Following are excerpts from the eulogy of the former British prime minister, as transcribed by Federal News Service.

We have lost a great president, a great American and a great man, and I have lost a dear friend.

In his lifetime, Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America's wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world and to free the slaves of communism.

These were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk. Yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. His politics had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every class and every nation, and ultimately from the very heart of the evil empire.

Yet his humor often had a purpose beyond humor. In the terrible hours after the attempt on his life, his easy jokes gave reassurances to an anxious world. They were truly grace under pressure.

And perhaps they signified grace of a deeper kind. Ronnie himself certainly believed that he had been given back his life for a purpose.

As he told a priest after his recovery, "Whatever time I've got left now belongs to the big fellow upstairs."

And surely it is hard to deny that Ronald Reagan's life was providential.

Others prophesied the decline of the West; he inspired America and its allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom. Others saw only limits to growth; he transformed a stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity. Others hoped at best for an uneasy cohabitation with the Soviet Union; he won the Cold War not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends.

I can't imagine how any diplomat or any dramatist could improve on his words to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva summit: "Let me tell you why it is we distrust you."

We live today in the world that Ronald Reagan began to reshape with those words.

As prime minister, I worked closely with Ronald Reagan for eight of the most important years of all our lives. We talked regularly both before and after his presidency, and I've had time and cause to reflect on what made him a great president.

Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly. He acted upon them decisively.

When his allies came under Soviet or domestic pressure, they could look confidently to Washington for firm leadership. And when his enemies tested American resolve, they soon discovered that his resolve was firm and unyielding.

Yet his ideas, so clear, were never simplistic. He saw the many sides of truth. Yes, he warned that the Soviet Union had an insatiable drive for military power and territorial expansion. But he also sensed it was being eaten away by systemic failures impossible to reform.

Yes, he did not shrink from denouncing Moscow's evil empire. But he realized that a man of goodwill might nonetheless emerge from within its dark corridors.

And when a man of goodwill did emerge from the ruins, President Reagan stepped forward to shake his hand and to offer sincere cooperation. Nothing was more typical of Ronald Reagan than that large-hearted magnanimity. And nothing was more American.

Ronald Reagan's life was rich, not only in public achievement, but also in private happiness. Indeed, his public achievements were rooted in his private happiness.

The great turning point of his life was his meeting and marriage with Nancy. We share her grief today, but we also share her pride and the grief and pride of Ronnie's children.

For the final years of his life, Ronnie's mind was clouded by illness. That cloud has now lifted.

We here still move in twilight, but we have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had; we have his example.