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THESE Sermons were prepared for the Press during many months of illness, and of suspension from the public duties of the ministry. In this exercise, the Author at once secured a pleasing employment to himself and complied with the requests of highly esteemed friends. He is far from having answered his wishes; but he has done what he could. To aid in the instruction of Villagers and Families has been particularly his object; and with this in view he has been guided in the selection of subjects, the length of the discourses, and the style in which they are written. May God sanction the attempt with his blessing, and make it subservient to his glory!
DEDICATION TO THE FIRST VOLUME.
CHURCH AND CONGREGATION
MY DEAR FRIENDS, NEARLY ten
have elapsed since, by unanimous request, I became
years I reckon among the most interesting of my life, as having passed with pleasure to myself, and with some evidence of usefulness to others. You have borne with my infirmities; you have accepted my service; you have studied to secure my comfort. While, there. fore, my first acknowledgments belong to the great Head of the Church, my thanks are due to you as an affectionate people.
Receive this Volume as a token of sincere esteem, and as a memorial of the mutual pleasure we have enjoyed in the worship of our God. Regard it also as, in a degree, the fruit of affliction, and of that
leisure which inability to serve you from the pulpit has afforded.
If some of you trace here the truths which have awakened your conscience, and, by the agency of the Holy Spirit, have brought you to God; remember that to Him belongs all the glory. He forms you for himself, that you may shew forth his praise. May these truths be much endeared to your hearts ! May you enjoy their supporting, consoling influence! And in your temper and conduct, may you ever manifest their most salutary effects ! “ These things which you have both learned and received, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.”
But these discourses may be read by some who have heard the substance of them without effect. It would be criminal not to feel concerned on your behalf. Again the message of life-the word of salvation, accosts you; and will you again reject it? God forbid! Be entreated to give more serious attention to these important realities. Believe them with the heart, and receive them in love.
Brethren and Friends—the day is not far distant when “every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.” In regard to myself, this solemn period may
If health be restored, my desire is that it may be employed in proclaiming the invaluable truths of the glorious Gospel. Should it be withheld, this Gospel will afford sufficient support. May the Saviour it exhibits be your be my eternal
be very near.