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TO MY VENERABLE FRIEND
THE REV. CHARLES SIMEON.
WHO HAS FOR ABOVE HALF A CENTURY FAITHFULLY
TESTIFIED TO THE TRUTHS HERE SET FORTH,
ARE AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED BY
SAMUEL WALKER, the author of these Lectures, was born at Exeter, December 16, 1714. He was the youngest of seven children; and was lineally descended from Bishop Hall; his grandfather, Sir Thomas Walker, having married Mary, the only daughter of Samuel Hall, the youngest son of the Bishop.
Our author was educated at the Grammar School at Exeter till eighteen, and then went to Exeter College at Oxford. He was ordained in 1737 to the curacy of Dodescomb-Leigh, in Devonshire; and subsequently made a journey through France, with the youngest brother of Lord Rolle. On his return in 1740, he became curate of Lanivery, in Cornwall, and was presented to the vicarage to hold during the minority of a nephew of the patron.
In 1746, desiring the pleasures of social society and amusements, he removed to the curacy of Truro. Here, through a single conscientious act confirmed by the consistent life and pious conversation of Mr. Conon, a schoolmaster at Truro, Mr. Walker was
brought to the knowledge of his fallen and guilty state as a sinner, and to the only way of salvation, by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. This led to all his subsequent holiness and usefulness. O how little we can tell all the blessed consequences of acting according to the light of conscience, even in a single instance !
For about twelve years after this great and vital change, Mr. Walker faithfully preached the glorious Gospel of the grace of God, at Truro, and became a striking model of a faithful Parish Priest, labouring wisely and indefatigably, and, with unflinching boldness, testifying the doctrine which is according to godliness. His labours were very greatly owned of God; from first to last, about one thousand inhabitants of the town, besides strangers, had been with him for private advice regarding the state of their souls. Societies of pious laymen, and of his brethren in the ministry, were gathered around him; and a remarkable change took place in the whole town. His labours also were much blessed among some soldiers stationed for a time in the town.
We cannot pass by two acts of disinterestedness, which it is to be regretted should have need to be noticed as remarkable. One was, his refusal to marry a truly pious lady, because of her property, and his fear that such an union would bring a reproach on his ministry; and another, his giving up the vicarage of Talland, because the curacy of Truro was a more useful scene of labour, and he could not justify to himself, either leaving Truro for worldly motives, or