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In Presbytery, April 21, 1821. “Resolved, that the Moderator be requested to furnish the Presbytery with a copy of the discourse, which he delivered before them yesterday, for the purpose of publication.
GEORGE JUNKIN, P. Clerk.
I present you the discourse, a copy of which you requested for publication, with a couple of observations on its present form. Some topics, which before such an audience, needed only to be touched in a rapid outline, are here more fully treated, for the benefit of the public. And an article of ministerial duty, which had occupied a prominent rank in my preparation, but which totally escaped me in the delivery, is restored to its place in the present publication. These circumstances have caused the work to swell beyond the bounds of a sermon; and indeed, partial as I am to dense composition, I found it impossible to compress within such bounds, any thing like a distinct exhibition of so extensive a subject.
I am, gentlemen,
PRESENT CONDITION AND PROSPECTS
MATTHEW xvi. 1–3. "The Pharisees also, with the Sadducees, came, and, tempting, desired him that he would shew unto them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather; for the sky is red: and in the morning, it will be foul weather to-day; for the sky is red and lowering. Oh ye hypocrites! ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times ?”
My brethren of this Presbytery do not need to be informed of the character of that particular species of discourse, one of which they have appointed me to preach before them, on the present occasion; but for the satisfaction of other auditors, it
proper to mention, that I have been directed by the Presbytery at its last meeting, to prepare, and deliver before them at this meeting, a discourse of that class, which has long been known in universities, and ecclesiastical assemblies, by the Latin name, Concio AD CLERUM; which means, in English, a Sermon to the Clergy. I may add, that such discourses are not intended for the discussion of the common doctrines, duties, and consolations of the christian religion; which are the subjects proper for a gospel minister to treat, in his or