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Prefatory note.

Under the second division of the Posthumous Sermons of Owen are included all the previously unpublished discourses which appeared in the folio edition of his Sermons and Tracts, 1721. The editors of that volume state, after alluding to his sermons formerly printed, — “With these are printed a considerable number of sermons and other tracts never before published, which we do assure the public are genuine, — a great part of them having been transcribed from his own copies, and the rest taken from his mouth by a gentleman of honour and known integrity.”

The gentleman referred to was Sir John Hartopp. Dr Isaac Watts, on the death of that baronet, preached a well-known and beautiful sermon on “The Happiness of Separate Spirits.” “When I name Sir John Hartopp,” said the preacher, “all that knew him will agree that I name a gentleman, a scholar, and a Christian.” In the course of the tribute he pays to the memory of the deceased, he alludes to the cordial friendship that long subsisted between Sir John and “that great and venerable man, Dr Owen;” and mentions that he had supplied Asty with important information for his brief memoir of our author. Sir John Hartopp deserved the warm eulogy of Dr Watts. He was a good man, and the friend of good men. He was thrice elected Member of Parliament for Leicestershire, at the time when the attempt was made to exclude the Duke of York from the crown. He attended the ministry of Owen in London, and was in the habit of taking notes in short-hand of his sermons, which he afterwards transcribed in full. From these manuscripts most of the posthumous sermons of our author have been derived. He died in 1722, after the publication of the folio edition of Owen’s Sermons; and his name, therefore, is a voucher for the genuineness of all the discourses contained in this division.

Two discourses on “The Strength of Faith” are here given first, because connected with one on the same text in the preceding volume, — vol. viii. p. 207. The discourses which bear no date fellow. The subsequent discourses in this division are arranged according to the years in which it has been ascertained that they were preached. — Ed.

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