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Prefatory note.

The following Sermons have never hitherto been published. It was observed that the other posthumous discourses of our author had been drawn mostly from manuscripts in the possession of Mrs Cooke of Stoke Newington, the grand-daughter of Sir John Hartopp, the friend of Owen, and member of the small church in which, during the closing years of his life, he officiated as pastor. On application to the present representative of Sir John Hartopp’s family. Sir W. E. C. Hartopp, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, it was ascertained that an additional volume of the same unpublished manuscripts was in his possession; and with a generosity which merits the warm gratitude of all the admirers of Owen, he placed it immediately at the disposal of the publishers of the present edition of Owen’s works. On the fly-leaf of the volume, which is beautifully written and carefully preserved, there appear the following name and statement: “Eliz. Cooke; These manuscript sermons were taken in shorthand by her grandfather, Sir John Hartopp, from Dr Owen’s own mouth, and transcribed by him into longhand; — bound up by her, in order to preserve such valuable discourses. Newington, 1755.” In farther confirmation of their genuineness, it may be added, that the first sermon in the series is evidently identical with Owen’s posthumous treatise “On the Mortification of Sin.” A proof of scrupulous adherence to Owen’s statements, and of a desire on the part of the writer to give as exactly as possible what came from his lips, is found in the beginning of one of the sermons, where he mentions, that having come late into the meeting-house, after the service had begun, he had not been able to give the introductory part of the discourse. With all the disadvantages under which they are now given to the world, they have still sufficient merit to justify the character ascribed to them by Mrs Cooke, to whose care we are indebted for their preservation, when she pronounces them “valuable discourses.” — Ed.

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