When fourteen editions of this book had been sold, and enlarged and illustrated edition was issued; but in its cheaper form it continued to have a very large sale, and no less that thirteen editions have been disposed of since 1877. The time has come for it to be sent forth is a larger type, and in a more attractive form. It has been reprinted with emendations from the text of the best editions, and the larger illustrations only omitted. A few sentences from the preface to the third edition my fitly be reproduced here:
'The rapid sale of two editions of this Memoir is sufficient evidence of the truth of the remark, that no person in Cornwall, in the humbler ranks of life at least, was better known or more respected than William, commonly called"Billy" Bray. His witty and eccentric sayings caused him to be thus widely known, and his deep and fervent piety to be as generally respected.
'It is Billy Bray himself who mostly speaks in the following pages, and while his gems of thought and experience might have been made--by cutting and polishing and more skillful setting --to flash with a n intenser light and a purer luster, I wish to express my gratitude for the numerous testimonies I have received as to the acceptability and usefulness of this little work.'
To several ministers and others whose names occur in the Memoirs, tot he Rev. W. Haslam particularly, I tender my heartiest thanks for the interesting incidents which they have kindly furnished.
The large sale which this book has had, and the great blessing accompanying it, have exceeded all expectations, and demand my most grateful ackowledgements, and I can hardly venture to cherish a larger hope that that in htis improved form it many continue to be thus honored the means God shall condescend to employ in the awakening, conversion, and edification of multitudes.
London, May 1890
THis new edition of Billy Bray, The King's Son is issued in order that the present generation of Methodists may be inspired, as were their forebears, by the story of a conversion, the fruits of which are still being garnered.
By F.W. Bourne