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may be irreparable; the illicit passion which it was meant to check may have had its full sway; it may have committed deep depredation on our own innocence; it may have contaminated the virtue, or violated the peace, or impaired the property of our neighbour. “ Wherefore,” saith the Apostle, “I will not
be negligent to put you always in remem“ brance of these things, though ye know
them, and be established in the present “ truth.” And with equal force he adds, in another chapter, “ This second epistle, be“ loved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure
of remembrance, that ye may be mindful of the words “ which were spoken before by the holy pro
phets, and of the commandment of us the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour b."
From these observations it may appear that the present discourse will naturally divide itself into two parts: the first of which will urge the propriety of youthful instruction, and the second evince the necessity of repeating and strengthening the lessons
minds by way
b 2 Pet. iii. 1.
of early piety by habitual recollection; in truth, by public worship, at stated periods.
The first point I shall dispatch more briefly.
The second, as connected with those institutions of our country which have established a relation between you, my brethren, and myself, it is my intention to treat more at large.
The epistle from whence the text is taken is addressed by its inspired author, not to any particular Church planted by the Apostles, but to the Christian converts, wherever dispersed over the world: it is from hence called one of the general or catholic epistles. Now it is evident that the great body of these persons must have wanted the first of the advantages of which I have spoken above, namely, that of an early institution in the Christian faith. The greater part must have been converted to the belief of a Saviour at an adult age, some even in their declining years. Yet would such defect be more than compensated by the manner of their conversion. The novelty of the doctrine, the miraculous works in confirmation
AND CHAPLAIN TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE
PRINTED FOR C. J. G. & F. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD,