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BY THE EDITOR.
The time allotted for the public instruction of the people in morals and religion by the established clergy (during their Sabbath sermons) is comparatively limited.
In great cities the congregations consist of a mixed multitude; of the instructed (rarely of the learned), and of the uninformed.
In country congregations they are almost wholly confined to the latter.
Subjects of controversy (upon which the most learned have, and do continue to differ) become the scholar, and may usefully exercise the sagacity of an acute and well-disciplined mind; but the period is too short, and the auditors too unfitted for the reception of, or the profiting by, such sort of instruction.
The author of these sermons (it will be found) has therefore studiously confined himself to the plain and simple truths of our holy religion, avoiding purposely all difficult and disputed points, and endeavouring only to instil into the hearts of men, that beautiful and heavenly simplicity of the Gospel, which would lead to a Christian life while they here remain, and open to them, through the mediation of their blessed Redeemer, and through the mercy of their Almighty Creator, an humble hope that their exertions, however imperfect, through the infirmities of human nature, may yet be “pleasing and acceptable” in his sight.
In this manner the author conceived he was best promoting the present and the future happiness of his fellow-men, and doing his duty in his vocation.
SERMONS PREACHED AT ST. PAUL'S