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The Meeting for Sufferings in New England, having carefully examined the manuscript Journal of Job Scott, soon after his decease, made such selections and abridgments, as to them appeared likely to be productive of usefulness. The Journal, thus arranged, was first printed in New York, in the year 1797. It has since passed through several editions, both in America and Europe. Some additions were made to that published by William Phillips and William Alexander, in England, in the year 1815. In their advertisement, they state as follows: “ The additions are derived from authentic sources, of the most considerable, from a manuscript in the author's own handwriting.” “ The additional account of bis last illness is given by one of his attendants, through the whole of that painful, and yet joyous scene.”
It is now several years, since most of the original manuscripts of Job Scott were placed in my hands, by his father-in-law and children, principally for the purpose of making out a fair copy, for private use, of such parts of the Journal and other essays which had not been published, as appeared worthy of preservation. Such a transcript having been carefully made from the originals, and occasionally perused by a considerable number of Friends, and the circumstance becoming thus known, that a large and valuable portion of the Journal and other works, had never been printed, a general interest has been excited, and desires have been frequently expressed, that the whole Journal and Works of Job Scott should be published.
In accordance with these desires, and the design of the author, (as appears by the following memorandums made by himself,) and in order that a knowledge of his views, exercises, and labours for promoting the cause of truth, and the good of mankind, may be more widely diffused, the present edition is presented to the public.
In conformity with the discipline and regulations of the Yearly Meeting of Friends held in Philadelphia, the additional manuscripts have been submitted to the Committee representing said meeting in its recess, and their advice and assistance obtained in making those corrections and arrangements which appeared to comport with the views of the author.
The title prefixed by Job Scott is thus expressed : " The Journal of my life, written in thankful acknowledgment of God's gracious dealings with me.” Among the objects for continuing his narratives, he expressed the “hope that some benefit might result, at least to himself and near connexions, by rescuing from oblivion, some of the exercises, probations, and deliverances, that attend a life of piety, and perseverance in the pursuit of that holiness, without which none shall ever rejoicingly see the Lord."
Not long before his decease he wrote thus: “I have preserved a Journal of my whole life. There are some things therein, that I am fully persuaded are true, in the visions of God; but which many of of the wise, even in our society, cannot receive, so as feelingly to approve and promote. Some think there are Journals enough printed. I never had any idea, that so many were or would be published, as to render any more useless. I think I don't wish mine ever printed, from any thing I feel, but a desire for the good of mankind. If, with proper and sufficient (not too punctilious) corrections, it be really thought likely to promote the cause of truth, let it appear; if not, let it remain among my papers."
“On the whole,” continues he, “ I have believed it my duty to preserve these memoirs, and to the disposal of Divine Providence I freely submit myself and them, with all that is mine, or near and dear to me; little regarding what happens to me, in this life, so that my soul may be made, and preserved pure in the sight of my God."
Such being the views and objects of the author, and believing with him that "some benefit may result to survivors,” and that it will be " likely to promote the cause of truth,” “ by rescuing from oblivion," much that has been omitted in the former editions of this interesting and valuable Journal, it is submitted “to the disposal of Divine Providence,” and to the serious perusal of the unprejudiced reader.
The additions made from original manuscripts, as stated by the publishers of the English edition in 1815, and also their additional account of his last illness,” have been introduced, in full confidence of the authenticity of the sources whence they were derived.
Notwithstanding the general accuracy of the first New York edition, of 1797, numerous errors have been discovered in it. These have been carefully corrected, by comparing with the original manuscripts, and in divers cases, where omissions had been made, the text
and meaning have been restored, by which the writer's feelings, sentiments, and narratives are rendered more clear and perspicuous.
In giving publicity to the opinions, and doctrinal views, exhibited by Job Scott, as interspersed among the narrative parts of his Journal and other essays, neither the publisher, nor the Society of Friends are held responsible for their defence or support. They are faithfully copied from the manuscripts left by the author, and must stand or fall, according to the light and evidence in the mind of the reader. The writer appears to have been “fully persuaded they were true, in the visions of God.” Perhaps others, who at first “cannot receive, so as feelingly to approve" them, may, when the veil is removed, “ see eye to eye,” and thus be led into clearer views of the spirituality of the gospel dispensation.
" I know," says the author, “ I have treated some mysteries a little more openly, and handled them a little differently from what I have seen in any writings. But as I am deeply grounded in them, as being the very life and substance of all true christianity, indeed of all true religion, I am very doubtful that a suppression of them, would retard, rather than promote the true knowledge of Christ.”
“ Truth,” he continues," has rarely been promoted, after a time of stagnation, ease, and superficial profession, but in and through the fresk openings of something, that the spirit of the world, however high in profession, could not receive. I am firm in the faith, that the veil will yet further be rent, and the covering more and more removed, that is spread over the face of all nations. Times and seasons will come, wherein that which is revealed in the ear, must and will be declared on the house-top. The Lord is on his way, gradually unveiling himself to his inquiring, seeking children; and wo! wo! from an all-righteous Judge, to those who dare to lift a hand against the right-timed openings and revelations of his heavenly mysteries."
In conclusion, it may be stated, that the three tracts on Salvation by Christ, and the prefatory remarks preceding them, have, contrary to the original design, been added to the present volume, partly because of their intimate connexion with the same subject, divers times treated of in the Journal, and partly in order more nearly to equalise the size of the two volumes.
JOHN COMLY, Byberry, 12th mo. 1830.
CONTENTS OF THE JOURNAL.
Char. III.—Exercises, 56.--Goodness of God to Noah, Abraham, &c. 57.-
Trials about war, paper currency, and taxes, 59.–Visit to Jonathan Farnum,
and danger of placing too much dependance on outward things, 84.-Waits
CONTENTS OF APPENDIX.
Remarks upon the nature of Salvation by Christ, &c.
Some openings of Truth, in regard to the Doctrines of the Scriptures, 508-525.
Salvation by Jesus Christ, the most important of all subjects, &c. 526—534.