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JL HAT Dr. Doddridge ranks with the brightest ornaments of • the British nation, and of the christian church, as a man of piety, a scholar, and a divine, appears abundantly evident from the ample Memoirs of him contained in this volume, composed by one who resided long in his family, and whose integrity of narration has never been impeached.
Respecting the value of our Author's writings, in general, there is but one opinion; the sun, indeed, is not without spots, but what are these compared with the general excellence and tise of that illustrious luminary? His works are popular to a more extensive degree than is common to the most admired authors; while they often charm by critical precision, they convince by powerful argument, please by a lucid method, and warm by ardour of devotion.
The Familt Expositor has passed through eight editions, which is no small proof of public approbation. As an Expositor, uniting the plain import of the text, supported by learned and elegant criticism, and a judicious animated improvement, our author probably has no superior in any lanuagc. His sermons and other works, many of which have been often reprinted, are alike directed to inform the judgment, to affect the heart, and to regulate the life. All, why are acquainted with the works of Doddridge, know that they form some of the most masterly defences of christianity, and that they are eminently calculated to expose the unreasonableness of infidelity, and to fortify the mind against the insidious efforts of sceptical philosophers. Hitherto the Expositor has been published in six volumes, either quarto or octavo, it is now comprised in five.
Although the Doctor's Works have been variously published, no uniform edition of them all has yet appeared ; but, in the present publication, this desirable object is effected, in which also uniformity is united with elegance and cheapness. About twenty volumes, in different forms, including Orton's Life of the Author, arc given in ten royal octavos; beside numerous
notes by the Editors, affixed to those parts of the work which seem most to require them.
Many must be possessed of the Family Expositor who would like to obtain the other parts, which we call " Detached Works," in order to complete their sets ; to meet their wishes, these are now printed in five volumes, on a good demy paper, exactly uniform in size with the octavo editions of the Expositor already published.
We may observe, that, in the life, the reader will find several notes from Dr. Kippis's Memoirs of the Author, which contain some interesting facts, omitted by Mr. Orton, or lead to profitable reflections. In the Lectures on Divinity and other Subjects, will be also found many original notes, beside the most valuable hints and references from Dr. Kippis's edition.
Doddridge's Preaching Lectures have been an object of considerable attention among ministers, but were never printed. It is extremely difficult to find a correct copy of them; the editors flatter themselves, however, that the copy from which they print them will be found one of the best. To this work, also, are added occasional notes.
As Dr. D's. correspondence was both extensive and often highly interesting, it might be expected, that many of his letters would be found worthy of publication. Accordingly the Rev. Mr. Stedman, has published a volume of Letters to and from Dr. Doddridge, which have been well received; the best of these written by our Author will be included in the "Detached Works."
To the fifth volume of these works will be added, a com plete Index, on the most approved plan; and all the appropriate Indexes to the Family Expositor, will be found at the end of the tenth volume; by which arrangement, those who take the Detached Works only will have them under every advantage of an entire publication.
The liberal encouragement received from the public in general, and some learned persons of distinguished rank in particular, enables us to present them with a work, which in no small degree secures, at a very moderate price, respectability of execution; and which, while it excites our gratitude to the Great Author of all success, will continue to animate exertion in the progress of our undertaking.
LIFE, CHARACTER AND WRITINGS
OF THE LATE
Rev. P. DODDRIDGE, D. D.
THE REV. JOB ORTON.
ORTON'S LIFE OF DR. DODDRIDGE.
JL HE lives of worthy and pious men are generally reckoned some of the most useful books which have been published. But there seems a peculiar propriety in laying before the world what can be known of the piety, benevolence and zeal of those, who have filled more eminent stations in it ; and distinguished themselves by their writings in the service of religion. There is a natural curiosity in mankind to know some particulars of the lives of those, whose works they have read with pleasure and advantage. Even minute circumstances, which to others may appear unworthy of public notice, are to them interesting events. Nor is this kind of history merely calculated to entertain and amuse, but is evidently capable of answering much more valuable ends. When there appears an exact correspondence between a man's writings and temper; between the duties he recommended to others and his own practice, his works are read with greater attention, and are more likely, through a divine blessing, to produce the desired effect. The lives of holy, zealous ministers are particularly useful; as in them may be seen a pattern of a christian conversation for all, and of ministerial faithfulness and activity for their brethren; and thus the good influence of such examples may be widely diffused: And when a person of solid worth, learning and piety has been employed in training up young men for usefulness, especially in the ministry, his character must be allowed to demand a particular attention, and may be peculiarly beneficial to the world. It may excite those who have been pnder his care, to recollect his instructions and example, and their consequent obligations. His conduct in that important office may serve, in some degree, for a model to other tutors; and, if he hath appeared among Protestant Dissenters, may tend to remove some prejudices, if such remain, against their seminaries, as if they were nurseries of schism, enthusiasm and faction. That these several valuable ends may be answered, is the design of this work, and the earnest wish of its author. He is sensible that he wants some qualifications for executing it in such a manner, as to do justice to the character and worth of Dr. Doddridge, ?nd present it in a proper form to the public. He has laboured, but in vain, to engage some better hand to undertake it; and hath at length, with reluctance, submitted to the reasons urged by the Doctor's friends and the admirers of his writings; among which the principal was, their apprehension of its usefulness to the world. Upon the whole, he thought it better to expose.himself to censur* vOL. I. A