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ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS.
THE REV. JOHN WESLEY, A. M.
Some time Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PUBLISHED BY B. WAUGH AND T. MASON,
FOR THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, AT THE CONFERENCE OFFICE
J. Collord, Printer.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE LONDON EDITION.
THE two volumes now before the reader, it is presumed, contain all the sermons that have ever been published in Mr. Wesley's name, either by himself, or by those persons who had access to his papers after his decease. In the first volume are comprised all the sermons that were published in four volumes in the duodecimo size, in the year 1771, to which reference is made in the trust deeds of the Methodist chapels, as containing, with Mr. Wesley's Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament, the standard doctrines of the religious connexion, of which that eminent man was the founder. It is to these sermons, that the general preface, which immediately succeeds this advertisement, properly belongs.
The six discourses, which immediately succeed, were published by Mr.Wesley in a separate form, and do not appear to have been embodied. during his life time in any of those collections of sermons with which he favoured the Christian world. Among these discourses will be found two of peculiar interest. One of them relates to the work of God in North America. It bears the date of 1778; but was reprinted about twenty years afterwards, with a few alterations. The other discourse is on the subject of earthquakes. It was first published in 1750; in all probability within a few weeks of the memorable eighth day of March in that year, on which the shock of an earthquake was strongly felt in the metropolis of Great Britain, and excited general consternation and alarm. Although this impressive sermon was published anonymously, no doubt can be entertained as to its being the production of Mr. Wesley's pen. The sentiments and manner are purely Wesleyan; and it is also advertised for sale, among his other single sermons, in several of Mr. Wesley's old catalogues. Both these sermons have long been extremely rare; and were overlooked by the late editor of Mr. Wesley's works in sixteen octavo volumes.
The first part of the second volume has fifty-five discourses, which first appeared in the Arminian Magazine; they were afterwards revised by Mr. Wesley, and published in four duodecimo volumes, in the year 1788. To these four volumes was prefixed the laconic and characteristic preface of the author, which will be found at the commencement of the secend volume of this present edition. The sermons contained in these volumes were very incorrectly printed; and as no table of errata was ever published, the errors with which they abound have been either perpetuated in succeeding editions, or superseded by con
jectural emendations. In the edition now before the reader, those errors are all carefully expunged, and the true reading of every passage is given on the best possible authority, that of Mr. Wesley himself, from a copy of his sermons, corrected with his own hand, and now deposited in his library at City Road, London. By the aid of this invaluable document, several passages in those interesting and instructive discourses, which before were scarcely intelligible, are now published in a form worthy of their excellent author.-To these fifty-five discourses are added seventeen others, which were also drawn up by Mr. Wesley for insertion in the Arminian Magazine. After appearing in that periodical work, they were reprinted in a small duodecimo volume, bearing the date of 1800, and forming the ninth volume of Mr. Wesley's sermons in that convenient size. Some of these were left by their author in manuscript; and none of them were revised by him after they had appeared in print.-The eight discourses, which follow, were copied from Mr. Wesley's papers after his decease, but never designed by him for publication. Some of these were partly transcribed from other authors; particularly from Dr. Calamy; and all the rest, excepting the valuable sermon translated from the Latin by Dr. Adam Clarke, appear to have been written before Mr. Wesley obtained those correct views of Divine truth, which afterwards rendered his ministry so eminently successful; and perhaps ought therefore never to have been committed to the press. They are here reprinted, because, having been already presented to the public, the omission of them would be considered as rendering any edition of Mr. Wesley's sermons incomplete.
To the whole is now added, for the first time, a copious Index; by which the reader may easily refer to every subject of importance, on which he may wish to ascertain Mr. Wesley's opinions. This useful appendage to all books, the contents of which are of a miscellaneous description, has long been regarded as a desideratum to those incom. parable and truly evangelical discourses. It is annexed to the first volume, as being of more importance than the other.
It is only needful to add, that in preparing these volumes for publication, and in conducting them through the press, no exertion has been spared to ensure perfect accuracy. Copies of the most authentic editions of Mr. Wesley's sermons, printed in his life time, have been carefully collated throughout; and every effort has been made, to present to the Christian world, what has never been published before, an edition of Mr. Wesley's sermons, at once complete and correct. THOMAS JACKSON.
London, Feb. 8th, 1825.