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THEIR LAST WORDS AND DYING TESTIMONIES :
THE WHOLE THAT IS TO BE FOUND IN NAPHTALI AND THE CLOUD OF
LISHED COLLECTIONS AND ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS;
BY WILLIAM M'GAVIN, ESQUIRE,
ENCOURAGED by the almost unprecedented success which has attended the publication of the former volume of the Scots Worthies, the Publisher has been induced to follow it up by the present Work. The former volume contained the Lives of the Covenanting Worthies of Scotland, which, from their interesting nature, have proved highly acceptable; and, it is to be hoped, edifying to the Christian world :—this volume contains their Last Words and Dying Testimonies, which, it is fully expected, will prove equally useful and edifying as its predecessor. The former volume gave the history of the transactions of their lives, and shows how they lived--this gives their dying scenes, and shows how well these eminent men were prepared to die; and how ready they were to ratify with their blood the profession they had made during their lives.
The Publisher cannot doubt that it will be gratifying to the friends of the cause thus to have collected, for the first time into one volume, the Testimonies and Declarations emitted by the Worthies in the immediate prospect of death and eternity, in favour of religion in general, and the reformation principles of the Church of Scotland in particular. Many of these testimonies have been extracted from very scarce tracts published about the time they were originally emitted, and now very rarely to be met with; and even when met, with, they are sold at such a price as entirely to exclude them from the use of the general reader. Some others of these Testimonies have never before been printed, but have been derived from original, though duly authenticated manuscripts; thus giving to the present Work in some measure the character of an original production. The principal portion of these two valuable volumes, well known by the titles of Naphtali and the Cloud of Witnesses, have been incorporated into the pages of this book. These two, of themselves, would have formed an important acquisition to the Christian's library, but the Publisher is convinced that, with the other additions he has mentioned, the value of the work will be greatly enhanced. The whole has been carefully arranged in chronological order, and the authority quoted to each article from whence it is derived. This mode of arrangement will be found of consequence in an historical point of view, and it is one to which little attention has hitherto been given in any former edition of either Naphtali or the Cloud of Witnesses. In short, it is not saying too much to aver, this volume taken in conjunction with the former one, forms as complete a History of the Church of Scotland, during the trying period of the Reformation, as is any where to be met with.
The Publisher has again the satisfaction of giving to the world a production of the distinguished Author of the “ Protestant,” who has kindly consented to introduce this volume to the public with one of his luminous essays. For this, and a similar favour formerly received, he thinks it proper to state, that he is indebted to Mr. M‘Gavin's disinterested friendship; that gentleman (contrary to a misconception that exists on the subject) having no pecuniary interest whatever either in the present or former publication.
The Publisher, in conclusion, begs to express his gratitude for the kindness he has received from numerous friends who have assisted him in procuring the necessary materials for this volume. . Many of these had become so scarce, that it was found impossible to obtain a single copy from any other source than by application to private individuals; and the MSS. from which others have been derived, could not have been had at all, but for the assistance of these friends, to whom he feels so much indebted.
86, Trongate, 26th Dec., 1898.