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· LETTERS AND PAPERS
OF THE LATE
REV. THOMAS SCOTT, D. D.
(Author of the Commentary on the Holy Bible.)
NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED:
WITH OCCASIONAL OBSERVATIONS.
BY JOHN SCOTT, A. M.
VICAR OF NORTA FERRIBY, AND MINISTER OE
ST. MARY'S, HULL.
First American Edition.
NEW YORK: JOHN P, HAVEN.
In presenting this volume to the public, I cannot but acknowledge with lively gratitude the manner in which the account that I was enabled to give of the Author's life has been received. This has been such as to inspire the hope that that work may prove extensively useful, both directly in itself, and indirectly by exciting a fresh, and, in many instances, a more unprejudiced attention to his numerous writings.
At the same time I am sepsible that the success of my former volume may not unnaturally produce some feelings of distrust with regard to the present. An apprehension may arise, that I have been induced to collect and print, without sufficient discrimination, whatever had fallen from the pen of one to whom the religious public has shewn so marked a regard. Such an apprehension, if it exist, can be removed only by the work itself. I feel, however, a considerable degree of confidence, that the present publication will be not only excused but approved. I do not take upon me to affirm that every letter and every paper, here printed,' might, when taken alone, have merited such a distinction; but I do trust that, viewed altogether, the contents of the volume will be found both interesting and usafi and in many parts highly valuable.
Before I close these prefatory remarks I would advert to a subject of somewhat greater importance. I am aware of one and only one use, or rather perversion, which has been made of my Father's Life, that gives me any concern. It has been adduced, by writers not very correct, indeed, or careful in what they advance, as furnishing proof positive of the immoral tendency of evangelical or Calvinistic doctrines, (for the terms seem now to be used promiscuously,) and of the antinomian character, generally, of those who are called professors of evangelical religion. “We have here," it has been said, “the testimony of the greatest saint in their calendar against themselves.” And it may be the more proper briefly to notice the subject in this place, because the present work may perhaps be considered as adding to that testimony.
That my Father was of opinion that much antinomian practice, in a sense which was with some care explained in his Life,* and many sentiments tending to antinomianism, were found among the evangelical body, is readily admitted and openly avowed. But, to avail for the purpose desired, this charge, thus professedly brought on his authority, ought to mean, that this description of persons is more antinomian than other classes of professed Christians; and in fact that their antinomianism arises from the legitimate use, and not from the abuse, of what are called evangelical doctrines, properly stated. But neither of these positions is supported by his evidence. That the latter of them is directly contrary to the truth, it was the employment of
* See pp. 145, 441, 442.