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The Works of the Reverend and Pious Andrew Gray - cover

The Works of the Reverend and Pious Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray

Publisher: CrossReach Publications

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Summary

“As to this little piece, whatever ye shall find
in it, it hath this to say for itself, that whereas many writings in the world
do intrude themselves upon the press, yet this the press hath violently thrust
into the world; for some young student, from his good affection to the
edification of the Lord’s people, and, no doubt, from his high esteem of the
precious author’s memory, having given into the press a copy of some of these
Sermons, being only Notes taken from his mouth when he preached them; no sooner
were they seen abroad, but all the presses in the nation fell a labouring about
them; so that, if we mistake not, in less than two or three months time, three
or four impressions were cast off, yet all of them so imperfect and maimed,
that howbeit the excellency of the matter, and the fresh remembrance of the
worthy author’s name, made them very sweet to many, especially those who heard
him preach; yet the unsuitable dress wherein they appeared, and the mistakes of
the first writers (they being hardly able to take up every thing as it was
spoken) occasioned diverse material failings in the sense, besides lesser
faults, which could not but be a trouble to those who were acquainted not only
with the singular graces, but parts, also, of the eminent youth. This gave
occasion to some friends to speak a little what way these prejudices which both
the truth and the author’s name might lie under, by these incorrect
impressions, might be taken off. And finding that the copy, which by
Providence, the worthy young gentlewoman who was his wife, had lying by her,
though it was but notes taken from his mouth, yet was the most correct that
could be found; and that also it did contain the whole purposes that he had
preached upon these texts, yea, the whole purposes concerning faith that he had
preached, according to that method proposed in the first of the Sermons
formerly published, this was undertaken to be revised by some, who, albeit none
of the fittest for these employments, yet rather than nothing should be done in
the business, were content to bestow some hours upon it, according as other
necessary employments would permit. And now having sought out all the notes of
these Sermons which we could find from other hands, and compared them with the
copy above-mentioned, we do again present them to the people, not with any
confidence that our pains have put any effect upon them: only we have some
hopes, the whole subject being now before them, and those things in the way of
expression helped, which either might seem to be somewhat unpleasant, or liable
to mistakes, they shall not now be less edifying, nor less acceptable, than
formerly they were. We did not think fit to make any considerable alterations
as to the method, or other things of that kind, lest haply by straining his
excellent purposes too much, to shape them to the ordinary rules, or to reduce
them to that order which might have pleased ourselves, we should have wronged
the matter itself, or at least have put them to a loss who did hear him
preach.”

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