« הקודםהמשך »
master, have often disappeared from our ranks, and descended to “ the house appointed for all living.” And " there is no discharge in this war ; we also must needs die." Be persuaded, therefore, ye youth, ye parents, ye aged, to embrace, in faith, the free offers of everlasting love. Suffer not the world to cheat you of heaven, nor the perishing bubbles of earth to divert you from the pursuit of the imperishable riches of eternity. Do you · still hesitate? And still linger? And is the soul to be thus ruined ? Eternal God, prevent it by thy grace, and turn their hearts to thyself, that they may live with thee for ever!
That this may be your unspeakable felicity, is the sincere and fervent prayer of,
My respected hearers,
J. E. GOOD.
Endless Street, Salisbury.
January 24, 1829.
In presenting this Volume of Expository and Practical Discourses to the public, the author owes it both to himself and friends to say a few words in explanation. He has long considered a plain and faithful exposition of the SERMON ON THE MOUNT called for by the circumstances of the church, and under this impression, for the immediate benefit of his own congregation, he commenced these Lectures, without any intention whatever of publication. Having, however, conferred with some individuals, whose judgment he highly values, he was induced to accede to the wishes of many who heard them to commit them to the press.
The complexion of these sermons is decidedly practical ; and, on this account, whatever defects may be found, in their composition, he deems no apology necessary for their publication. All religion is practical, and every scriptural effort to promote its divine influence, however humble, cannot be unacceptable to the Great Head of the Church. With men whose creed excludes the necessity of good works to eternal life, he covets no identification; and to others, who run into the opposite extreme, and place their hope of salvation on their own deeds, he cannot concede anything. He holds but few truths in common with either of these parties. The former will regard his sentiments as legal, and the other as too evangelical: “ But to the law and the testimony;" if they stand not this test, let them be denounced.
With respect to the execution, he considers it proper to observe, that he is not aware of explaining the text in any instance, to make it correspond with pre-conceived opinions in theology. It was his endeavour to follow and exhibit the truth, wherever and under whatever form he found it; and he, therefore, hopes, that however he may have failed in this or in other respects, he may enjoy the credit of an honest and good intention. He has adopted what he believed to be the true sense of the passage, whether sanctioned or discountenanced by preceding commentators. He neither invites nor deprecates criticism ; fully aware, that “ to his own master he standeth or falleth.” At the same time, he would most distinctly state, that he shall feel obliged by any observations which may be kindly offered, with a view to correct what is improper, and rectify what may be amiss.
To those esteemed friends, who have honoured the Author with their confidence in subscribing to the work, he cheerfully presents his grateful acknowledgments; and in return, to express his earnest wish, that its perusal may prove conducive to their present peace and usefulness, and finally to their everlasting joy. He commits it to their candour, and the divine blessing.
Endless Street, Salisbury,
January 26, 1829.