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PAGE vi

To compensate, in some degree, for the meagreness or defects of the work here reprinted, an attempt has been made to collect, from various other sources, facts which were unknown to Kirkton, or unnoticed by him, and to introduce them as notes to the work. The Members of the WODROW SOCIETY are thus presented with all that is easily accessible, or accurately known, of one who certainly ranked among the most remarkable men of his time, at once for learning, piety, and zeal. It has not been deemed necessary to offer any remarks on the claims to prophetic power put forth on this Reformer's behalf. The Editor, in accordance with the constitution of the Society, reckoned it his province merely to embody the statements of others - not to speculate concerning them.

Regarding the Life of Welsh, we would only farther add, that the most common mode of spelling his name is that which is here adopted. He wrote it differently himself at different periods, and it has passed through various changes, from WELSCHE to WELSHE, WELCHE, WELCH, and WELSH.

The LIFE OF PATRICK SIMSON, the second in the Series, is printed from one of the Wodrow MSS., in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates. Though less known than Welsh, the character of Simson is scarcely less admirable than his; and whether for his learning, his judiciouslness in counsel, or his boldness in opposing what he reckoned error, few of his contemporaries surpassed Patrick Simson.

Concerning the Life here published, it may be remarked, that

PAGE vii

the MS. from which it is printed differs in some places from other sources of information regarding him: for example, from ROW'S CORONIS. In some instances, also, the MS. could not be easily pointed, - or the meaning accurately discovered, - but the perusal of the Life, in the form in which it now appears, will perhaps suggest the desire that we knew more of the personal history and habits of such a master in Israel as this sketch exhibits Simson to have been. It is not improbable that some additional information concerning him might be gleaned from the Records of the Presbytery of Stirling, from those of his parish, or of the burgh where he laboured for so many years as a minister of Christ.

The third Life in the Series that of JOHN LIVINGSTONE an interesting autobiography, is also printed from a MS. in the Advocates' Library, carefully collated with other MSS. by Rev. JAMES ANDERSON, especially with one now in the possession of Rev. Thomas M'Crie. The latter, at one period, belonged to Anna Elizabeth Lundin, and was bequeathed to her by her mother, Anna Livingstone, daughter of William Livingstone, the eldest son of John. This MS. is said to be taken "from the principall writ by himself, [John Livingstone,] and compaired." It seems, however, to be verbally less correct than Wodrow's, and the latter was, therefore, adopted as the basis of the present edition. It will be seen that it differs considerably from editions formerly printed.

Besides THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVINGSTONE, this volume contains various other productions of that distinguished man, some of which, we believe, are printed for the






        
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Rev. John Livingston,
great-great grandfather of Henry Livingston

Life of John Livingston



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