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Author of the Medications, Theron and Aspasio, &c.
Who was Editor of an early Edition of his Works.
Sir, I RECEIVED your very valuable and no loss acceptable present, some weeks ago. I should have acknowledged the favour sooner; but I chose to stay till I had tasted the dish you set before me.
And indeed I find it to be savoury meat, the true manna; food for the soul.
Your worthy relative was a workman that need not be ashamed. He knew how, clearly to state, and solidly to establish the faith of God's elect, and the doctrine according to godliness. -O! that my heart, and the heart of cvery reader, may be opened, by the eternal Spirit, to receive the precious truths!
The letter at the end of the first volume, 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. --- I am particularly pleased with the honourable testimony bore to those two excellent books, Dr Owen's Treatise on Justification, and Mr Marshall's Gospel-mystery of Sanctification : books fit to be recommended by so good a judge !
If the Lord pleases to give Theron and Aspasio any acceptance in Scotland, I shall be sincerely glad; but if he vouchsafes to make them, not only welcome, but useful visitants, I shall exceedingly rejoice. ---- In case you should think them calculated to promote the honour and further the gospel of JESUS CHRIST, I hope you will favour them with your recommendation, and accompany them with your prayers ; which will be a fresh instance of kindness to,
SERMONS ON STEDFAST ADHERENCE,
Which were Published after the Author's Death. The subjects treated upon in these sermons, have been always esteemed, by well-grounded Christians, to have the greatest influence both upon our duty and comfort.
The promises of God are the matter of our faith, and ground of our hope. Faith in these precious promises, is that grace which conveys to us our interest in them, and draws forth the strength and sweetness of them.
An honest open profession of that faith, not only in words, or instituted solemnities of public worship, but in all holy conversation and godliness, is the distinguishing mark of the churches of Christ in the world.
And a steady adherence to that profession, in times of tempta. tion and great backsliding, is the believer's unquestionable duty, interest, and honour.
These great points, of spiritual and practical religion, you have here opened and urged, with that plainness, gravity, and good judgment, by which the late Reverend Mr Traill has been well known in his former evangelical discourses. If any thing here shall seem less correct, it will easily be imputed to the usual disadvantages of posthumous productions.
But surely great candour and tenderness will be thought due to such orphans, as are turned out into the world, destitute of those improvements which they might have received from the care and cultivation of their worthy parents, if they had not been by death deprived of them.
In compliance with some of the author's particular friends, who
HE Rev. Mr ROBERT 'TRAILL was descended of an ancient family, that had been in possession of the estate of Birbo, in Fife, from the time of Walter Traill, archbishop of St Andrews, 1385, who purchased it, and give it to his nephew. Robert Traill, son of James Traill, and father of our author, was minister first of Ely, in the east of Fife, afterwards of the Gray-friars church in Edinburgh, and was much distinguished for his fidelity and zeal in discharging the duties of his function. He married Jean Annan, of the family of Auchter:llan, by whom he had three sons and three daughters ; William, who died minister of Borthwick; Robert, the author of the following sermons; James, lieutenant of the garrison in Stirling castle ; Helen, married to Mr Thomas Paterson, minister of Borthwick; Agnes, married to Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees, Lord Advocate of Scotland ; and Margaret, married to James Scot of Bristo, writer in Edinburgh. At the Restoration, Mr Traill, with other ministers, was prosecuted before the Scotch council, and, in consequence of their sentence, was imprisoned seven months in Edinburgh, and banished from the realm. His answers to his libel do him much honour, as a man and a Christian. From these, and some of his private letters still extant, he appears to have been a judicious and holy servant of our Lord Jesus Christ *.
• In the conclusion of his libel, he says to the Scottish Parliament, I must, in all humility, beg leave to intreat your Lordships, that you seriously consider what you do with poor, ministers, who have been so long kept, not only from their liberty of preaching the gospel, but of hearing ic; that so many congres gations are laid desolate for so long a time, and many poor souls have put up their regrets on their death-bed, for their being deprived of a word of comfort
He afterwards returned to Scotland, and died during the time of the persecution, we have se n nothing of his in print, bul. a letter to his wife and children, from Holland.
His son Robert, the subject of this Memoir, was born at Ely, May 1612. After the usual course of education at home, he was sent to the university of Edinburgh, where he recommended himself to the several professors, by his capacity and eiligent application to his studies. Having determined to devote himself to the work of the ministry, he pursued the study of divinity with great ardour for several years. He was intimate with the Rev. William Guthrie of Finwick, and several others of the Presbyterian ministers ; and was present when Mr James Guthrie suffered death for his adherence to the peculiar principles of the Scottish church. His father being banished, had taken resuge in Holland; the family he left behind him were in great straits; in this situation our author had no settled residence. In 1666, he was obliged to lurk for some time, together with his mother and elder bicther, because some copies of a book, entitled, An Apologetic Relation, &c. which the privy council had ordered to be publicly burnt, were found in Mrs Traill's house. At that time the Presbyterians in Scotland were treated with great severity, and the privy council, in the execution of cruel laws that had been enacted by the legislature, at the instigation of the bishops,
from their n:inisters in the hour of their greatest need. The Lord give you wisdom in all things, and pour out upon you the spirit of your high and weighty employment--of understanding, and of the fear of the Lord; that your government may be blessed for this land and kirk; that you may live long and happily; that your meinery may be sweet and fragrant when you are gone ; thae you may leave your name for a blessir g to the Lord's people ; that your houses and families may stand long, ard flourish to the years of many generations; that you may have solid peace and heart joy in the hour of the breaking of your. heart strings, when pale death will sit on your eye-lids, and when man must go to his long hone, and the mourners go about the streets, for what man is he that liveth and shall not see death ; or can he deliver himself from the power of the krave ? No, as-uredly, for even those to whom he saith, Ye are gods, niust cie as men, seeing it is appointed for all men once to die, and after death is the judgment, and after judgment an endless eternity. Let me therefore exhort your Lordships, in the words of a great king, a great warrior al. so, and a holy propher. Be wise, and be instructed, ye judges of the earth, so serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice before him with trembling. Kiss the “ Son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way; when his wrath is kindled
but a little, then blosscd will all these, and those only, be, who put cheis " trust in him."