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Divinity of Christ


ORIGINAL PREFACE

TO THE FIRST EDITION, PUBLISHED IN 1790-1.

Divinity of Christ - Preface


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Divinity of Christ


ORIGINAL PREFACE

TO THE FIRST EDITION, PUBLISHED IN 1790-1.

It may be expected that some reason should be assigned for publishing the following Sermons, upon a subject which hath already received so much discussion. And indeed, were the merits of the performance the only recommendation, it is more than probable the work itself would never have been brought forth to public view. But this, however, is the smallest con­sideration for its appearance.

The Sermons were composed for the particular edification of those persons in whose spiritual concerns the Author con­siders himself highly interested, and who are justly entitled to his best and most diligent labors. And his sole object was to prevent the minds of his congregation from being led away from what he humbly conceives to be the pure faith of the Gospel, by the revival of an opinion long since exploded, but which seems to be mingling with the fashionable doctrines of the present day.

As this purpose might have been sufficiently answered from the pulpit, the Author would have rested satisfied with the consciousness of having discharged by that means his duty, and with having given his public testimony, however trifling, to the important cause. But when he found the sincerity of the Established Clergy called in question; and it was confi­dently said, that but few of them believed the doctrines they professed, he concluded that he ought not to confine his senti­ments within the narrow limits of his own parish, but declare himself in a more public way, to be one of those supposed few, whose profession and convictions arc happily blended.

Although he hath said this, in order to account for the publication of the following Sermons, he has not said it with a view to deprecate the severity of criticism, or to effect popu­larity. To assert the dignity of our most glorious God and Saviour, the great founder of the Gospel, is the indispensable duty of every faithful servant of Jesus, whatever inconve­niences he may suffer in so just a cause. And God forbid that any man who bears this character, should recede from any apprehension in speaking of his divinity upon earth through whom alone, in his incommunicable salvation, our everlasting happiness is secured in heaven. If he shrinks with fear from what may be the result of this publication, it is not from the dread of criticism (the shafts of which, upon the present oc­casion, must lose their power to wound), but his fear is, lest the cause be wishes to support, should suffer from the very imperfect manner in which he had treated it.

He hath only further to request, that the candid reader will make all proper allowances for the great length into which he has been unavoidably carried, in the induction of particulars towards the accomplishment of the end intended. Did he write for the amusement of a light hour, he could not hope, that a subject in which there is so little variety, and such great sameness of argument, would procure many readers. But as the design is of a different nature, he trusts the infi­nite importance of it will be a sufficient apology with those who read from better motives.

Whilst he writes, his eyes are to the Lord that a divine blessing may attend the serious perusal; and if these Dis­courses be found to contain anything of a salutary tendency, either to confirm the faith of the believer, or to guide the un­informed in his pursuit of truth; that God “in all things be glorified, through Jesus Christ.”

Dr. Hawker Index

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