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pastoral charge at Whitby by the Rev . James Rutherford , a native of Scotland , These Sermons , nineteen in number , were chiefly selected by the author during the last year of his life . They are on a variety of topics , for the most part practical . The reader © f Mr . Watson's former volumes will
find them exactly what was to have been expected from the writer ; plain , unornamented , sensible and liberal . The composition is sometimes loose and inaccurate , and the discourses irnmethodical . The texts of scripture are the only titles . Natural theology
was the Preacher's favourite study , and observations and arguments on this subject abound in the Sermons . A few controversial passages are to be found in them , and these are
decidedly anti-calvinistic . Further than this , Mr . Watson ' s creed scarcely comes out in any part of the volume . He manifests the deepest veneration of our Lord's character , and some of the best sermons are those which
expatiate upon the moral excellence of Jesus as an evidence of his Divine Mission . We may refer for example to the following passage in S . XVII . onl Pet . ii . 21 : " We never see the « mallest traces
of severity in any part of our Lord ' s good actions ; he is often so kind as to take offenders under his special care and protection . Amongst the number of those who applied to our Lord for bodily relief , we need not doubt but that
a great number had been instrumental in bringing upon themselves their disorders . Intemperance spreads plague and innumerable diseases among men ; but our blessed Saviour never mingles nis benevolent cures with any harsh reproof s : all was done in kindness . 1 do
not notice this , as if I meant to say , that such offenders should not be reproved ; they well deserve it , and it is proper that they should be reproved . But I mention it as a proof of our Lord ' s exalted and perfect goodness : he did
every thing cohinlete . The meat Dhvevery thing complete . The great physician both of body and of soul , comforted his distressed patients by his acts ° f gentleness and kindness * when his hand relieved , his heart also pitied and melted
for his patients /'— " Our Lord noes not perform his great cures with th e cold indifference of one that is concern ed only for his own interest or Ia : he enters with the most tender
concern into every case that comes before hipa : his common language is , — Son , daughter , be of good cheer ; and he adds , as the greatest of all comforts , thy sins are forgiven thee . There is the most amazing condescension in his manner and language . Those who , on account of their loathsome disease , had been for a long time the outcasts of society , and disowned by all men , are
called the sons and daughters of our blessed Lord . It is remarkable also , that he almost always confers more than his petitioner durst ask . They applied only for the cure of their bodily infirmities ; but our Saviour not only grants the request in its fullest sense , but also after adds , — Thy sins are forgiven theeS * —Pp . 307 , 308 .
We cannot recommend Mr . Watson ' s Sermons as models of this species of composition , but there are sagacious hints in them of which the preacher may make good use . Thus in a comment on the passage relating Peter ' s denial of his Master and his
strengthening the denial " with cursing * and swearing , " the author says , " One may infer that Peter must have been addicted to this shameful practice early in life , " and " this also furnishes us with a criterion of the morals of the Jewish people at that time . " P . 274 .
One of the best Sermons both for method and argument is S . XIII . on Philipp . ii . 13 , in which the preacher explains " what we are to understand by God working in us , " and shews
" that we are so constructed that we have powers and capacities conferred on us by our Maker , to enable us to do what God requires of us / ' In the course of his argument , he says , cc Whenever men separate the gospel
from common sense and reason , we meet with nothing but absurdities . Human reason and the gospel speak uniformly the same language , for they proceed from the same source . ' *—P . 225 .
The amiable preacher ' s thoughts appear to have been led by the course of afflictive events in his later years to the subjects of mortality and a future state , and we must conclude this short notice of his volume by one extract
from S . V . on 1 . Cor . xv . 51 , \ Vhich represents the analogy between tHI $ life and the life t . p come : *< It tnay be said ; that we c&fl 'fo ] M ., - . , ¦> ¦ i . » > , » - » ^ . > i •;
Review . — Watson ' s Sermons on Various Subjects . 681
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Nov. 2, 1826, page 681, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2554/page/45/