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Tue present volume completes the "Vinety-six Sermons," the only authentic Sermons of Bishop Androwes which had been so far finislıcd under his own haud as to be considered by those to whoni liis papers were entrusted, Bishops Laud and Buckeridge, in a fit state for publication.
The Funeral Sermon, preached by one of these, his friend Bishop Buckeridge, is appended in the place which it has usually occupied in former editions of the Ninety-Six Sermons, being as it were the seal of their authenticity, and marking the boundary between Andrewes's finished and authenticated and his imperfect and less authenticated Sermons and Lectures.
Of this latter class are the Sermons on the Lord's Prayer and on the Temptation, The Esposition of the Moral Law, and the Orphan Lectures on Genesis ; of which it is as certain from their matter and manner that they had no other author than Bishop Andrewes, as it is from other circumstances that they were not, strictly speaking, from
The account to be given of these publications is probably this.-In a Preface to the first edition of the work on the Moral Law, which was printed in a very negligent imperfect way in the year 1642, it is said that "he was scarce reputed a pretender to learning and piety in Cambridge (during Andrewes's residence there) who made not himself a disciple of Bishop Andrewes by diligent resorting to his press
lectures, nor he a pretender to the study of divinity who did not transcribe his notes ;” and that these “had ever after passed from hand to hand in many hundreds of copies.”
To the labours of these “disciples” and students, whether they were transcripts surreptitiously made from his MSS. or notes taken down in short hand from his lips as he delivered them, we owe the imperfect and unauthenticated Sermons and Lectures of Bishop Andrewes.
It is on record that King Charles the First, with his characteristic reverence for holy subjects, and a tender jealousy for the reputation of the Bishop, gave his special charge to the Bishops of London and Ely, on confiding his papers to their care, that none should be committed to the but such as they found perfected by his accurate hand. It seems to have been his desire to put a stop perhaps to the currency of those imperfect draughts or broken notes which had already crept into print, and to prevent a style at once so striking and so familiar from becoming, in less delicate and reverent hands, unlike itself. At the same time it seems to have been evident all along, nor indeed is it denied by those most concerned, that in the "undigested chaos" put forth in 1642, there were many good materials, and those originally from the mind of Andrewes. It is only insisted upon, that they were but ruins and fragments.
With these remarks, and this caution as to the probable amount of their authenticity, it has seemed desirable to print the Sermons on the Lord's Prayer and on the Temptation, both of which are early works, the former most probably to be assigned to the period during which Andrewes occupied the office of Catechist at Pembroke Hall. They were both appended to the above-mentioned edition of the work on the Moral Law, but had both appeared before, and had been uniformly ascribed to him.
The Sermons on the Lord's Prayer had been published
originally in a small 12mo. in 1611, under the title of “Scala Cæli,” and subsequently, in a very improved state, in 1641, an edition extremely rare.
Of those on the Temptation, there does not appear to have been more than one original edition, and that as early as 1592, marked a in the present edition.
In the Prefaces to both the early editions of the Sermons on the Lord's Prayer, it is assumed that though the Author's name is concealed, they could hardly fail to be identified. In that prefixed to those on the Temptation, which was sent to the publisher" by a gentleman, a friend of his, for publication,” it is said that "he was driven to let these pass without name, desiring the reader to suspend his judgment, whose they were, yet not doubting but that in printing them he had done God good service, and pleased many who had happily heard them preached.”—Elsewhere he supposes that “the tree from which this heavenly fruit was gathered, would be discovered both by the beauty and taste.” They are considerably less perfect than those on the Lord's Prayer, and the figure here employed, "fruit gathered," seems to imply the way in which they were obtained.
The edition of the Exposition of the Moral Law, published in 1642, had both these series appended to it. But in the new and improved edition of it, which appeared in 1650, retouched and perfected after the Author's own copy, we do not find them, nor were they directly or indirectly alluded to in it; from which it may perhaps be inferred, either that the Editor of the improved edition rejected them altogether as the Bishop's works, which can scarcely be imagined, or that, as these had appeared before, he had the less occasion to make particular reference to them, and more especially if he had not the means by him of correcting their errors or of supplying their deficiencies. At all events he left them alike unnoticed and untouched.
The differences between the existing editions are in some instances such as might render it doubtful whether they were not originally obtained from different transcripts : but on the whole it may be perhaps rather concluded that they were from the same. This doubt has induced the Editor where the improvement seemed certain, in the Sermons on the Lord's Prayer, to correct by the improved edition of 16+1, but in others to mark the differences as various readings.
The particulars above stated have determined him to collate carefully and reprint in the best form in which he could obtain them, these valuable remains, if no more, as completing the Sermons of Bishop Andrewes.