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Are they Orations or are they Sermons? Now, according to my notion of the Sermon (which I think is the common one), it ought to be the exposition and enforcement of a doctrine of Scripture founded upon some particular text, and following the approved method of division and sub-division. These have no such intention; they are as purely Orations, or Addresses to move and persuade men upon a particular point, as any of the antient or modern models. And it would have been absurd, totally absurd, to have given them any other name. In like manner, if the Argument be not a regularly constructed argument, let its irregularities and defective parts be pointed out; but merely to object that it shall not so be named, is nothing but another evidence of the poverty-struck invention of this age in things religious, and its resolution to remain for ever in its miserable poverty. The world, the thirsty spirit of the world, will never be refreshed until more various vessels for containing and serving out the waters of life be discovered and made
For criticism I have given most plentiful occasion, and I deprecate it not; for it is the
free agitation of questions that brings the truth to light. It has also been my lot to have a good deal of it where I could not meet it, and if I get a good deal more I will not grumble, for a book is the property of the Public, to do with it what they like. The Author's care of it is finished when he hath given it birth; the people are responsible for the rest : And baving besought the guidance of the Almighty and his blessing very often, I have nothing to beseech of men, but that they would look to themselves, and have mercy upon their own souls.
REV. THOMAS CHALMERS, D.D.
MINISTER OF ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, GLASGOW.
My HONOURED FRIEND,
I thank God, who directed you to hear one of my Discourses when I had made up my mind to leave my native land for solitary travel in foreign parts. That dispensation brought me acquainted with your good and tender-hearted nature, whose splendid accomplishments I knew already; and you now live in the
heart more than in my admiration. While I laboured as your assistant, my labours were never weary, they were never enough to express my thankfulness to God for having associated me with such a man, and my affection to the man with whom I was associated. I now labour in another field, among a people whom I love, and over whom God hath, by signs un
equivocal, already blessed my ministry. You go to labour likewise in another vineyard, where
the Lord bless your retired meditations as he hath blessed
And may He likewise watch over the flock of our mutual solicitude, now about to fall into other hands. The Lord be with and your household, and render unto you manifold for the blessings which you have rendered unto me. much about these Orations, which I dedicate to you; but I will not mingle with any literary or theological discussion this pure tribute of affection and gratitude, which I render to you before the world, as I have already done into your private ear.
I could say
My honoured Friend,