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one, who ventures to send a work out into the world, has some object in view which he wishes to promote, and must labour under considerable apprehensions for the success of his endeavours. In the publication of the following Sermons, which were not originally intended for the press, my object is Usefulness; and I cannot but feel, in common with all Authors, an anxiety about the issue of my present undertaking. I do not
. seek literary fame; for, I am convinced, that I deserve no such distinction. I aspire not to be ranked among those emi- . nent Divines, whose profound learning, and mighty intellects, have stamped upon their works a character, which it falls to the lot of very few to emulate and attain.
Such an ambition, on my part, would be a presumption that would deservedly expose me to ridicule and censure. To have caught the faintest ray from those burning lights is all my pretension. I am but an humble labourer in the vineyard of Christ ; but the humblest may be serviceable, may contribute his share of toil to the cultivation of the ground, and the production of the fruit. If the present publication serve to advance the honour of God, and the interests of Christianity ; if, not misleading any, it convince an understanding and convert a heart; and if it obtain the praise, the only praise I seek, of being a useful work, my end will be answered, and the best wish of my heart accomplished.
These Sermons were composed and preached principally for the instruction of the inhabitants of St. Margaret's Parish, Westminster; to whom I now more particularly offer them; hoping, that what they have listened to with so much
patience, when delivered from the Pulpit, may be a means of further edification to them, when perused in the Closet. Every tribute of respect I can pay, every mark