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THE writer of the following "Memorials" has been told that he should introduce them by some account of the motives which have led to their publication. His statement is simply this :When Mr. Rhodes was taken to heaven, it was the earnest hope of his widow, that Mr. Ryland, his earliest and most esteemed friend, might be able to prepare for the press a short essay on his life, with a selection from his papers. That gentleman, however, was obliged to decline the undertaking from want of leisure. She then applied to the present writer, wishing him to write a biography, and offering to defray the charge of the work; but he also felt obliged to excuse him
self, partly from a similar reason, partly from the conviction that nothing he could write would reach her enthusiastic ideal of what was due to her husband's memory; and also from the fear that a book written by an unknown scribe about an unknown worthy, would secure but a very limited acceptance, and thus, perhaps, with her straitened circumstances, occasion her some fresh pecuniary anxiety. When, however, a few months later, this excellent lady died, he again thought over the matter. The more he examined the manuscripts left by Mr. Rhodes, and the more he studied the beautiful spirit of his life, the more deeply did he feel that it could not be the will of God for such a life to remain a secret. There seemed to be no person but himself fully acquainted with it, and at the same time charged with the duty of making it known; to relieve his oppressive sense of responsibility, therefore, he first contributed a few articles on the subject to the Baptist Magazine, and the substance of
these, with many fresh biographical particulars and literary extracts, he has now collected. He begs to present his grateful acknowledgments to all who have favoured him with a sight of letters written by his late revered friend; and it is his earnest prayer to Almighty God, that He may be pleased to make this small service useful to the Church especially that it may afford some guidance and encouragement to students for the Christian Ministry; to some of Christ's afflicted disciples; to some who are "poor, yet making many rich;" and to some of his slighted but devoted servants in the field of rural missionary labours, who are doing their best, with God's help, to make "the wilderness rejoice, and the solitary places glad."
CAMBERWELL, October, 1858.