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P R E F A CE.
WHATEVER may be the Reader's opinion of the manner in which the subjects of the following Discourses are discussed, he will agree with their Author in regarding the subjects themselves as highly important. Reasons which need not be mentioned led to the preparation and delivery of the Discourses, at different times, to his own congregation, and, on one or two cccasions, elsewhere. Their publication in any form, and their appearance together, are owing to unpremeditated circumstances, with which it is unnecessary to trouble the public.
The first two Discourses are printed precisely as they were delivered; the others with various
alterations and enlargements. Beside illustrating the nature of the Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; it was the design of the Author to point out the infinite riches of that grace which the Gospel displays, and the admirable adaptation of the Gospel itself to the guilt and wretchedness of man. In this point of view, the first two Discourses are more intimately connected with the three following, than the subject might at first seem to indicate. To this connexion the readers attention is respectfully invited. He will then find a series of discussions on the method and extent of the forgiveness which Christianity announces to the world,the necessity of divine influence to render its proclamation effectual,the means provided by God for this purpose,--and the established connexion between the Spirit's influence and the faithful employment of those
On various topics which the Discourses embrace there is room for some diversity of opinion, and on some of them the Author was afraid of being misunderstood. To explain himself fully on those points, he has added a body of Notes and Illustrations, which have extended much farther than was originally intended. They notice, however, a
variety of subjects, which could not with propriety be brought forward from the pulpit; but to which the present state of theological information, and the circumstances of the church and the world, render it expedient to pay some attention.
May the Holy Spirit be pleased to bless this feeble effort to state the truth, and to promote the divine glory!
Camberwell, December 15, 1827.