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The Conclusion.-Acts, *x. 26 and 27.
A deep Sense of the Importance of leading Mankind to clear and correct Views of the Way of Salvation, of establishing their Minds in the fundamental Doctrines of the Gospel, and of exciting in them a sincere Regard to practical Christianity, has led to a Publication of the second Edition of this Work.
The first Edition, consisting of 1200 Impressions, was originally intended for the exclusive Use of the Author's Parishioners; but, several Copies of it having met with a favourable Reception beyond his parochial Boundaries, he has been induced to hope, that a more general Circulation of the Work, by Means of the present Edition, will prove both acceptable and useful to the Public.
A sincere Love for his Fellow-creatures, first directed his Thoughts to the Train of Subjects; the same Principle induced him to preach them; and under the Influence of this Disposition they are proposed for public Inspection. The Motive, he trusts, will disarm Criticism of its Severity-silence the censorious Reader, and excite the utmost Candour in. the Perusal of every Page.
The Existence of God Proved.
DANIEL, CHAP. 2.-VERSE 28.
There is a God in Heaven.
An affectionate concern for your best interests, my dear brethren, has made me sincerely anxious to become the happy instrument of informing and establishing your minds, in the various branches of doctrinal, practical, and experimental religion.Hence, it is my design to call your attention to a series of discourses, calculated, under a divine blessing, to give you information on these important points. It is certainly a desirable attainment to be able, on all occasions,“ to give a reason of the hope that is in us ;” and to be “ rooted and grounded in the truth as it is in Jesus.” Unless this be the case, we shall be in danger of being soon removed from the hope of the Gospel, and of giving cause to persons of opposite sentiments to suspect, that our religion is rather the effect of whim and caprice, than the result of a sober and solid judgement. It seems therefore particularly necessary, that the understanding be well informed in
matters of such importance. You know, however, that in order to get the understanding thus informed, it concerns us, not only to be earnest in prayer to him who has said, “If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God and it shall be given him ;" but also, to pay a very close attention to the nature and design of the subject under discussion. This hint, I trust, will be the means of exciting you to be more than usually attentive to the several discourses, which, through the permission of a gracious providence, I now wish to lay before you. As every branch of religion is founded on the belief of a God, I have thought it proper to introduce the subjects, by calling your attention to this fundamental article of our creed. The present discourse therefore will be occupied, in proving the certainty of God's existence; and shall be closed with a few appropriate reflections.
Our text informs us, There is a God in Heaven. Now, although I have not the least suspicion, that any of you do not believe there is a God above; yet from the suggestions of the evil One, the deceitfulness of the human heart, and, perhaps, from the occasional insinuations of some hardened individuals, you may be in danger of having your minds unsettled on this point, and of being almost led to ask, “ Well, how do I