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contemplates its success with alarm, and spares no artifice or stratagem, which his capacious intellect can suggest, to obstruct its progress; and if we, by our criminal negligence, turn his ally against ourselves, we shall be guilty of that prodigy of folly and infatuation which is equally condemned by the councils of heaven and the machinations of hell.
VOL. I. I I
NOTE BY THE EDITOR.
ABOUT seven years ago I went down to Leicester, at . Mr. Hall's especial request, for the purpose of advising with him as to the preparation of a volume of Sermons, an undertaking to which he had then made up his mind. After various conversations, we fixed upon twelve, the subjects of which, with their respective modes of discussion and application, he regarded himself as able to recall without much difficulty. Among the sermons then selected was the following, composed in confirmation of a momentous point of christian doctrine, and which he had preached at Luton, in the spring of 1822. He spoke of it as most readily occurring to his mind in its entire arrangement, and I therefore urged him to commit it to paper as soon as possible. This, there is reason to believe, he accomplished accordingly. But the continued indifferent state of his health, the numerous interruptions to which he was then exposed, and his total inability to satisfy himself in composing for the press, jointly concurred in deterring him from advancing any farther towards the completion of his design, than to carry this sermon to its close, and to prepare the notes of a few others more fully than had been usual with him in his sketches for the pulpit.
The manuscript copy of this discourse, in Mr. Hall's own hand-writing, has been found since his death : not complete, it is true; but there are only two chasms of importance, and these I have been enabled to fill up by means of the reports of the same sermon which I have received from various friends. Although, therefore, I cannot but regret that the portions alluded to are not given precisely in Mr. Hall's language; yet, I trust, that nothing essential to the train of argument, or to its principal illustrations, is omitted.