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and real enjoyment were ended: their friends relieved, and even comforted on the long expected dissolution.
"The case of Moses was perhaps without example in any age. His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated: But we could reckon up not a sew in. our own time, who, according to the conviction of all who knew them, resembled Simeon; and might have said with him, " Now lettest thou thy servants de"„part in peace, our eyes have seen thy salva**. tion." Your thoughts and mine, my brethren, are very naturally turned to a particular instance, at present, of usesuless, respect, and active duty, entire to the very last.— Has not every one of us reason to say, as I do, from the bottom of my foul, on considering this very memorable, asfecting, yet comfortable event,—" Let me die the death "of the righteous! Let my last end .be
-like his 1"
X HE sermons here offered to the public* the subscribers, in general, know to be posthumous. That their Author might have once entertained the idea of giving a sew of them to the world, is rendered somewhat probable, from the circumstance of corrected copies of several having been found among his papers. But the impression of the present volume was not planned by him. It is published by his surviving friends, in compliance with the general desire expressed among all who were acquainted with his piety and usefulness, and particularly by the members of his own congregation, that some memorials of his teaching, and of his labours of love, might be preserved; and that, though they were deprived of his personal presence, he might still live among them, and prosit their immortal souls, by his holy counsels, and heaven-learnt wisdom. It must share, therefore, in the disadvantage attending every publication in similar circumstances, of being unprepared by its author, for the press: many things must be less fully unfolded j many f b less less accurately finished, than if he himself had been their editor. Every attention, however, has been used, to select such discourses as appeared to be most complete: and trouble and pains, to a degree that has considerably retarded the appearance of the volume, have been taken, to render it as correct, as sidelity to the originals, and to the public, would admit. Every sermon has been caresully revised; and, in order to prevent the repeated printing os the same things, has been closely compared with the others, upon similar topics. Notwithstanding this attention, however, it has been impossible, without a daring freedom of alteration, to prevent, in a sew instances, a repetition of particular expressions and ideas. It is naturally accounted for, from the similarity of the occasions on which some of the sermons were delivered; and from the relation that subsists between many of the subjects.
But, though published, doubtless, with various disadvantages, there is good reason, the Author's friends assure themselves, to trust, that, in these discourses, the humble believer will receive, and will thanksully discover an abundant supply, at once, of evangelical comfort and direction. He wil] peruse the exercises of a holy mind, which believed, and which practised, as it taught: and he will gladly perceive the great doctrines of religion, which form the chief theme of his meditations, ditations, and are the foundations of his happiness, so fully and solemnly inculcated. Amid the tears, therefore, which the friends of the Author shed over his memory, they rejoice to think, that many may yet be prosited by his labours, and may yet thank him in the kingdom of heaven, for the instruction and encouragement which is contained in the following pages:—instruction and encouragement, delivered with such perspicuity of language, and simplicity of manner, as to be adapted for the benesit of every capacity, and of every rank.
It is evident, from she whole tenor of these discourses, that the author's great object was, to be prositable and instructive to those whom he addressed: and it was with him a matter of conscience, and of study, to adapt every expression, and every argument,. to the capacity of even the most uninformed amongst them. What would be usesul to them, he preserred to that ornament and polish, which, however it might have added to> the reputation of his genius and taste, would have little tended to the edisication of his flock. In their hearing, he would have been sorry to have employed a word or thought, that was above their.. comprehension; or to have pleased the ear of the learned and the polite, at the expence of the great body of his people. It is hoped, however, that the style, though plain, and sometimes even fab 2 miliar, miliarj will never be found low; or the sentiments mean. This simplicity is,- by no means, inconsistent with correctness: and the taste, which is not altogether fastidious, may • discover, that, in these sermons, it persectly accords with much energy, both of thought and of diction.
Readers, who admire only those elegant and highly sinished delineations, either of virtue in general, or of particular graces, as tonfidered merely in themselves, will not here meet with a food much adapted to their intellectual appetite. But the devout Christian will sind what is more for his advantage: he will sind universal excellence- and particular duty, enforced from their connection with the great articles of his faith; and deriving from it a commanding influence. on his heart, insinitely superior to all that they could receive from the most elegant description, and the subtlest argumentation, where that connection is disregarded, or brought but flightly into view. The Author, as a minister of the gospel, did not consider it his office to be a mere teacher of moral philosophy and ethics. 'While, therefore, he earnestly recommended every virtue, and endeavoured to encourage it by an unblameable example, he uniformly made the peculiar doctrines of the gospel the grand basis of his arguments, and the leading theme of his admonitions j and in these,