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tvas continually harrassing them by their tyrannical edicts, enjoining conformity to the established prelatical church, under most unreasonable civil pains and penalties, and enforcing their arbitrary and intolerant decrees by the terror of military quarter and execution. These harsh and unjustifiable methods provoked many of that oppressed and unhappy people ; and inflamed their spirits to that degree, that they took up arms, and advanced the length of Pentland-hills, near Edinturgh, where they were totally defeated and dispersed in an engagement with the king's forces. Our author was suspected of being among those that were in arms; and a proclamation was issued by the council for apprehending him, which obliged him to retire to Holland, to his father, where he arrived in the beginning of the year 1667. Here he continued to study divinity, and assisted Nethenus, professor of divinity in the university of Urecht, in the republication of Rutherford's Exarnination of Arminianisni. In the preface to his edition of that book, Nethenus speaks of Mr Robert Traill as à pious, prudent, learned, and industrious young man. Coming over to Britain in 1670, he was ordained to the ministry by some Presbyterian clergymen in London. Being in Edinburgh 1677, he preached privately. Here, in the montla of July, he was apprehended and brought before the privy council. To them, he acknowl dged he had kept house-conventicles; being interrogate, if he had preached at field-conventicics, he referred that to proof, and declined to answer, it being criminal by law; upon which he was ordered by the council to purge himself, by oath, of preaching or hearing as
This he peremptorily refused, as what, in justice, he couli :100 be obliged to do in his own cause. He owned he had conversed with Mr John Welsh, on the English border. He was on these accounts sent to the Bass. Here he enjoyed the company of Messrs. Frazer of Braf, Peden, and others, confined for their attachment to the testimony of Jesus. From this prison he was relieved, by order of government, in the month of October the same ye... Afterwards he returret to England, and preached in a meeting house at Cranbrock, a small town in Kent. From this he removed to London, where for many years he was pastor to a Scottish congrega
ion, there he laboured faithfully and successfully, perforning the duties of his ministry, both on Sabbaths and in a lecture on week days ; he modestly details his experience in the following words :- I have no name to come to God in but Christ. My own name is abominable to myself, and deservedly hateful in heaven. No other name is given under helven, but that of Jesus Christ, in which a sinner may safely approach unto God. Since the Father is well pleased with this name, and the Son commands me to ask in it, and the Holy Ghost hath brought this name to me, and made it as ointment poured forth, Song i. 3. and since its savour hath reached my soul, I will try to lift it up as incense to perfume the altar and throne above ; since all that ever come in this name are made welcome, I will come also, having no plea but Christ's name, no covering but his borrowed and gifted robe of righteousness. I need nothing, I will ask nothing, but what his blood hath bought and all that, I will ask); I will expect answers of peace and acceptance only in that blessed beloved-beloved of the Father, both as his Son and our Saviour, and beloved of all that ever saw but a little of his grace and glory.
In 1691, upon the republication of Dr Crisp's works, a food of legal doctrine seemed to break in among the Dissenting ministers and others in London--a sort of medium between Calvinism and Arminianism was proposed, and the doctrines of grace, as explained by the Reformers, were branded as Antinomianism *. In this controversy, Dr Chauncy, Messrs. Thomas Cole, Nathaniel Mather, Thomas Goodwin, younger, and others, with much ability defended the doctrines of the Gospel; among these Mr Traill appeared with much lustre, as a well informed and evangelical divine. In his serinons preached about that time, particularly on Gal. ii. 21. he clearly illucidates the doctrines of grace; and in a letter to a country minister (afterwards published,) he plainly discovers his sentiments and spirit, and throws much light on the controverted subjects. The late celebrated Hervey says of this letter,
• Almost the same controversy agitated in our own church, some years after, abou: the Marrow of Modern Divinity.
* This is a judicious performance, it rightly divides the word * of truth, and lays the line, with a masterly hand, between " the presumptuous Legalist, and the licentious Antinomian." This excellent man died May 1716, aged 74. During his life-time, he published a sermon in the morning exercise, on 1 Tim. iv. 16. in answer to the question, By what Means may Ministers best win Souls to Christ, 1682 ; afterwards, Thirteen Sermons on the Throne of Grace, Heb. iv. 16.; and Sixteen Sermons on the Lord's Prayer, John xvii. 24.; after his death was published a volume, entitled, Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of cur Faith, from Heb. x. 23. This is prefaced and recommended by the Rev. Messrs. Tong, Nisbet, and Clarke, eminent ministers in London. In 1778 and 1779, was published another volume, transcribed from Mr Traill's MSS. eleven of these are from 1 Pet. i. 1-4. and six on Gal. ii. 21. He also wrote a short account of the Rev. William Guthrie, author of a small but excellent tract, The Trial of a Saving Interest in Christ; and a recommendation of Marshall on Sanctification.
