« AnteriorContinuar »
FOR M. JONES, NEWGATE STREET; D. EATON, HOLBORN; JOSIAĦ
SINCE the publication of the late Mr. RoBINSON'S MISCELLANEOUS WORKS, several other pieces of the same writer have been put into my hands; and I doubt not but those which I have selected for the present volume, will prove acceptable to all those who know the value of the author's writings in general.
Five of the DISCOURSES out of the seven now first published, appear to have been preached at different places; three of them I had the pleasure of hearing in London. They were all preached during the years 1779, 80, and 81, and were taken down in short hand, and transcribed by the different writers.
The DISSERTATIONS appear to have been the first part only of a work projected by the author: the original title of the manuscript is-AN ESSAY ON MODERATE CALVINISM CONSIDERED AS A NARROW PATH BETWEEN TWO EXTREMES. Two of the chapters were introductory, and the author's plan comprised the discussion of certain doctrines which have occasioned much controversy in the church, commonly called-THE FIVE POINTS, viz. Predestination, Original Sin, Particular Redemption, Irresistible Grace, and the Final Perseverance of the Saints: but he proceeded no farther than the first POINT; a circumstance
which will be regretted by all those who, like the editor, are of opinion that he has treated this important point, rationally, scripturally, and what controvertists on this and on other theological subjects have too little considered-practically. The mere philosophical inquirer will probably be disappointed, because our author did not go out of his depth, by attempting to comprehend all the circumstances respecting an important, instructive and consolatory scripture doctrine, revealed, not for the purpose of speculation, but of practice.
The Manuscript from which the DISSERTATIONS is printed, was fairly written from the author's copy, and has for many years been in the possession of my respected friend Mr. Coxe Feary, pastor of the Baptist church and congregation at Bluntisham, Huntingdonshire; who, to use his. own language in a letter to the editor, "always
esteemed the friendship of Mr. Robinson a fa"" vour, and at all times ranked amongst his warm"est admirers." Mr. Feary is of opinion, that this piece was written by Mr. Robinson in the early part of his ministry; which opinion is confirmed by internal evidence. In the various quotations from the Sermons of Saurin, the reader is uniformly referred to the original in twelve volumes, which certainly would not have been the case, had the author published his translation, and which I have followed as superior to that in the manuscript alluded to. The first volume of the translation of Saurin was published in 1775.
The task of preparing these manuscripts for the press has not been without its difficulties; but notwithstanding the attention I have bestowed, the reader will evidently perceive the disadvantage of their not receiving the corrections of the author. All the SERMONS were preached extempore; and the best short hand writers are, I presume, liable to inaccuracies. The DISSERTATIONS it is evident were never corrected for the press: I have therefore endeavoured to discharge a debt of justice due to the memory of the author; and whatever deficiencies have attended my part, I can assure the reader, integrity has been my constant guide. I have not presumed to abridge, correct, or illustrate a single paragraph, which judging to the best of my abilities, would not have so far received the approbation of the author, had he been living, although his suggestions would doubtless have been considerable improvements: but whatever imperfections may be attributed to the editor, the volume now presented to the public contains treasures, which it would have been injustice to the memory of the author, and to the cause of truth, and virtue, to have suffered to remain hidden.
The HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE PROTESTANT DISSENTING CHURCHES IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE, the latter part of which was written by the late Rev. Josiah Thompson, was sent by Mr. Robinson's venerable friend, the Rev. Dr. Toulmin of Birmingham, to the Monthly Repository, and inserted in the Supplementary number of the fifth volume of that respectable, and (alas! that so