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for the Press, and which are now first offered to the World from his Original Manuscripts : And he employed a great Portion of the latter Part of his Life (in the weak State of Health he laboured under) to prepare them for that Purpose..
It is true he lived not fully to accomplish this Design, to finish and improve some of the Subjects treated of by him, in the Manner he intended : for which Reason the Diso courses on our Lord's Temptations in the first Volume; on his Messiahship, and a Future State, in the second; and the Doctrine of Angels, in the third; must unavoidably appear defective. However, it was judged, those Difcourses might be of considerable Use notwithstanding any such Defects; (and they may be said to be perfect as far as they go;) and it was presumed, the Reader would be better pleased to have them as they are, than not to have them at all. Whose Candour and Indulgence will also, it is hoped, be extended to the smaller Inaccuracies and Imperfections of a Pofthumous Work, whereever they occur. And those very Imperfections will be of some Use, to shew the Fidelity with which these Sermons have been printed from the Original Manuscripts ; no Liberty having been taken designedly to vary.
from them; except where it was necessary sometimes, for the connecting of a Sentence; as Vol. iii. p. 402. or to add a few Words, to avoid breaking off abruptly; as the last Paragraph at the End of that Volume, p.403. The Author's last Paragraph, p. 402-3. being only designed, as the Foundation for the. practical Uses which were to have followed after. I can bear Witness to this strict Regard to the Manuscripts, in a great Measure, from an ocular Inspection; and likewise, from the express Declaration of the Gentleman who undertook the Revisal of Them, and the Direction of the Press, but died before he had finished his Undertaking. . As to any peculiar Notions, or over-curious Speculations; (which may possibly be observed in some Places ;) the Harmlesness and Innocency of them, and the Ingenuity and Modesty with which they are proposed, will reasonably secure them of an easy Pardon, from those who may not, perhaps, approve of their Solidity.
In particular, as to what is advanced concerning Prayers for the Dead;(which may be thought most liable to Exception;) it should be considered, that somewhat of this kind is not only contained in the Office for the Burial of the Dead, but is also virtually in
cluded in that Petition of the Lord's Prayer, THY KINGDOM COME: And, as far as is here pleaded for, is shewn to have no Connexion with the Popish Doctrine of Purgatory, but to be inconsistent with it, and even subversive of it. Vol. ii. p. 476-7-8.
But it will be necessary to make some Apology, and bespeak the Favour of the Courteous Reader, in regard, not only to a Flight now and then of the Author's Fancy, some small Inaccuracies of Style, or fighter Errors of his Pen; but also to the Errors of the Press, which the Author is no Way concerned in, and which these Sermons had never appear, ed with, had he published them himself: whose Expertness and Exactness, had been often tried on such Occasions.
To make the best Amends that could be; for Mistakes of this kind; the chiefest Errata, have been carefully correctad; though lesser, Faults in Spelling, Pointing, &c. have been purposely passed over, which the Intelligent, Reader will easily observe, and the Candid, will excu
Among the Mistakes which have been purposely passed over ; the chief are those i relating to Texts of Scripture: some of which are misplaced ; being taken from the Margin, of the Author, where the References were
PREF AC E. exact, and not so exactly inserted in the Body of the Book; as Vol. i. p. 35, 59, 60, &c. and some others, as the Psalms in Vol. iï. p. 350-353. were only inserted by some unaccountable Accident; and should be all erased, as wholly foreign to the Subject there treated of.
If any have the Curiosity to enquire, what Book is referred to in the Sermons, upon Hebr. ix. 27. Vol. ii. and Hebr. xii. 1. Vol. iii. they may be informed, that, it is a Book of Devotion, written by a Roman Catholick, which has been several Times published as reformed by another Hand, and recommend ed by Dr. Hicks; and as reformed and put into another Method, by Mr. Dorrington; usually known, by the Name of Hicks's, and Dorrington's Reformed Devotions.
And now, having faid thus much to prepare the Way; I shall no longer detain the Reader, from the Perusal of the Sermons of my very worthy Friend: and I make no Question, but others will receive great Pleasure and Improvement thereby, as I have found myself.