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SERMONS;

ON

IMPORTANT SUBJECTS,

8 Y

N. HOLLINGSWORTH, A. M.
CURATE OF THE PARISH OF SEDGEFIELD,
IN THE COUNTY OF DURHAM ;

LATE FELLOW OF St. JOHN's COLLEGE,
OXFORD.

I am not afhamed of the Gospel of Chrift:
for it is the POWER of God unto falvation,
to every one that believeth. Rom. i. 16.

Printed, by W APPLETON, Stockton and Darlington:

Sold by Crosby & Letterman, Stationers Court,
Champante & Whitrow, Jury Street, London,
the principle Booktellers in Oxford, Cambridge,
and in the Counties of Durham, York, etc,

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DEDICATION.

TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE PARISH OF

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SEDGEFIELD.

MY DEAR PARISHIONERS,

KNOW not to whom the following fheets can with fo much propriety be addreffed, as to yourselves. You have the principal claim on all my labours. These Sermons have been publifhed, with a view to your fpiritual good. Many of them were preached to you with the fame defign. You will now find fome of them more enlarged, than the limits usually allotted to addreffes from the pulpit would admit of. It is my wifh, that you should not only hear these explanations of the Chriftian doctrines once, but have them continually before your eyes, that you may carefully compare them with the facred fcriptures, and with the acknowledged doctrines of the Church of England, as contained in her Liturgy, Articles, and Homilies.

The

paffages from the Homilies will be found a little modernised, to render them more fuitable to the general style of the Sermons, and more easy to be understood. The fenfe however is precisely that of the original. Citations from these have

been

been occafionally brought forward, both in the Sermons and the Notes, more fully than could eafily be done from the pulpit, for the fake of affifting your examination. With the fame view, I have generally referred you, in the margin, to the paffages of fcripture, which have been brought forward, or alluded to; and have fometimes added other references, to confirm the doctrine.. I with you to fee clearly that the doctrines which I hive preached to you, are thofe of the fcriptures, and of our Church. I wish to fhew you, alfo, that what I have preached to you, I do not befitate fubmitting to the examination of the public. You will, I doubt not, readily make allowance for any little inelegance or inaccuracy of expreffion, when informed, that thefe fermons have been hallily written, in hours of leifure, fnatched, as it were, from my various parochial engagements.

Other P rfons will, I hope, make the fame allowance. If they fhould not, I fhall not be extremely concerned on this head; my design not having been to write finely, but clearly. My attention has been paid far more to doctrines than to ftyle.

That fome of you fhould have derided thefe doctrines, that fome of you fhould even violently oppose them, I am by no means, furprised. It has ever been the fate of the faithful preaching of the gofpel. I would addrefs fuch perfons, in the words of a truly pious minifter, on a fimilar occafion : "As far as the doctrine is merely “mine, you are at full liberty to reject and despise it. But, have you really examined, with all

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"that seriousness and diligence, which becomes "an enquiry of fuch importance, whether it is not "agreeable to the word of God? Or have you "not rather taken up your objections from others? "Has not a name of reproach, which is com"monly affixed to thofe, who are zealous of reli "gion, deterred you from attending? May I not afk then, Is this candour? Is it common juftice "to condemn what you have not heard? Or, if "you have heard at all, have you not run away with fingle expreffions, or detached parts of "Sermons? Many of our oppofers, at least, have brought their moft formidable charges on no "better ground. But how unfair is fuch a con"duct? If this were allowable, you might eafily

make the holy fcripture itself to speak the moft "horrid blafphemy. No wonder, then, you are "offended, if you will judge fo haftily, and not "confider one phrafe or pofition in connection "with another. Why are you unwilling to hear again? Are you fure, you did not mifunder"ftand? Perhaps a more frequent attendance. might remove your objections. Or, fuppofing "that you really differ in fentiments of religion, you will grant that poffibly you may be wrong. "Do not condemn other opinions, till you have "ferioufly examined whether your own be right. "Have you ftudied the Scriptures, with earnest

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prayer to God to be directed by his Spirit? If "not, you are very improper judges upon the "fubject. Whatever be your notions, it is highly "probable you are ignorant of the truth of God. "Inafmuch

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