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AS A SLIGHT MEMORIAL
OF LONG AND AFFECTIONATE FRIENDSHIP;
AND AS AN ATTEMPT TO PROMOTE
THE FRUIT OF SCRIPTURAL FAITH,
THAT MORALITY WHICH
IN PUBLIC LIFE AND IN PRIVATE,
IT HAS BEEN HIS HABITUAL
AND EARNEST DESIRE
TO PRACTICE AND TO DIFFUSE;
THE FOLLOWING SERMONS
IF I describe the present volume as principally defigned to illuftrate and to enforce Christian Morality; the fame defign, I may hope, will have been rendered manifest throughout the two volumes already before the public, by a continual application of doctrine to conduct, and by the difcuffion in feparate discourses of various individual duties, and of various individual fins. There are reasons, however, which have recommended the prosecution of that purpose in the present form.
Of late years it has been loudly afferted that, among clergymen who have fhewed themselves very earnest in doctrinal points, adequate regard has not been evinced to moral instruction. The charge has perhaps been urged with the greatest vehemence by. perfons, who have employed little trouble in examining into its truth. In many cases it has been groundless; in many, exaggerated.
In fome inftances there has been reafon,
I fear, for a degree of complaint; and in more, a colourable pretext for the imputation. I believe that fome preachers, shocked on beholding examples, real or supposed, of congregations starving on mere morality fubftituted for the bread of life; eager to lay broad and deep the foundations of the gofpel; and ultimately apprehenfive left their own hearers should fufpect them of reverting towards legality; have not given to morals, as fruits of Faith, the station and the amplitude to which they have a scriptural claim. Anxious left others fhould mistake, or left they should themselves be deemed to mistake, the branch for the root: not fatisfied with proclaiming to the branch, as they were bound habitually to proclaim, Thou beareft not the root, but the root thee: they have fhrunk from the needful office of tracing the ramifications. They have not left morality out of their difcourfes. But they have kept it too much in the background. They have noticed it fhortly, generally, incidentally: in a manner which, while perhaps they were eminent as private patterns of moral duties, might not sufficiently guard an unwary hearer against a reduced eftimate of practical holiness, nor exempt themselves fromthe fufpicion of undervaluing moral obedience. We are conti