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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by
DAYTON & SAXTON,
PUBLISHER'S ADVERTISEMENT. So steady has been the demand for the Sermons of the Rev. SAMUEL DAVIES, that the publishers feel the strongest confidence in presenting the Christian public with a stereotype edition. Notwithstanding that sour large American editions have been published, the book is now entirely out of the market. The high esteem in which these Sermons have been held, is manisest from the fact that they are prized by all Christian denominations, as vivid, and fervent, and just exhibitions of the great truths of evangelical religion.
The publishers have endeavored to have this edition full and accurate containing all the published works of President DaviES. They have also procured an Introductory Essay, in which is embraced much interesting information concerning the author, and the times in which he lived. From this introduction much may be learned of the characteristics of tho preaching of Mr. Davies, and of the secondary causes which contributed to his wonderful success.
1. W. BENEDICT, PRINTER AND STEREOTYPER.
FIRST LONDON EDITION.
It is with real pleasure I now send into the world a collection of Sermons, by that eminent and amiable man, and my most esteemed and beloved friend, the Rev. Mr. SAMUEL DAVIES. I hope I may be the honored instrument of promoting the great interests of vital evangelical godliness, by communicating to the public a number of Discourses, which appear to me admirably calculated to increase the knowledge and power of real religion in the minds and hearts of men.
Those who knew and heard Mr. Davies will need no further proof than the perusal of the discourses themselves, that they are the real productions of the author to whom they are ascribed. The sun shows himself to be the sun by the very beams with which he irradiates and enlivens mankind, and is easily distinguished from other luminaries by his surpassing lustre.
I most sincerely wish that young ministers more especially would peruse these volumes with the deepest attention and seriousness, and endeavor, in conjunction with earnest prayer for divine illumination and assistance, to form their discourses according to the model of our author; which, if I mistake not, are the following excellences, most worthy of imitation :
A calm and elaborate inquiry into the connection of those passages of scripture which he chooses for his subjects, and a close investigation, when it appeared necessary, into the meaning of his text by researches into the original language, and fair and learned criticism; a careful attention to the portions of sacred writ upon which he proposes to treat, so that his discourse as naturally arises from his theme as the branch grows from the root, or the stream issues from the fountain. In every page, and almost every line of Mr. Davies' sermons, his readers may discover the subject he at first professed to handle; and he is ever illustrating, proving, or enforcing some truth or another evidently contained in it; a reigning regard to the divine word by comparing and confirming scripture by scripture, by taking the sacred text in its easy and natural sense, and by apt and pertinent citations of passages from holy writ, both in the proof and amplification; at the same time that our author by no means omits a regard to the dictates of natural conscience and reason, while he either makes his appeal to them, or introduces passages from Pagan antiquity on proper occasions, and to answer some valuable purposes; an observance of method and order, so as to proceed, like a wise builder, in laying the foundation, and regularly erecting the superstructure, and yet diversifying his method and order, by making them at some times open and express, and at other times indirect and implicit; a free, manly diction, without anything of a nice and affected accuracy, or a loud sounding torrent of almost unintelligible words on the one side, or a loose negligence, or mean and low-creeping phrases, unworthy an admission into the pulpit, on the other; a rich vein of evangelical doctrine and promise, with a large infusion at proper seasons of practical duty, or awsul denunciation of the divine wrath against impenitent and incorrigible sinners; an impartial regard to the cases of all his hearers, like a good steward distributing to all their portion of meat in due season; animated and pathetic application, in which our author collects and concentrates what he has been proving in his discourses, and urges it with all the powers of forcible address and melting persuasion to the heart.
Such appear to me to be the excellences of Mr. Davies' Sermons. May young ministers more particularly copy them with divine success, and be, like him, “ burning and shining lights” in their several stations, till, having guided and animated their respective charges in the way to heaven, they and their people may at last "shine forth, like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father." Such are the sincere prayers of the Editor,
THOMAS GIBBONS. Hoxton-Square, October 21, 1770.
JOHN xvu. 37.–Pilaie therefore said unto him, Art thou a king