Memoirs of the Life, Time, and Writings
of the Reverend and Learned
Thomas Boston, M.A.

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Recommendatory Note

THE issue of this scholarly and artistic edition of Thomas Boston's Autobiography is an event of national importance. His sound and commanding common-sense, his immense industry, his great learning attained to amid unparalleled difficulties, his sometimes Shakespearean style, his life of faith and prayer, and his pulpit and pastoral efficiency and success, all combine to make Boston's Memoirs of his Life, Time, and Writings a book to be always at hand in every Scottish Manse, as well as in every well-read, patriotic, and pious Scottish home.


IN the preparation of this edition I have been much helped by the kindly interest of many friends and strangers. I return hearty thanks to all who have so willingly and generously assisted me. The minister of Ettrick, Rev. George Mackenzie, B.D., and the minister of Swinton and Simprin, Rev. D. D. F. Macdonald, M.A., have given me invaluable help; and I owe a great deal to Rev. D. A. Mackinnon, M.A., of Marykirk, and Mr. W. Cunningham, Dundee, both of them lineal descendants of Boston. Mr. Hew Morrison, Edinburgh, with his usual courtesy, has placed many valuable and rare books at my disposal, and the Rev. Arthur Gossip and Dr. Ballantyne, of the same city, as well as the Rev. James Kerr, D.D., of Glasgow, have spared no pains in helping me. To my friend and elder, Mr. Colin Sharp, Dundee, and to Mr. G. B. Downie of Selkirk, I am indebted for skilled guidance through the Boston country. And in this, as in all my work, I owe much to my wife, who has wrought with me in it from the beginning. Only those who have trodden one of the byways of Scottish church history, know how much local help is needed. I would ask all who have aided me, and whom it is impossible to name here, to believe that I am deeply grateful for their co-operation.

The text of the Memoirs has been slightly abridged. I have modernised the spelling, but left the proper names as Boston wrote them. The notes in brackets are peculiar to this edition. Those unbracketed are found in the first edition of 1776.


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