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THE LORD BISHOPS OF MADRAS AND BOMBAY.
Delhi, January 11th, 1845.
MY HONOURED BRETHREN IN CHRIST, Permit me to offer for your acceptance, and through you, to the Venerable Archdeacons and Clergy of India with their flocks, the accompanying Lectures on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians.
They were first composed about thirty years since for the Parochial Chapel in London, of which I was then minister. This was in 1815.
In 1842, I re-arranged the course, and reduced it to a compressed form for the seven Fridays of Lent, at the Cathedral, Calcutta.
I have since been delivering particular lectures from time to time at the Straits of Malacca, Madras, Ceylon, and Bombay, during my present Metropolitical and Diocesan Visitation of 1842-5, and which is not yet terminated.
On my arrival at the Hills of Simla last June, it occurred to me that perhaps I could not better employ a part of the four months of retreat from the heats of the Plains, than in re-writing for the press the entire series. I accordingly enlarged it to nineteen discourses, and divided these again into thirty-five, as I transcribed them from my short
Such as they are, I commend them to the divine blessing and to your favourable judgment, my Right Reverend Brethren in the Lord.
You will, perhaps, remember that I prepared, in like manner, a volume of Miscellaneous Sermons for the press at Simla, during the primary Visitation of 1834-6. The opinion I then formed has been confirmed by reflection, that I could scarcely consult better for the spiritual benefit of an enormous and unmanageable diocese than by thus quietly visiting it, as it were, at my leisure in the permanent form of a silent volume, in addition to the very hasty and unsatisfactory personal inter
course, which is all that the extent of the diocese allows me to hold with my brethren once in four years.
As this volume is, considering my time of life, in all human probability the last, perhaps you will further allow me, my Right Reverend Brethren, to express through you the hope that, not only the Reverend Clergy and the Laity of India, will accept it as my final testimony to the Gospel of Christ; but that also, my Reverend Brethren, the Clergy and their flocks at home, with whom I have been at different periods connected for forty-four years, will allow the volume to recal to their memory the name of one who has never ceased to love them, and to pray to almighty God on their behalf.
It will be gratifying to me to think that I am thus, as it were, sending my parting salutations (as the apostles in the closing chapters of their epistles do) to those who were for so many years fellowhelpers with me to the kingdom of God, or who had assisted in my education in youth, or who had been placed under my spiritual care in more advanced life.
I beg, then, to transmit this memorial of my gratitude and affection to all these friends