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FAVOUR OF THIS WORK.
WE, whose names are subjoined, having had opportunity of looking over several of these Sermons in manuscript, now proposed for publication, have sufficient reason to be satisfied that they are the genuine remains of the worthy Author whose name they bear. They have been transmitted through the hands of his lineal descendants. From the handwriting, which is such as was common towards the beginning of this century, though now rather antiquated, as well as from the information of those who had access to know, it appears that these Sermons were the original autograph, written at the time mentioned in the dates affixed to them,
But to those acquainted with the spirit and manner of Mr. Boston's other writings, the perusal of the Discourses themselves will convince them that they are genuine. They discover the same serious and spiritual strain,—the same perspicuity and simplicity of language, -the same happy fertility and copiousness of scriptural proof and illustration,—the same pertinent application of his subjects to persons and times—the same deep concern about the public interests of religion, and the dangers to which these kingdoms have been exposed through heinous sins and backslidings,—as are conspicuous in his other works. Few have ever attained to his manner and style of writing, so much adapted to popular and general edification. Such of these Discourses as we have perused, seem to have been as carefully and fully written as those formerly published, and on subjects no less interesting. The Sermons in this collection which were composed at the time of the Rebellion that
arose upon the accession of the present family to the throne, will be found deserving particular attention in such a period as the present. It must be a public benefit to have such a savoury entertainment made accessible, through the press, to all who regard the means of their own spiritual improvement, or that of others; and we hope, that, through the divine blessing, the long prevailing rage for frivolous or dangerous reading, may, in some measure, be counteracted by such solid and useful publications as the present.
Thus far we have taken the liberty to express ourselves, in com-
ARCH. BRUCE, Minister of the gospel at Whitburn.
A D VERTISEMENT
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The Author of the Discourses now offered to the public is so universally known, and his character as a practical and evangelical writer is so fully established with religious persons of all denominations, that, in regard to the present publication, it may suffice to state, that the Discourses in this and the succeeding volumes are all of them upon important subjects; some of them uncommon and striking. They were composed by the author in the early part of his ministry and in the most vigorous period of his life, as will appear by the dates prefixed to them; on which account, as well as to distinguish them from preceding publications by the same author, though they are the last offered to the public, they appear under the title “Primitiæ ;" and as the whole of the remaining manuscripts of the handwriting of the worthy author, as far as is known, are in the possession of the present publishers, for the purpose of accomplishing the present publication, the title “ Ultima” is added; intimating, that it is almost certain that they are the last remains that will meet the public eye as a genuine production from the pen of this able Divine.
After the ample recommendation by the author's near relation, and two other respectable clergymen, contained in the preceding pages, it will be necessary only farther to add, that these Discourses have been faithfully transcribed from the originals in the author's handwriting, and correctly printed from them. It is not doubted but that these volumes will be highly acceptable to the religious of all denominations, who, we trust, will unite with the editor and publishers in sincere and fervent prayers, that, through the divine blessing, they may be extensively useful.
INFALLIBLE ANTIDOTES AGAINST UNBELIEVING FEARS."
Rev. i. 17, 18, Fear not: I am he that liveth, and was dead ; and behold, I am alive
for evermore, Amen ; and have the keys of hell and of death.
To-day is the feast of the Christian passover. A communion table is about to be covered. The great end of persons sitting down at that table is, that they may suck the breasts of consolation, and drink abundantly of that blood which flows from the pierced side of a crucified Saviour. Some feed at this table without fear. Others fear so much that they cannot feed. To such poor trembling souls our text speaks good and comfortable words : “ Fear not,” &c.
As the Lord shewed to Daniel, a man greatly beloved, the state of his church till his first coming ; so to John, another beloved disciple, he discloses the state of his church till his second coming. Both of them were dignified with a vision of Christ, the Son of God; and on each of them it had almost the same effect. In Daniel there remained no strength, Dan. X. Here we see the vision had a similar effect on John. He is represented, ver. 17, as a dead man. Ho was confounded with the glory of the person whom he saw. His eyes were dazzled with the brightness, his strength failed, he could act no more than if he had been dead. But our Lord revives him. He lays his right hand on him, and strengthens him, that he might be able to stand, hear, and receive his orders. Jesus comforts him. He rebukes his fears : Fear not. There is a fear with which God is well pleased, and a fear of which he does not approve. This last is excessive fear, which greatly mars us in our duty, makes our hearts faint, and our hands hang down, so as that we have neither heart nor hand for our work. This is incident to the people of God;
• Delivered immediately before the dispensation of the Lord's supper, October 6,