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LIVES AND WRITINGS
WHO CONVENED IN
ASSEMBLY AT WESTMINSTER,
BY JAMES REID,
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL,
" The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance," Psalm cxi. 6s
PRINTED BY STEPHEN AND ANDREW YOUNG,
TO THE SECOND VOLUME.
MEMOIRS of men of distinguished eminence are both instructive and interesting. In those books, we may see the goodness of Divine Providence, in raising and furnishing proper instruments for every work. In the Memoirs of the brilliant constellation at Westminster, wemay see, in particular, sound principles, Christian dispositions, and a conversation becoming the gospel of Christ. In these, we may clearly see the power of divine grace shining forth in all its glory, in real life, subduing the inbred corruptions of our fallen nature, and animating to every good word and work. In these, we may see pious and learned men eminently zealous in the advancement of true religion, and earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. In these volumes, we may see the reproaches and persecutions which the faithful servants of Jesus Christ have endured for righteousness' sake; those gracious and heavenly principles which supported them in all their tribulations, and the course which they uniformly followed in their way to the better world.
We are very much indebted to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, as we are to our illustrious Reformers in general, both in early and later times, for our civil and religious liberty. They were zealous advocates for all that liberty wherewith Christ has made his people free. And their labours were not in vain. We enjoy the fruits of these labours. And to rescue from oblivion genuine and impartial accounts of those eminent divines, is a tribute which we owe to their memory.
The very interesting history of their diligent researches both in literature and in divinity, and of their unwearied labours in the cause of their God and their coun. try; well deserves to be faithfully transmitted to the latest posterity. And, true accounts of their avowed and warm attachment to the cause of Christ, of their painful sufferings in that cause, and of their triumphant deaths, are justly entitled to all our attention and esteem.
The author of these Memoirs has spared neither labour nor expense in the collection of materials, and has carefully preserved whatever appeared interesting, entertaining, and useful. When the excellencies of those divines have been exhibited, neither their infirmities, nor the accusations of their adversaries, have been suppressed. Impartiality has been studied. There is always reference to the authorities; but sometimes only at the end of the life.-Attention has been given to the true orthography of the names both of persons and of places.
After all efforts to obtain information, the account of several lives is very defective, to the great loss of the inquisitive reader. This defect was unavoidable at the distance of time, and in my circumstances. After the utmost research, for some years, no more information could be procured. The work will be found very defective in its execution, as well as through want of information; and it requires much indulgence from the reader. The author has done what he could, and avail. ed himself of every advantage within his reach, to make the whole work as full and useful as possible. And, having given a larger account of it, in the preface to the first volume, he now concludes with wishing, that both the reader and himself may be taught to imbibe the principles and spirit of those divines, to follow them as far as they followed Christ, in adhering firmly to the cause of true religion, and in propagating it with the same holy zeal.