Page images


THE professed general design of this publication is to afford to Students and young Ministers a portable, yet comprehensive Encheiridion; in which they will find the most important and interesting rules and directions that re. late to preaching, considered both as an art and a duty, reduced into perspicuous method, with all the brevity which is consistent with the nature of the subject.

The First Discourse, On the Gift of Preaching, was originally published, about the middle of the last century, by Bishop WILKINS, who was emi. nent as a man of general science, and ftill more so as a devout christian and orthodox divine. His predilection for analysing all subjects in a scho. lastic manner, which was the too common fault of

[ocr errors]

his contemporaries, often operated unfavourably against the elegance and forcible effects of his writings. In the present abridgment, it is proposed to preserve all the advantage of method, while the forbidding stiffness of it is avoided. The principal things left out are a very complex analysis of a body of divinity, and a large list of books, the greater part of which are obsolete. The former is, to almost every reader of the present day, utterly useless, tending only to perplex. I the thoughts without adequate profit; and the latter is superseded by the appendix to this volume.*

[ocr errors]

The second Discourse, Of preaching Christ, and the THIRD, Of particular and experimental Preaching, were composed by Mr. John JENNINGS, who kept an academy at Kibworth, in Leicestershire, and who was the tutor of the cele. brated Dr. DODDRIDGE. They were first pub

[ocr errors]



* WILKINS's Ecclesiastes has been translated into the German language, by Mr. Henry ITTERSHAGEN, who has added notes of his own, and augmented the catalogue of authors, especially Expositors of the scriptures. Vid. Wolfii Biblioth. Heb. tom. ii. p. 280.

lished in 1723, with a recommendatory preface, by Dr. WATTS; and were soon after translated and published in the German language, by order of Dr. FRANCK, professor of divinity in the unie versity of Hall, in Saxony. In Dr. Watts's preface are manifested the same fimplicity and good sense, piety and zeal, that fo eminently distinguish his other productions. The pious reader will be gratified with it :

56 When I see a book well written for the in. struction of mankind, I always hope it will spread its good influence as far and wide as it finds readers. But when I meet with a valuable trea. tise, whose design is to improve the facred skill of preaching, I am ready to persuade myself,

Surely this will become a more extensive benefit; and the good influences of it will reach as many whole assemblies of men as there are ministers who shall happen to read it.' For this reason, I cannot but take a special satisfaction in recommending these two discourses to the world; which, in my opinion, are founded

upon the



[merged small][ocr errors]

neral principles of christianity, and therefore invite the perusal of all, being written without the narrow spirit of a party. They seem to be calcu. lated for the common good, nor have I observed any thing in them that can justly give disgust, or awaken any reasonable resentment.

“ It must be confessed, without controversy, that there are some things, wherein several preachers of the present time have the advantage of our learned and pious fathers; but there are other excellencies in the sermons of the puritania cal age, which I should rejoice to find more ftudiously revived and cultivated in our day. Among these, I know none of more eminent necessity, glory and usefulness, than those two which are the subje&ts of this little book; I mean the evangelical turn of thought that should run through our ministry, and the experimental way of discourse on practical subjects.

“ It hath been justly observed, that where a great and universal neglect of preaching Christ hath prevailed in a christian nation, it hath given a.


« PreviousContinue »