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Northampton, at All-Saints' church in that town, he permitted it, the same year, for the benefit of a poor diseased child, to be printed, under the title of The Cross of Christ, the Christian's Glory. He had preached before this another sermon at the same church, which he had been solicited to print, but could not then be prevailed upon to do it. Since his death, it has been published under the title of the Mystery of Reconciliation, &c.
The same year he wrote a recommendatory preface to Burnham's Pious Memorial, or the Power of Religion on the Mind in Sickness and in Death; exemplified by the experience of many eminent persons at those important seasons.
His Theron and Aspasio, published in January 1755, in three volumes octavo, met with the same approbation from the public as his Meditations; and the demand for this work likewise was very uncommon, it having passed through three editions in one
In 1756, Mr Hervey being informed of the design of reprinting the Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, by the Rev. Mr Walter Marshall, and of prefixing to it, by way of recommendation, what he had said in its favour in Theron and Aspasio, he wrote a letter, dated Nov. 5. 1756, to his bookseller, giving his consent, and enlarging on that recommendation. This he did the more readily, as Mr Marshall's book might (for so he has declared) be looked upon as no improper supplement to the dialogues and letters contained in Theron and Aspasio.
His Theron and Aspasio was attacked by several writers, particularly by Mr Robert Sandeman, a congregational preacher at Edinburgh, in a book entitled Letters on Theron and Aspasio; wherein the doctrine of the gospel, under the title of the popular doctrine, is most abominably misrepresented, and its tendency aspersed. The Arminians, too, objected to that work; and Mr John Wesley in particular wrote against it. Mr Cudworth wrote a defence of Theron
and Aspasio; and Mr David Wilson, minister of the Scots congregation in Bow-lane, London, published a book, entitled Palamon's Creed reviewed, &c. in which he vindicates Mr Hervey's doctrine, and exposes that of Mr Sandeman.
Mr Hervey's own defence of Theron and Aspasio against the objections of Mr John Wesley, was transcribed fair for the press from his short-hand copy within a few pages; and would have been published in a volume of the same size with Theron and Aspasio, had he lived a few weeks longer. The manuscript was left in the possession of his brother, Mr William Hervey, wine merchant in Miles' Lane, London; who published it in 1766, for the reasons given by him in a preface prefixed to it.
In August 1757, Mr Hervey obliged the public with three sermons preached by him on the late public fast-days; to which, in the third edition, in 1759, were added his visitation sermon, preached in 1753, his posthumous sermon on the ministry of reconciliation, and his considerations on the prevailing custom of visiting on Sundays. In a posterior edition of these were given his remarks on Lord Bolingbroke's letters, and a treatise on the religious education of daughters.
In the same year likewise, he published a new edition of his favourite author, Mr Jenks's Meditations, in two volumes octavo; to which he wrote a very strong recommendatory preface, shewing the use of those meditations, and the reasons for such republication.*
He intended to have wrote a treatise on gospel holiness, as a supplement to Theron and Aspasio, and actually wrote a very excellent and judicicus plan of it, which he communicated in letters to some of his correspondents; but he did not live to finish it, to the very great loss of the public.
*This Preface, with that to Burnham's Pious Memorials, his letter to the publisher of Marshall on Sanctification, one to the publisher of Mr Traill's works, &c. are annexed to his tracts in this edition.
His labours, both in his ministerial office and in his study, were pursued by him as long as possible, under the disadvantage of a very weak constitution of body; which, together with the severity of his last illness, he supported not only with incredible patience, but without a single expression of peevishness. That illness had long been coming on him, but greatly increased in the beginning of October 1758, and grew very formidable in the December following: For, on Sabbath the third of that month, in the evening, after prayer in his family, he seemed to be arrested by the messenger of death; so that the united assistance of his sister and servant with difficulty enabled him to get up stairs into his room, from whence he never came down. His illness gaining ground every day, be soon became sensible that his end was approaching. He had frequent and violent returns of the cramp, which gave him most acute pain. He had likewise a hectic cough, which afflicted him so grievously in the night, that he could seldom lie in bed till four* in the morning; and was often obliged to rise at two, especially as opium (how much soever guarded by other medicines) would not agree with him. On the 15th of that month he complained of a pain in his side; for which, at his own desire, he was bled, though his physician, Dr Stonhouse, in whom he placed the greatest confidence, had objected to it, apprehending him too weak to bear any evacuation of that kind. When the surgeon came, he could scarcely perceive any pulsation, and therefore took away no more than four ounces of blood; intimating to his relations and friends, that the case was desperate, and that he had blooded him very unwillingly, and merely to satisfy Mr Hervey's desire, who had some hope that the pain might possibly be relieved by it. His curate, the Rev. Mr Abraham Maddock, being much with him in the afternoon of that day, Mr Hervey spoke to him in strong and
* When Mr Hervey was in tolerable health, he rarely lay in bed after six, even in the winter; and rose still earlier in the summer.
The next day, the 20th, he was visited by Dr Stonhouse, who declared, that in his opinion Mr Hervey could not live above three or four days; and happening to speak of the many consolations through Christ which a good man enjoys in the prospect of death, and discoursing on the emptiness of worldly honour to an immortal, and on the unprofitableness of riches to the irreligious, Mr Hervey replied, "True, Doctor, true; the only valuable treasures are in heaven. What would it avail me now to be archbishop of Canterbury? Disease would shew no respect to my mitre. That prelate* is not only very great, but, I am told, he has religion really at heart: Yet it is godliness, and not grandeur, that will avail him hereafter. The gospel is offered to me, a poor country parson, the same as to his Grace. Christ makes no difference between us. Oh! why then do ministers thus neglect the charge of so kind a Saviour; fawn upon the great, and hunt after worldly preferments with so much eagerness, to the disgrace of our order? These, these are the things, Doctor, and not our poverty or obscurity, which render the clergy so justly contemptible to the worldlings. No wonder the service of our Church, grieved I am to say it, is become such a formal lifeless thing, since it is, alas! too generally executed by persons dead to godliness in all their conversation; whose indifference to religion, and worldly-minded behaviour, proclaim the little regard they pay to the doctrines of the Lord who bought them."
When the Doctor was going away, Mr Hervey, with great tenderness, observed to him, that as not long ago he had a dangerous fall from his horse, by which he was much bruised, and as he had been lately ill, and then looked very pale, he hoped he would think on these narrow escapes, so often fatal to others, as a kind of warning from God to him, and remember them as such; adding, "How careful ought we to be to improve those years which
* The late Dr Thomson Secker, who died August 3. 1768.