« НазадПродовжити »
BY SETH WILLISTON,
I AS I considered the Sermons rather too long, I have made a division in all of them, except the first; by inserting, PART II, as near the middle of the Sermon, as I could make it convenient. This division is entirely a distinct thing from dividing the Sermons into heads. If these Sermons should be read in any of the New Settlements, on the Sabbath, in the room of preaching, a Sermon can be read at once; or at twice, as shall be thought best. The test can be repeated at the beginning of PART II, when one Ser: mon serves for both parts of the day.
1-94-46 THE AUTHOR'S ADDRESS TO HIS READERS.
The five first, of the following Sermons, were occasioned by a Public Debate between a Presbyterian, and Methodist, Minister, in the town of Durham, on the 2d day of May, 1810. These five sermons embrace the subjects, which were taken up in the Debate. The Au. thor took no active part in the Debate ; but as the people to whom he Was ministering, were present to hear two perfectly opposite senti. ments given, concerning some of the most fundamental doctrines of the Bible, he thought it was a duty which he owed to them, to take up each of the debated points, and join hands with his brother, in seeking to establish what he deemed to be truth. This was done, he hopes, without any feelings of bitterness towards those of the oppo. oito sentiment. When I concluded to publish the Sermons, I thought, two or three more might be added, to make the volume large enough to bind. The three other Sermons, which are added to the Sermons preached on the Debate, appeared to me, to be on very important sub. jects; and also to be, in some degree, connected with the other Ser. mons.
I now commit them to the merciful providence of God. I know, i that He can give them as extensive a circulation, as the interests of
his Zion require. He can make them the means of refreshing the bowels of the saints, and also of turning sinners from Satan to Him. self. I know, that it is not beyond the power of God, to make use of this little volume, (though it should contain nothing new) to reflect light into the minds of those, who have long been in the dark on these subjects. I think I am not influenced by a malicious hatred of the Methodists, in publishing these Sermons. I should view it a great mercy from God, to be made an instrument of promoting, in the least degree, their knowledge of the scriptures. I think their edification in the Church below, and their eternal blessedness in the Church above, appear of great value to me ; separately from the idea of their being brought into the same Church connection with myself. I hope they will not view me their enemy, because I tell them what I deem to be truth. And if it be truth, it is important that they should know, and receive it. If any of you, of this denomination, should read these Discourses, let me beg of you to give them a candid reading. Com. pare them with a the lively oracles.” If these Sermons contain the truth of God, you must not oppose them, because they come from a Presbyterian. It will be dreadful, while we think we are only opposicg men, to be found fighting against God!
As every thing, which is done by creatures, depends entirely upon God for its usefulness, let me ask this reasonable request, that every one, who takes up this volume to read it, would implore the blessing of God upon it; that it may be useful, not only to him, but to all others, Into whose bardis, through the divine providence, it shall fall.