Friend of William Guthrie of Fenwick, attendant of James Guthrie of Stirling on the scaffold, son of the Greyfriars Church manse where the 1638 National Covenant was signed, Scot ordained in England, exile in Holland, prisoner on the Bass Rock, scholar, preacher, and saint — Robert Traill lived to span the ripest period of the Puritan age. Distinguished in the classes of Edinburgh University, Trail learly felt the inner constraint to preach Christ. Too intimate an association with the younger John Welsh drew the swift displeasure of the civil arm upon him. Denounced as a ‘Pentland Rebel’ he fled in 1667 to join the bright galaxy of British divines weathering the storm of Stuart absolutism in the Low Countries. Traill’s literary output began there. Assistant to Nethenus, professor at Utrecht, he prepared Samuel Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism for the press. Back in London in 1692 he took up his pen, as Isaac Chauncy (Owen’s successor) and the younger Thomas Goodwin were having to do, to defend the doctrine of Justification against the new Legalism. After serving Presbyterian charges in Kent and London, he died at the age of 74.
Robert Traill was endowed with a first-class mind and had enjoyed a very complete theological education. Nevertheless, his sermons were not meant to appeal to the learned. He strove throughout to promote practical godliness. Every reader who shares his outlook will find him warm, instructive, and encouraging.
J.C.Ryle, who frequently quotes from Traill in his writings, introduces one lengthy extract with the words, ‘It has done me good and I think will do good to others.’
This edition contains ten additional sermons not included in the 1975 Banner of Truth edition, which are appended to volume 2.
‘I know no true religion but Christianity; no true Christianity but the doctrine of Christ— of his divine person; of his divine office; of his divine righteousness; and of his divine Spirit. I know no true ministers of Christ, but such as make it their business, in their calling, to commend Jesus Christ, in his saving fulness of grace and glory, to the faith and love of men; no true Christian, but one united to Christ by faith, and abiding in him by faith and love, unto the glorifying of the name of Jesus Christ, in the beauties of gospel-holiness.’
— Robert Traill in his Preface to Sermons Concerning the Throne of Grace (in vol. 1)