« ElőzőTovább »
taking such liberty more frequently than he has done. If, in this publication he had chiefly proposed to himself, as the scope of his labours, the gratification of the antiquary, he would not have ventured on any alteration whatever, he would not have suffered the shield of Scriblerus to have its rust in any particle disturbed by a furbishing operation, but he had a more important object in view, and he has therefore departed a little, and but a little, from antiquarian punctiliousness in the direction of his course.
Our revered Author by his publications erected for himself a monument which has perpetuated the remembrance of his name upwards of 150 years; but it has suffered from the ravages of time, its parts have been dislocated, and the fragments have been scattered about, in danger of being for ever lost. They are, however, now collected, and if Providence should spare the Editor a little longer in this precarious state of things, they may be expected to be replaced and beautified with some additional ornaments, to give permanence to the memory of a venerated man. But it was not posthumous fame to which he himself aspired as the prize of his Christian race; in the performance of his ministerial services often laborious and fatiguing, amidst the sufferings he endured in his Master's cause, and when publishing the productions of his pen, he sought, principally, the approbation of heaven. It was sufficient for him, as it was for the Apostle of the Gentiles, that Christ was magnified either by his life or by his death; "whether he lived, he lived to the Lord, or whether he
died, he died to the Lord, so that whether living or dying he was the Lord's."
So far as the Editor has proceeded, he has, himself, reaped no little advantage from the occupation in which he has been engaged. The strain of fervent piety which pervades every production which came from the Author's pen, the artless simplicity with which the genuine feelings of a Christian are often described, and the unwearied zeal manifested for the immortal interests of men, have not been reviewed without some correspondent impression. Dr. Doddridge in his Preface to Archbishop Leighton's Commentary on Peter, expresses himself thus: "The preparing of these Volumes for the Press has generally taken up a little of my time, in the intervals of other business, daily for several months, but I am far from repenting the labour I have bestowed upon it. The delight and edification which I have found would have been a full equivalent for my pains, separate from all prospect of that effect they might have upon others." Similar language I can adopt; after having been for a considerable time employed on the Works of my Author, which bear a strong resemblance to those of the pious Archbishop, the experience which I have myself had, encourages me to hope that the circulation of this Edition will, under the blessing of God, contribute to the spiritual improvement of many.
Idle, near Bradford,
COMPRISING THE SUBSTANCE OF A COURSE OF
PREACHED AT COLEY, NEAR HALIFAX,
So soon as thine views the Title of this Treatise, do not slightly cast the Treatise itself away, but spend some time in the serious perusal of it. If any value is to be put on my poor judgment, I do assure thee I esteem it a choice Treasure. In it thou wilt find a most useful subject treated on, namely, the furnishing of the heart with a spiritual treasure, an argument necessary for these times, wherein we cannot ensure outward The pious, learned Author, in handling this subject, hath approved himself a most experienced Christian, and a workman who needeth not to be ashamed.
Among the variety of good books, which through divine indulgence are yet to be bought, it will be thy wisdom to buy those that are of general use, and such is this book which I commend to thee. Buy it, read it oft, meditate on it seriously, and lift up thy heart to God for his blessing, and thou wilt find much cause to admire his good providence in handing this book to thee, and wilt be incited to do what many professors are too remiss in, namely, getting a heart treasure, which will greatly support thee under present and future trial.
In the Appendix thou wilt meet with excellent helps for the discharge of the necessary and much neglected duty of meditation, whereby thou mayest get much treasure for holy thoughts,