Page images

the arguments however powerful, and all the persuasion however affectionate, of the most judicious, and zealous, preacher. It is to the

parochial Clergy that men look, and naturally, for simplicity of manners, and purity of life; but for splendid acts, and attractive goodness, they look to higher orders, and superior ranks. In an exemplary attendance on public worship, accompanied with an amiable family, you give encouragement to the well-disposed, and admonition to the thoughtless; you recommend the observance of the most solemn Ordinance of the Gosa pel, not merely by the example of a regular, and devout, participation, but by a solicitude demonstrated even beyond the influence of example, to impress a deep and awful sense of its obligation.

The interest you take, in the midst of professional engagements, and important pursuits, in the benevolent support of the Magdalen Institution, to preserve the guilty from ruin, and to restore the penitent to comfort-the valuable time which

you devote, and the sound judgment which you apply in the superintendence and di




rection of a Charity, which diffuses blessings on a part of society greatly to be compassioned, who, unhappily, have forfeited its countenance, and alienated themselves from its protectionwhilst it is a source of no common satisfaction, exhibits, to men of high station, an example of the blessings they may confer on the miserable, the deluded, and the friendless.

Among the several features of your character, posterity will record with gratitude and admiration, your endeavors, laudable in their motive, and successful in their issue, to obtain, for a persecuted Church, relief from the penalties under which it had long, unworthily, suffered. The Episcopal Church of Scotland, apostolic in its origin, primitive in its manners, orthodox in its religious, and loyal in its civil, opinions, considers you as a champion to whose zeal and judge ment, she is, in no usual degree, indebted for her deliverance from a yoke imposed at first through a suspicion of the principles, and continued, afterwards, as a restraint on the conduct, of her members. May Government, in its wisdomn, not content itself with relieving her fron the severity of penal laws, but, as an additional mark of


A 3

favor to which she is, justly, entitled, console her in her afflicted, and support her in her necessi. tous condition !

I am, my dear Sir,

With every sentiment of respect, regard, and


Your most obliged, and obedient,

humble, Servant,



May 6, 1811,

[ocr errors][merged small]

IT has been my design to comprize in this work, two descriptions of sermons-the most eloquent, and the most useful. I should have rejoiced, had they, generally, been rendered more attractive and interest. ing, by a greater degree of pathos; but in this, the English sermons, excellent as they may be, in other respects, are often, lamentably defective. I need only instance the admirable sermons of Conybeare, Horbery, Pearce, Powel, Tucker, all of them distinguished authors; those however of Hickman, Lawson, Newlin, Ogden, Richmond, Riddoch, St. John, Scott, and Skelton, exhibit many happy instances of genuine pathos.

Should it be objected to me, that the biographical sketches contained in this volume, are uninteresting, I am to observe, that many of the authors having been private Clergymen little known, it is probable, beyond their respective neighborhoods-materials for more detailed biography could not, in many cases, be obtained,

I have

A 4

I have omitted notices of the five French Preachers, which may, perhaps, appear in a subsequent work, consisting entirely of Translations of French sermons.

My humble labors are now brought to a close, Happy shall I esteem myself, if they should be received into families; and, by being, uniformly, read, should produce the end for which they were, origi. nally, undertaken-adherence to the Chusch, renunciation of error, just principles, and correspondent practice.

« PreviousContinue »