Imatges de pàgina
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THE

PREFACE
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HE Editor has already de-
clared to the world, that his

principal intention in pub.
lishing the following discourses, was
to serve the interest of religion in
general ; and to oblige some worthy
friends, who have a great esteem
and veneration for the memory of
the reverend Author. And though
he apprehends there is no occasion
to make any other apology for his
conduct in this affair, yet he begs
leave, for the further satisfaction of
the reader, to cite a passage from
the late Dr. Evans in relation to
some pofthumous Sermons of this
excellent Author, which were for-

merly

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of every

as man;

merly published by that Gentleman.

They (says he) who relish Mr. « Howe's inimitable spirit of piety, " judgement; copiousness, and force, «in the management

subject he hath undertaken, will be “ glad of any remains of so great a

and those, who have been « conversant with his writings, will .« hardly want any other voucher so besides the Sermons themselves, " that they are genuine, they fo « evidently carry in them, to a per« son of taste, the marks which 6. always distinguish his perfor“ mances t." And what this Gentleman, together with Dr. Harris, said in their dedication of all Mr. Howe's posthumous discourses, may with equal truth be affirmed with respect to these, which are now made

public. + See the preface to the volume of Mr. Howe's posthumous Sermons published by Dr.

public. « Though they are only a

specimen of his ordinary course of

preaching, without any finishing « hand, or further design, 'or per“ haps always his ripest thoughts ; “ yet they carry the lively signatures «c of the admirable genius, and exs cellent spirit, which always ap“peared in his composures, and « rendered them so peculiarly fit to “ instruct and impress the minds of « . Whosoever considers the

compass and variety of the matter, ( the thread and connexion of the

thoughts, the striking imagery, and « the pertinence and pungency of “ the expression ; will see reason to “ admire the vast capacity of the “ Author, and be easily disposed to “ forgive any lesser neglects and ef

capes ; especially when he only

proposed to speak familiarly and “ without any written notes, and al

lowed

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« lowed himself a liberty in expref

sing the well-digested and disposed “ conceptions of his mind.”

This was the opinion which those learned Editors had of the Sermons of our Author, which they published, notwithstanding they had not the advantage of his finishing hand, no more than these, which are now presented to the public, selected from a considerable number of large manuscript volumes, in quarto, transcribed with great exactness by the late Mr. Benjamin Smith merchant in London, an intimate acquaintance of the Author, to whom he generally read his discourses, which he had taken from the pulpit

The Editor has the satisfaction to acquaint the world, that in publishing these Sermons he had the con

sent Those manuscript volumes are now in the hands of Mrs. Plicebe Voyce daughter of Mr. Smith here mentioned.

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