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N. HOLLINGSWORTH, A. M.
IN THE COUNTY OF DURHAM ;
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Chrift:
Printed, by W APPLETON, Stockton and Darlington:
Sold by Crosby & Letterman, Stationers Court,
and in the Counties of Durham, York, etc,
MY DEAR PARIS'ATONERS, ]
KNOW not to whom the following sheets can
with so much propriety be addressed, as to yourselves. You have the principal claim on all my labours. These Sermons have been published, with a view to your spiritual good. Many of them were preached to you with the same design. You will now find some of them more enlarged, than the limits usually allotted to addresses from the pulpit would ad. mit of. It is my wish, that you should not only hear these explanations of the Christian doctrines once, but have them continually before your eyes, that you may carefully compare them with the sacred scriptures, and with the acknowledged doctrines of the Church of England, as contained in her Liturgy, Articles, and Homilies. The passages from the Homilies will be found a little modernised, to render them more suitable to the general style of the Sermons, and more easy to be understood. The sense however is precisely that of the original. Citations from these have
been occasionally brought forward, both in the Sermons and the Notes, more fully than could easily be done from the pulpit, for the sake of afListing your examination. With the same piew, I have generally referred you, in the margin, to the passages of fcripture, which have been brought forward, or alluded t0; and have sometimes added other references, to confirm the doctrine. . I wish you to fee clearly that the doctrines which i have preached to you, are those of the scriptures, and of our Church. I wish to shew you, also, that what I have preached to you, I do not heftate submitting to the examination of the public. You will, I doubt not, readily make allowance for
any little inelegance or inaccuracy of expreflion, when informed that these sermons have been hallily written, in hours of leisure, fnatched, as it were, from my various parochial engagements. Other p rsons will, I hope, make the fame allowance.
If they fhould not, I shall not be extremely concerned on this head; my design not having been to write finely, but clearly. My attention has been paid far more to doctrines than to style.
That fome of you should have derided thefe doctrines, that fome of you should even violently oppose them, I am by no means, surprised. It has ever been the fate of the faithful preaching of the gospel. I would address such persons, in the words of a truly pious 'minister, on a similar occasion : 6 As far as the doctrine is merely 46 mine, you are at full liberty to reject and despise t it. But, have you really examined, with alt 66 that feriousness and diligence, which becomes “ an enquiry of such importance, whether it is not «í agreeable to the word of God? Or have you 6 not rather taken up your objections from others? “ Has not a name of reproach, which is com66 monly affixed to those, who are zealous of relis
gion, deterred you from attending ? May I not 6 ask then, Is this candour? Is it common justice 6 to condemn what you have not heard ? Or, if “ you have heard at all, have you not run away “ with single expressions, or detached parts of “ Sermons ? Many of our oppofers, at least, have ** brought their most formidable charges on no “ better ground. But how unfair is such a con66 duet? If this were allowable, you might easily
make the holy scripture itself to speak the most 56 horrid blasphemy. No wonder, then, you are 66 offended, if you will judge fo hastily, and not “ consider one phrafe or position in connection 5 with another. Why are you unwilling to hear
again ? Are you fure, you did not mifunder5 stand? Perhaps a more frequent attendance
might remove your objections. Or, fuppofing “ that you really differ in sentiments of religion, s you will grant that possibly you may be wrong, : 66 Do not condemn other opinions,
have 6 seriously examined whether your own be right. *«• Have you studied the Scriptures, with earnest
prayer to God to be dire&ted by his Spirit ? If 6 not, you are very improper judges upon the “ subject. Whatever be your notions, it is highly probable you are ignorant of the truth of God.