THE General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland was good enough to resolve, with my ready consent, to publish for general circulation the first of the succeeding addresses. This has been done accordingly by the Assembly Arrangements Committee. It has been thought desirable, however, to preserve the whole series in one publication, by printing them together in a separate form. They will be found indeed to be connected together, although distinct, and virtually to form parts of one whole, — the first being retrospective; the second and third, if I may so speak, circumspective; and the fourth chiefly prospective. However imperfect they may be in many respects, they are the fruit of earnest thought, and considerable observation and experience. May the blessing of the Three which bear record in heaven accompany both publications, making them instrumental in vindicating the truth of God and the position of our beloved Church, as well as in promoting the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ in the salvation of souls.
NEWINGTON FREE CHURCH MANSE,
Edinburgh, June 5th 1865.
1. The text of these addresses was taken down directly from the speeches by a stenographer, and the responses of the audience (e.g., applauses) were included. In this online version, these responses have been rendered in [square brackets, and italicized].
2. Footnotes have been re-numbered and included as [square-bracketed notes], immediately below each parapraph in the text where they are referenced.
3. It has been necessary to make minor alterations to the text, such as breaking some of the long paragraphs of Dr. Begg's speeches into shorter paragraphs in order to aid the reader, and the removal of some apostrophes in order to bring the text into agreement with the rules of modern grammar (e.g, view's is rendered herein as views.)