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THE Writings in general, and particularly the Expository Works, of Archbishop LEIGHTON, have long been in request for by pious readers among different denominations of Christians.
These Volumes of the good Bishop, now presented to the Public, contain,
1. “A Practical Commentary on the First Epistle “ General of PETER.”—This occupies the whole of the first, and 354 pages of the second volume.
2. “ Lectures, on Psalm xxxix. ; on Isaiah vi.; " and on Romans xii.”
3. “ Charges to the Clergy, and Papers given in to the Synod of the Diocess of Dunblane, in the
years 1662, 1665, 1666, 1667, and 1668, by Bishop “ LEIGHTON.”—These Charges, &c. are extracted from the Synod-book of the diocess of Dunblane, which was found in the repositories of the late Bishop Rose at his death, and which is now preserved in the Public Library of that town. They were never before printed. The press-copy was transcribed from the original, by the Rev. Mr GILFILLAN, present Burgher Minister of Dunblane. The Letter to the Synod of Dunblane which immediately follows the Charges, was likewise transcribed from the Synod-book by the same Gentleman. This letter had formerly (probably long ago) been extracted; for, it is contained in the volumes of Leighton prefaced by Dr DODDRIDGE,
and is there mentioned as being taken only from “ an “ authentic copy.”
4. “ Seven Letters, written by the Bishop on dif« ferent occasions."
5: “ Rules and Instructions for a Holy Life."
TON, with his Last Will; and fome Particulars con“ cerning the founding of the Public Library at Dun“ blane :"-extracted from the original Library-catalogue, made up under the direction of Bishop DouGLAS, just before the Revolution. Although these historical particulars are very detached, yet, as they must be perfectly authentic, and as they have not hi. therto been published, they will not be found altogether undeserving a place in this collection.
The ift, 2d, 4th, and 5th, of these articles, are printed from the edition of “ Archbishop LEIGHTON'S “ Expofitory Works,” &c. which was published at Edinburgh, in 1748, by Mr David Wilson. That edition was corrected by Dr DODDRIDGE and the Rev. Mr ROBERT HAMILTON, and was prefaced by the former. The Doctor's excellent Preface (with the exception of two or three paragraphs, of local and temporary concern) is prefixed to the present publication.
EDINBURGH, 2 ad April 1798. S
BY DR DODDRID G E.
HEN Mr Wilson undertook to publish seve
ral Pieces of Archbishop LEIGHTON, from the manuscripts in which they had so long lain concealed, having heard of the high efteem I have long professed for the writings of that excellent person, he entreated me that I would revise them, and, if I approved the publication, would introduce them into the world by a recommendatory preface. The last of these requests I absolutely refused, knowing how very unworthy I am to pretend, by my suffrage, to add any thing to the reputation and acceptance of what came from the pen of so eminently great and good a man : And the more I know of him, and of myself, the more deeply sensible I must be of this. But with the former request I cheerfully complied, though my various and important business would have furnished a very plausible excuse for declining it. I apprehended that these pieces were not very large, and I knew that, like all the other remains of our incomparable author, they were not designed for the press ; so that it was probable they were written in a very hasty manner, considering how well he knew the value of time, and how entirely he was superior to popular applause in all his compositions for the pul. pit, as most of these were. The numberless errors which I had observed in the first edition of all his English works, by which the sense of many passages is absolutely destroyed, and that of scores and hundreds very much obscured, made me the more ready to attempt the paying this little tribute of respect to his memory, which no words or actions can fully express : And I was morally certain, that whatever came from such a pen, would be so entertaining and improving, that I could not faił of being immediately and abundantly rewarded for whatever pains it might cost me to prepare it for the public,
When these manuscripts came to my hands, I found new reasons to be satisfied with the task I had undertaken, which indeed was welcome to me in proportion to the degree in which I perceived it must be laborious. The papers which were sent me, were copies of others, which I suppose were transcribed from short-hand notes, which some skilful writer had happily taken from the Archbishop's mouth. They were beyond comparison more inaccurate than those of his printed works, which are most remarkably so; and yet they contained such inimitable traces of sweet natural eloquence, and of genuine and lively piety, as speak the author far more certainly, than the most exact resemblance of what was known to be his handwriting could possibly have done.
Besides a large collection of letters, of which I shall afterwards speak, these papers consisted of his Meditations and Expofitions on Psalm xxxix., on part of Romans xii., and on the whole fixth of Isaiah. On this last sublime and instructive portion of Scripture, there were three distinct expofitions, delivered, as I suppose, at different places; the latter being, as far as I could judge, supplemental to the former, yet so that additions were made to almost every verse, and sometimes the same things which had been said before, expressed in a different manner : I judged it consistent with the stricteft fidelity owing to the works of so illustrious a person, (which absolutely forbade my adding or diminishing any thing), to divide them, and incorporate them into one whole; which could