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I. The Character of the Un- & VIII. The various Meth. regenerate.

ods in which those InII. III. The Nature of Re. fluences operate. generation.

IX. Directions to awakene IV. V. VI. The Necessity ed Sinners.

and Importance of it. X. An Address to the Re. VII. The Divine Influences generate.

necessary to produce it









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Tapau 4-29-1932


he can.

IT is undoubtedly the duty of every wise and good man to be forming schemes for the service of God and his fellow-creatures in future years, if he be continued to them; and it will be his prudence to do it early in life, that he may be gradually preparing to execute them in the most advantageous manner

But wbile a man's heart is thus devising his way, the Lord directeth his steps. And as many such schemes will probably be left unfinished at death, which will quickly come to break off our purposes and the thoughts of our hearts; so it is not improbable that they who humbly and obediently fullow the leadings of Divine Providence and grace, may often find themselves called out on a sudden to services which, but a little before, were quile unthought of by them.

This has been the case with me in most of the Sermons I have published, of which very few were composed with any view to the press; and it is most remarkably so with respect to these on Regeneration. Besides many other excellent persons, my much honored friend, Dr. Wright, has handled the subject in so judicious and lively a manner, and.. through the great goodness of God to us, so many thousands of his treatise upon it are lispersed in all parts of our land, that I could hardly have believed any, one who had told me I should thus have resong

ed it; nor had I the least intention of doing it, when I began that course of Lectures which I now offer to my reader's perusal.

I did indeed think it necessary last year to treat the subject more largely than I had ever done before, knowing in the general how important it is, and observing that several controversies had about that time been raised concerning it, which, though I do not judge it necessary to mention the particulars of them, I was ready to fear, might have had an ill influence to unsettle men's minds, and either to lead them into some particular errors, or into a general apprehension that it was a mere point of speculation, about which it was not necessary to form any judg. ment at all.*

That these discourses might be more generally useful, I determined to preach them on Lord's-day evenings, that those of my neiglebors who were not my stated hearers might, if they thought proper, have an opportunity of attending them: and accordingly they were attended to the last with uncommon diligence; a great many such persons, of different persuasions and communions, making up a part of the auditory. As practical instruction and improvement was the main thing I had in view, I knew it was necessary to make my discourses as plain, as free, and as serious as I could. But before I had finished near half of my scheme, several of my hearers carnestly requested that the sermons might be pub

* See Mr. Hlebden's Appendix to his late Discourse 03 REGENERATION.

lished; and the request grew more extensive and importunate every week, with this additional circumstance, which I much regarded, that some very pious and judicious friends at a distance, being providentially brought to the hearing of some of these lectures, strongly concurred in the desire; expressing a very cheerful hope, that the reading of what they had heard might be useful in distant parts of the land, to which they assured me they would endeavor to spread them as opportunity might offer. As the advice of sereral of my brethren in the ministry was joined with all this, I thought myself bound in duty at length to comply, whicb I was the rather encouraged to do from the several instances in which I had reason to believe the divine blessing had in some measure aitended these sermons from the pulpit, and had made them the means of producing and advancing the change they described and enforced.

On these considerations, as soon as I returned from that long journey on which I set out the day after these lectures were concluded, I applied myself to recollect the substance of them as well as I could, from the short hiots I had written of them, with the assistance of those notes which some of my friends had taken after me in characters. . Some things are, perhaps, omitted, though I Weliere lut very few; some contracted, and some enlarged; but my hearers will find them in the main what they heard. It cost me more lahor than I was aware, from such niaterials, to reduce them into their presant form; and I hope the multitude of my other bu

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