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CATHOLIC CHURCH.

FIVE

SERMONS

PREACHED IN THE

PARISH CHURCH OF BLACKBURN,

ON OCCASION OF THE

COMMEMORATION OF THE REFORMATION,
Celebrated October 4th, 1835.

REV. JOHN WILLIAM WHITTAKER, D.D.,

VICAR OP BLACKBURN.

LONDON:

JOHN COCHRAN, 108, STRAND.
BLACKBURN: W. H. MORRICE.

MDCCCXXXVI.

D

LONDON:

PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET.

PREFACE.

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The first of the following discourses, being of an introductory nature, was delivered on the Evening of Sunday, September 27th, 1835, with an intention that the remaining four would be preached on the 4th of October. For this purpose it had been arranged, that there should be four services at the Parish Church of Blackburn, by separating the Litany (as a second Service) from the Morning and Communion Services, to which was assigned an unusually early hour, those of the Afternoon and Evening remaining as on ordinary occasions.

But this projected order was unexpectedly deranged. The number of communicants at the Lord's table was so great, amounting to nearly five hundred, that the early Morning Service was prolonged to the unusual length of six hours. Consequently the second Morning or Litany Service was lost, the fourth Sermon was delivered at the Evening instead of the Afternoon Service, and the fifth was postponed until Sunday Evening, October 11th.

This circumstance was not regretted by the author, as he wished the fourth of these discourses to be heard by as

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many of the people as possible. And it is believed that it was distinctly heard by a congregation of not less than five thousand persons.

Having to address a very mixed auditory, it was his desire to use the plainest language, and to leave none of his hearers in doubt of his sentiments on all those important points which he was able to treat of in such a limited compass of time.

He believes that, however imperfectly he may have discharged it, he has done what, under circumstances, it was his bounden duty to do in preaching and publishing these discourses. And he now puts them forth into the world, with prayerful hope that the Lord, whom he serves, will bless them as means of converting men to the truth, and building up that spiritual fabric—His Holy Catholic Church.

Blackburn, Dec. 3lst, 1835.

SERMON I.

A FREE COURSE TO THE WORD OF THE LORD.

2 Thess. iii. 1, 2.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

There is abundant reason in every age of Christ's church that His faithful people should pray for their ministers, that the word of God, as preached by them, may be effectual through the grace of God's Holy Spirit to the salvation of souls, that it may have free and uninterrupted course, shedding its light in every abode of spiritual darkness, and may in its result be accompanied by that moral glory which the Almighty Ruler of His church sheds on His elect people. Much cause is there indeed, my brethren, that you should pray for us, that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men ; for such will always exist, are always hinderances to the spread of the Gospel, and are in their dispositions invariably overbearing and intolerant. The opposition which the Gospel of Christ has met with in the world has proceeded from the natural hatred of God, the inbred love of sin, which man inherits from his sinful progenitor. And Christ had forewarned his disciples that the world would hate them,

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