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PRINTED FOR F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON,
NO. 62, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD;
SOME explanation may be necessary to be added to the preceding Address; the following Discourses, some of them at least, being of a description above the level of common understandings, and consequently not proper to be delivered to a congregation, the body of which consists of the lower orders of the community: in reference to this point, however, it must be observed, that all the learned parts, now contained in them, were (as it may be supposed) scrupulously discarded ; and other parts of a comparatively difficult nature, so loosened and lowered down, as to leave no doubt on the mind of the Preacher, of their being calculated, under the Divine blessing, to minister to that general edification, which Discourses, delivered to a mixed assemblage of Christians, ought principally to have in view. It will not, I trust, be attributed to a wrong motive, that these Discourses are now given to the public in their originally more perfect form. Some, it is possible, may be gratified in seeing in that form, what
many expressed satisfaction from receiving in a much humbler dress. At all events, my object is, what it has been, to advance the cause of religion, and of the Church of Christ, in the way, in which, according to my judgment, that cause may best be advanced in the present day. The times, alas ! in which we live, give just cause for trembling and dismay, not to the faint-hearted only, but even to the most stout-minded among us.
The widespreading and overwhelming torrent of schism; now bearing down in all directions against the walls of our Sion, makes us at times to feel apprehension for the stability of her foundation. Whilst those numberless errors, together with those vain and senseless theories, clothed by a corrupt and unbridled imagination, in the assumed dress of Scripture phraseology, which are, at this time, suffered, in some degree, to prevail over the sound doctrines, and rational principles of genuine Christianity ; in consequence of the unhappily deluded multitude, in wild pursuit of the IGNES FATUI of the day, foolishly wandering from those old and tried paths, in which their forefathers travelled in safety to their journey's end, are circumstances which lead to the conclusion, that much time must elapse, even admitting that the most judicious means to counteract the growing evil be zealously adopted, before the sober sense of this nation will
be brought back to its wonted standard. But what unpromising aspect soever the religious affairs of our country may at this time present, our trust, as the appointed watchmen of Israel, is in that gracious Providence, who first planted his Church among us, and who, should we not be found wanting to ourselves, will still not fail to protect and to preserve it. To this end, however, our exertions, it scarce needs to be observed, must be proportioned to the exigencies of the circum; stances, under which Divine wisdom, doubtless for wise ends, has thought fit to place us. The object, for which the Church in which these Discourses were delivered, was particularly erected, is well known. It will be expected, therefore, that such object should be prominent in the mind of their composer. He has only to hope that the desire of leaving a strong impression on common minds, has not in certain parts drawn him so much into detail, as to become tiresome to his more informed reader. In a word, the Preacher, considering the place in which he stood, had it in his view primarily, to counteract, as far as might be, the present prevailing errors in religion, by laying broad and plain those essential principles of genuine Christianity, which constitute the only sure foundation upon which Christian practice can be built : And, secondarily, to press upon the minds