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these circumstances; and the author felt bound to sacrifice every interfering consideration to the edification of his youthful hearers, and to introduce any thing which he thought likely to promote it. He especially endeavoured to give the answers, in the excellent Catechism which he expounded, a bearing on the popular and pernicious errors of the time and place in which his lectures were delivered, with a view to guard his juvenile auditory against being misled and corrupted.

As to the publication of these lectures, the author can truly say that he has had much hesitation. When they were delivered, he had evidence enough that they were popular, and in a measure useful. But he doubted whether they were calculated to be either acceptable or beneficial, if committed to the pressunless they should undergo such alterations as he had neither time nor inclination to make.

He tried the experiment of publishing the first of the series in the Christian Advocate, with a distinct intimation, that it implied no pledge that even a second would be added. The lecture published appeared to be well received; and not only has the insertion of the entire series in that miscellany been considered by many as adding value to the work, but the author has been earnestly requested by his friends, in various parts of the country, to publish the whole, as he now does, in a separate volume.

In preparing these lectures for a republication, numerous slight corrections, one or two transpositions of parts, and a few retrenchments, have been made; but nothing has been done to change the general cast of the composition, or to alter a single feature of the doctrine taught. Indeed, the author has been tempted to flatter himself, from the favourable reception his humble labours have met with, that the manner in which he has treated the subjects discussed, is better adapted to popular use, than one more formally systematic, or more purely argumentative. It had been easy to change or omit a few sentences, which refer to circumstances peculiar to the audience addressed. But these sentences serve to sustain the general character of the lectures, and they in no de

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gree interfere with the scope of the discourse. They have, therefore, for the most part, been permitted to stand as they were originally penned and uttered.

The author hopes it will be found, by the attentive reader of this small volume, that the radical principles and distinguishing doctrines of evangelical truth, as exhibited in the Calvinistic system, are as fully set forth, defended, and illustrated, as could reasonably be expected, in the limits to which he was confined. He is aware, indeed, that short as his lectures are, they contain a measure of repetition; yet he hopes it is not much larger than will be found really useful. It scarcely needs to be remarked, that the same texts of Scripture are often pertinent, and even the most pertinent, to prove several different points of doctrine; that the same inferences, or consequences, too, may follow from several premises or positions; and that the same application or appeal may, and frequently ought to be made, from various leading truths of Holy Scripture. Unnecessary repetition ought certainly to be avoided, and when that which is allowable is admitted, the phraseology may often be varied. But to exclude all repetition, would frequently deprive an address of much of its spirit, and the hearer of much that would have been best calculated to further his edification. Sometimes it saves the hearer or reader the time and trouble of making a reference for himself; and sometimes it is really necessary, to place in immediate view the ground of an argument or deduction, that the truth may strike with the greater force.

It has been gratifying to the author to learn, that several teachers of Sabbath schools in the Presbyterian church, have had recourse to his lectures, as they appear in the Christian Advocate, to enable them to explain to their pupils, with ease and advantage, the answers to the questions in their Shorter Catechism. He regards this as an honour done to his work, and desires to be thankful to God that his labours, from this circumstance, promise to become more extensively useful than he had ventured to anticipate. The present volume will render a recurrence to the needed aid, far easier and more expeditious, than when it

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was to be searched for in a monthly miscellany. In this connexion, let the author be permitted to say, that while he yields to none in the estimate which he makes of the high value of Sabbath schools, and of the knowledge of the sacred Scriptures imparted to children and youth in these institutions, and in Bible classes, he has ever been of the opinion-and his own practice has uniformly accorded with that opinionthat a thorough acquaintance with the Shorter Catechism should form an indispensable part of the system. It is of more importance than can easily be told, that the doctrines and duties taught in the sacred volume should be digested, and reduced to system in the minds of youth: and for this purpose, nothing can be better adapted than the Shorter Catechism, if it be suitably explained and correctly understood.

It will probably be asked, why the author has published lectures on a part only of the Catechism-why he has not extended them to the whole, and given the entire system at once? The short and plain answer to this inquiry is, that the author has not yet prepared the whole of his lectures on the remaining part of the Catechism-They are in a train of preparation, and some of them have been already published in the Christian Advocate, but the series is not yet completed. In that Miscellany, if life and health be continued, it is proposed to insert the remainder, and then to publish them connectedly in a second volume. All the lectures to which this preface is prefixed were actually delivered, as has been stated, to the youth of the author's pastoral charge. * None of the others have been, nor probably will ever be, delivered orally; although it is intended to continue the same style of address, through the remainder of the course. It is not unusual for authors to publish a part of a work which they have in hand, before the whole is completed; and if, in the present instance, an apology were necessary, it might be found in the circumstance, that this volume contains all the leading doctrines of the Catechism. The essential articles of Faith and Repentance are, indeed, not formally discussed; because they occupy a place in the Catechism, more advanced than that at which these lectures terminated. But those important articles have been really and in substance considered, in speaking of effectual calling, justification, adoption, and sanctification; since of these it was not practicable to treat properly without explaining the nature and use of true repentance and saving faith. The present volume therefore may, in a certain sense, be considered as a whole, although the author should be disappointed in his hopes of publishing a second.

* The author's call to the presidency of the College of New Jersey, prevented the continuance of his lectures on the Catechism, till he had gone through the whole. Since his return to Philadelphia, he has, at the urgent request of some of those who first heard them, repeated in public the most of those which compose the present volume.

In concluding this preface, the author will use the freedom to say to his youthful reader—and to every reader who will receive the intimation without offence —that if he desires to derive practical and lasting benefit from these Lectures, they should be read and meditated upon singly, with a candid, serious, and special attention to the remarks and appeals, with which the most of them are concluded. To read the volume through rapidly, may possibly gratify curiosity, and furnish scope for criticism. But the great concern of the author is, that his Lectures may serve a very different and far better purpose. He would therefore respectfully recommend, that if the whole be read cursorily, each one should be afterwards perused by itself; that is, one only at a sitting—for the purpose of reflecting deliberately on the doctrine explained, and especially of making its application close and personal. This personal application is of infinitely more importance than any mere doctrinal knowledge, however accurate. And if the reader will consent to take the course here recommended, and will accompany his other exercises with fervent prayer for the divine blessing, it may be hoped that he will receive a permanent-even an eternal benefit. That this result may be realized in numerous instances, is, and shall be, the subject of the author's earnest supplications to that throne of heavenly grace, from which all sanctifying and saving influences must proceed.







It is with peculiar pleasure that I meet you on this occasion. I meet you to enter on a service intended for the benefit of the young-a service which I have always considered as one of the most important, and which I have certainly found one of the most delightful, among all the duties of the ministerial vocation.

The discussions on which we are entering will be freely open to those of every age, who may choose to attend them. But it will be distinctly kept in mind, that they are specially intended for youth, and will be addressed to them alone. It is my earnest wish that the young may consider themselves as the parties to whom I directly speak—speak with a view to explain, defend and inculcate, those great doctrines of our holy religion with which they are supposed to have already some acquaintance, and on a practical regard to which the salvation of their souls depends. There is, moreover, a certain method of treatment and style of address, which are proper

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