TO THE LONDON EDITION.
WE have scarcely ever felt more highly gratified, than in the opportunity we now embrace of presenting to the religious public, one more Volume of the interesting Sermons of that most excellent man, the late Rev. President Davies, of America....Sermons, admirably calculated to promote the grand interests of vital, evangelical godliness; or, increase the knowledge and influence of real religion in the hearts and lives of men. That they are the genuine productions of the masterly pen to which they are ascribed, no other evidence need be adduced than an appeal to the discourses themselves. Let them be compared with those already abroad in the world, and they will be clearly seen to carry their own witness along with them. The instant they meet our » eye, with but a common degree of discernment, we cannot but be struck with the coincidence, with respect to method and order—to a free and masculine diction—a rich vein of evangelical doctrine—an impartial regard to the cases of all his hearers, and an animated and pathetic application, between this and the preceding volumes. "The sun," it has been remarked, on a similar occasion, "discovers himself to be the sun, by the beams with which he irradiates and enlivens mankind, and is easily distinguished from the other heavenly bodies by his surpassing lustre."
It is not for a moment to be doubted, but that these composures, had they passed under the revision of their worthy author, would have received considerable embellishment. That they were not so favoured, is a circumstance not a little to be regretted. But we need not inform the intelligent reader, that this is a too frequent disadvantage attached to posthumous publications. It is, however, pleasing to reflect, that the several former volumes, the manly compositions of the same capacious, soaring genius, were not, on this account, perused with less cordiality by a discerning public.
As it is more than probable, this will be the last volume of the admired author that will ever be introduced to public notice, we do most affectionately accompany it with our warmest wishes, that a portion of the mantle fallen from our Elijah may become the perquisite of every reader of these discourses; in which—" the various excellencies of learning, judgment, eloquence, piety, and seraphic zeal, mingle in one uncommon glory—not unlike die beams of the sun, collected by a burning-glass, that at once shine with the most resplendent brightness, and set fire, wherever the blaze is directed, to every object susceptive of their celestial influence."
What happy prophet shall his mantle find,
Heir to a double portion of his mind? Watts.