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MRS. ELEANOR DODDINGTON,
WIFE TO GEORGE DODDINGTON, ESQ.
ONE OF THE LATE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF THE ADMIRALTY,
AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THE BOROUGH OF
BRIDGWATER IN SOMERSETSHIRE.
MADAM, THE right reverend author of these Sermons and other Discourses having, upon all occasions, expressed a very high esteem for you, not only as a lady to whom he had the happiness to be nearly related, but as one whose personal virtues and eminent qualifications called for a greater share of his regard, than even the nearest ties of blood can of themselves ever claim, I thought myself obliged to give you as public a testimony of it as I could, by dedicating them to your name.
And I am willing to persuade myself they will meet with a favourable acceptance at your hands; since a lady of your distinguishing sense and known piety cannot but approve of what was so seriously intended for the service of the church, and the honour of that religion which you profess. For these, Madam, are the ends to which his whole endeavours and studies were directed; and if he had not all the success therein which he himself might desire, he had at least the satisfaction of having done whatever was in his power towards the promotion of them.
* (She was sole heiress of Henry Bull esq. of Shapwick. Nelson's Life, p. 6.]
But I must not farther enlarge on this subject, how pleasing soever it may be to me, as being conscious to myself that I am in many other respects than that of relation unqualified for the discharge of it. An abler pen has undertaken it, (I mean that worthy gentleman's, to whose great care and pains in this edition I am so much indebted,) and will in the Life do justice to it.
I shall therefore no longer detain you from the entertainment you will meet with in that and the following Sermons and other Discourses, than while I write myself,