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force a doctrine, unfashionable indeed, but certainly the doctrine of the Gospel.
There is no doubt but that my subject is the most momentous which can fall under the contemplation of a human being; and I therefore claim for it, as the happiness of mankind is at stake, a dispassionate and unprejudiced attention.
The moral world, as well as the political, appears at present, to be greatly out of order. Moral confusion, indeed, naturally produces political. Let all who love their species, or their country, calmly consider whether the neglect or rejection of Christianity may not be the real cause of both: and let those who are thus persuaded, co-operate with every attempt to revive and diffuse the TRUE SPIRIT OF THE Gospel. “Let us meekly instruct " those that OPPOSE THEMSELVES,”* (if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,“ not being over“ come of evil, but overcoming evil with
Nor let a private clergyman, however inconsiderable, be thought to step out of his province, in thus endeavouring to tranquillize the tumult of the world, by calling the
* 2 Tim. ii. 25.
† Romans, xii. 21.
attention of erring and wretched mortals to the gospel of peace. He is justified, not only by the general principles of humanity, but by the particular command of the religion of which he is a minister. Thus saith the apostle:
“ Feed the flock of God, as much as lieth " in you, taking the oversight thereof, not by “ constraint, but willingness; not for FILTHY
LUCRE, but of a ready mind.* Take heed " to all the flock, over the which the Holy “ Ghost, hath made you overseers, to feed " the Church of God, which he hath purcha“ sed with his own blood.”+
This I have humbly attempted ; and, in imitation of a most excellent prelate,f I have adapted my book to all; yet various parts of it more particularly to various descriptions of men; some to the great, some to the learned, but the greater part to the people: remembering the Apostle's example, who says, “To " the weak became I as weak, that I might
gain the weak: I am made all things to all men,
that I might by all means save some; cc and this I do for the GOSPEL'S SAKE, that " I might be a partaker thereof with you.”l. * 1 Pet. v. 2.
† Acts, xx. 28. | Bishop Saunderson, who preached in an appropriate marmer, ad aulam, ad clerum, ad populum. See the titles of his Sermons. 1 1 Cor. xi. 22.
And now, readers, before you proceed any farther, let me be permitted to say to you, “ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and “ the love of God, and the fellowship of the
Holy Ghost, be with you,” in your progress through this book, and also through life, even to its close.
of the Christian Life, and an Advocate for natural
Religion, against spiritual Pretensions.