Page images

and his Two Discourses


Cone science, which were formerly publis’d without a Name, and make Part of che Collection of London Cases.

And these two Volumes contain all that he himself had suffered at any time to go abroad into the World.

[ocr errors]

But bis Executors were a little more liberal of his Productions; and in 1716. they added to the Colle&tions made by himself, and then by his Bookseller, as above-mentioned, two Volumes more, consisting of Sermons never before printed." But this Step nevertheless was taken by them with due Caution, and after Advice had with fome Judicious Prelates, who had read them after they were transcribed, and confirmed the Resolution of making them publick.

And now, after several Years elapfed, two Volumes more have pass’d the Press, being the last Addition that

will be made to the Collection of his Works, fave a small Referue of Difcourses in the Popish Controversy, which may possibly, some time or other, be published with other of his Papers relating to that Controversy, and penn'd likewise in those Times.

The first and principal Design of transcribing these, which are now printed, from the Original Manuscripts in Short-hand, (for all his Sermons were wrote in Characters) was to preserve and rescue them from the Danger they were in of being irretrievably loft by being buried in the Cypher, if not extracted thence, and brought to light by one who was perfečtly well acquainted with the Characters he used, and with his peculiar manner of expresing and compounding them. The Transcript was begun fome Tears since, and proceeded very leisurely, and with several Interruptions, under the uncertain View whether it should ever be made publick or

A 3


no, till the Year 1730, when the greatest Part of it was finished, perused and approved by competent Judges, and at length prepared for Publication.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The Reader therefore may be assur’d (and it is chiefly for his Satisfaction in this Matter that this Advertisement is prefixed to the Edition) that these are the Genuine Works of the Author, to whom the Title Page afcribes them; and that they are not rashly obtruded upon the World, as Pofthumous Works too often are, but offered after mature Deliberation, and under a real Conviction of their being as perfect in their Kind as any wherewith this last Age hath been presented.

[ocr errors]

Indeed, the bare avouching them to be Genuine supersedes any further Recommendation of them. Both the Character and Writings of the Archbishop bave been generally so well


esteemed, that they stand in no need of the Suffrage of the Publisher, but will be able to support themselves (even in an Age by no means favourable to good Men and good Books) so long as Truth can stand her Ground, and sound Reasoning with Perfpicuity shall be accounted, the chief Charaéter of Perfection in Writing, especially upon Die vine and Moral Subjects.

Most of the Treatises in this for Volume are compounded, some of two, Some of three Sermons, joined together in the Form of continued Discourses, which will account for the Length of several of them, as it also gave occasion to entitle them Discourses rather than Sermons. The Defign of this Disposition was to preserve the Chain of Reasoning upon each Subject intire and uninterrupted without those Recapi. tulations, which, tho' necesary indeed under their Division into distinct Sermons, in order to accommodate them to the Pulpit, get are altogether unne



cessary to be retain’d for the Perusal of the Reader, who would rather be incommoded than relieved by such unseasonable · Breaks in the Body of juft Discourse. But however no more Liberty was taken with them, than would barely answer this End of Convenience, by omitting the Introductions or Preambles to the subsequent Sermons, zehen more than one were form’d upon the Same Text. And because the Same Liberty could not be so well taken with the four last Sermons in this Volume, which are all likewise upon one Text, therefore they are published intire, as they were found in the Copies.

The other Volume confifts wholly of fingle Sermons, publish'd verbatim as they were preached, at least without any defign’d Omisfon or Alteration. Most of them had been deliver'd at Court, before their late Majesties King William, Queen Mary, and Queen · Anne, as the Dates prefixed to then

« PreviousContinue »