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In publishing the accompanying Sermons, the Author trusts that he has been guided by a desire for the spiritual welfare of those committed to his charge. More conclusive arguments against the delusions at present existing in the Church mạy, he is well aware, be found in many larger and more elaborate treatises, especially in that of the Rev. W. Goode,* to whose admirable work the Author begs most distinctly to acknowledge his obligations, and
* Modern Claims to the Gifts of the Spirit. Hatchard, 10s. 6d, boards.
members of his flock from the dangers of their delusions,
The Author will only add, that his conviction of the unprofitableness of religious controversy is so complete, that, having performed what he has felt to be both a necessary duty as regards his people, and a painful one as regards himself, he believes that no notice that can be taken of these Discourses will ever tempt him to enter the lists of controversy, or to engage in theological war, with those with whom, if he cannot cordially agree, he will never willingly contend.
BELOVED, BELIEVE NOT EVERY SPIRIT, BUT TRY THE
SPIRITS WHETHER THEY ARE OF GOD."
In applying ourselves to the deeply important subject which late events have compelled us to notice from this place, I would desire for us all a spirit of humility and affection, as well as of wisdom, of sincerity, and of knowledge.
By the subject upon which we are about to enter, the hearts of many of the most sincere and devoted among the people of God have been painfully exercised, dissension has been introduced into truly Christian families, religious intercourse among relatives, if not entirely put a stop to, has been rendered cold and formal and uninteresting, and a scene of confusion and schism has taken place in the Church of the Redeemer, which it is impossible to witness without the most heart-rending feelings of sympathy and regret.
These considerations alone should induce us to exercise great tenderness, as well as great caution in our investigation ; and while looking up to the Holy Spirit at every step, for instruction and guidance, looking around also at every step, upon our erring brethren, lest we pain or condemn those who may, in many of the graces of a Christian life and conversation, have attained to a far greater eminency than ourselves.
While, however, we give the fullest weight to this consideration, there is still another which must not be stinted of its proper measure of importance, or deprived of any part of its just and legitimate demands upon us, viz., the imperative duty on all subjects connected with the glory