As a number of Mr Traill's writings have been so long before th: public, and have met with the universal approbation of the julicious and serious, it will be unnecessary to say much in their re:ommendation. They breathe that spirit of piety for which the author was so distinguished. The subjects of which they treat are intimately connected with the Christian life here, in prospect of future glory; while they exhibit the supernatural doctrines and privileges of the gospel to faith; they are improved for the excitement of believers to duty, to conformity to Jesus, for their establishment in grace and abundant comfort in the world. Matter so solid, evangelical, and heavenly, treated in a manner so practical and savoury, is qit for edifying every class of Christians, and cannot fail to be acceptable to all who have a relish for the things of the Spirit of God. They are indeed void of superfluous and gaudy ornaments. The reader of modern taste will not find in them that laboured elegance, or pomp of words, the artificial structure of sentences, or the dry reasoning, the affected declamation, or the vehement pathos of address, which may be met with in so many works on religious topics, written at a more late period. But those who have some higher end in view in reading, than to amuse themselves with words, or the trifling gratification of a refined taste, will find precious truths, conveyed in a manner more becoming the simplicity of the gospel, and more adapted to general instruction. Of all the qualities requisite in discourses from the pulpit, or for the use of people at large, plainness of language, and perspicuity of manner, are among the principal and most needful : these characters are apparent in every part of these discourses. Considering the time in which they were composed, they are remarkably free of anything, either in style or method, that might make them appear intricat", obscure, or offensive to Christian readers, even in this present refined age. The ministers of the New Testament, as the apostles were, are debtors both to the Greek and to the Barbarian, to the learned and unlearned ; and are bound, no less than they were, to use great plainness of speech, without employing veils of any kind 10 conceal the revealed mystery and glory of the gospel, that so light might be imparted to the understanding, and the truth at the same time brought home to the hearts and consciences of men. Thus did this faithful conf.ssor and latourer in the vineyard of the Lord;—whos? printed' works, since his death, have been useful to many, and through a more extensive circulation, by the divine blessing, may still edify many more.
The relations of Mr Traill, in Scotland, still possess several volumes of his notes ; it is also supposed, there may be in London some MSS. sermons of this excellent author in the libraries of the religious. It would be highly gratifying, were these sought out, and delivered to those, who would actively engage in their publication. It is intended to publish a volume of these, if encouragement be given.
HAT is in this book offered to your reading, was, some years since, preached, in the ordinary course of my ministry, on a week.day, with no more thought (that is, none at all) of printing it, than I had of publishing this way any thing I have preached these seven and twenty years, wherein I have been exercised in the ministry of the word, save or 2 single sermon extorted from me about fourteen years ago
The publishing of such plain discourses, is singly owing to the importunity of some of the hearers, and to the assistance they gave me, by getting what I spake transcribed from two short-hand writers : without which I could not have published it; my own notes being only little scraps of heads of doctrine, and scriptures confirming them.
In the same way I had brought to me what I spake from Heb. x. 23, 24. and have it lying by me; which may also see the light, if the Lord will that I livet: and if this be accepted of such whose testimony I only value; I mean such as are sound in the faith, and exercised in the life of faith.
I know no true religion but Christianity; no true Christianity but the doctrine of Christ ; of his divine person, (the image of the invisible God, Col. i. 15.); of his divine office, (the Mediator betwixt God ind men, 1 Tim. ii. 5.); of his divine righteousness, (he is the Lord our Rightecusness, Jer. xxiii
. 6.; which name is also called upon his church, chap. a. xiii. 16.); and of his divine Spirit
, (which all that are his receive, Rom. viii. 9.) I know no true ministers of Christ, but such as make it their business, in their calling, to commend Jesus Christ, in his saving fulness of grace and glory, to the faith and love of men; no true
• This sermon is inserted in this volume, immediately after the ser. mons on the Throne of Grace.
† These sermons were published after the author's death. The book is intitled, A Stedfası Adherence to the Profession of our Faith.