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PREFACE.

Of every species of composition intruded on the public, Sermons perhaps stand least in need of apology. The subjects on which they profess to treat are of universal importance, and demand universal attention. The minister of the gospel, whose office especially consists in promulgating the glad tidings of salvation, and in persuading sinners to be reconciled to God, may with the greatest propriety have recourse, for the accomplishment of these important ends, to the assistance of the press. If he should fail of obtaining a very extensive circulation, he may yet reasonably hope to attract the notice of a smail number of persons, who from the influence of local or personal considerations, may be induced to read his productions: of persons, for whose spiritual welfare he feels himself deeply interested; but to many of whom he possesses no other means of access than such as the press may offer.

In addition to these general arguments, the writer of the following Sermons has been actuated by a motive of a particular nature. The favourable reception which a single Sermon, preached by him before the Archdeacon and Clergy of Stafford, and afterwards printed at their request, experienced on its publication; and the many concurring testimonies which were transmitted to him from different highly respectable quarters, of the soundness and orthodoxy of the doctrines, which in that Sermon he had maintained; first suggested to him the idea, that the preparation of a small volume of Sermons, in which

those doctrines should be more distinctly stated, and more clearly elucidated, might prove, on several accounts, an employment not wholly without its use. Such was chiefly the design with which this volume was written. In prosecuting this design, the writer has not sought after variety in the selection of his subjects; nor has he studiously laboured to avoid the repetition of similar sentiments, which in exhibiting the same doctrines, even in different points of view, would not fail occasionally to recur. If his Sermons shall be found to contain a faithful and perspicuous statement of Evangelical Truth, the immediate object, which, during the composition of them he has kept in view, will be fully answered. That they may be rendered, through the divine blessing, instrumental in spreading the knowledge of that truth, is the humble hope, and the earnest prayer, with which he now submits them to the public eye.

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