and Circumstances of Truth,