WE shall not be charged with superfluous authorship in having written the following Memoir of Mr. Boston of Ettrick. Nearly a century and a half has elapsed since the death of that remarkable man, and anything approaching to a oornplete biography of him has to this time remained to be written. Brief narratives regarding some of the salient points in his life, and estimates of his character, have indeed appeared at intervals, usually attached to some of his works when they were republished; but we are not aware of any book which, beginning with his early youth, and giving ample space to family incidents, has traced the story of his life through all its changeful periods—described his conflicts with surrounding errors, his influence on the condition of the church and the religious thought of his times —producing, in fact, what we mean by a biography. No doubt we have Mr. Boston’s diary, which was written by him for his family and published soon after his death, and must be invaluable to any biographer; but even it contains many gaps which need to be filled up from other sources; and besides this, it would not serve the ends of biography to be always looking at the subject of it through his eyes. vi PREFACE. We have endeavoured, in the following pages, to include in our narrative the whole range of his life and ministry; with what measure of success it will be for the intelligent and candid reader to judge. Even in so brief a preface as this, we cannot refrain from mentioning the names of friends to whom we are conscious of owing a debt of gratitude for kindly advice and cheering encouragement in connection with the writing of this memoir. We owe a warm tribute of thanks to the Rev. John Lawson of Selkirk, who guided us for several days amid the classic scenes of Ettrick and Yarrow, and showed us sacred spots that were linked with the honoured name of the author of the “Fourfold State;” and to Mrs. Dr. Smith of Biggar, who possesses, and kindly allowed us to photograph a portion o1 the original manuscript of that work. We have also to thank our long-tried friend and fellow-labourer in the gospel, Dr. Blair of Dunbiane, who was in full sympathy with us in our veneration for Mr. Boston, and ever ready with friendly~dvice and suggestion out of his well-stored mind. Nor can we omit to mention the name of W. White-Millar, Esq., S.S.C., the cherished friend of a long life, who grudged neither time nor trouble in procuring for us desired information on the subjects of our narrative, and in this way, as well as by his cheerful countenance, turned our labour into a pleasure. And not least do we place on grateful record our deep sense of the spiritual benefit we have derived from the study, for so many months, of the life and character of a man of the true apostolic stamp, who would have been justly regarded as a star of the first magnitude, an ornament to the Christian Church even in the brightest and purest periods of its history.

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