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according to my notion of the Sermon (which I think is the common one), it ought to be the exposition and enforcement of a doctrine of Scripture founded upon some particular text, and following the approved method of division and sub-division. These have no such intention ; they are as purely Orations, or Addresses to move and persuade men upon a particular point, as any of the ancient or modern models. And it would have been absurd, totally absurd, to have given them any other name. In like manner, if the Argument be not a regularly-constructed argument, let its irregularities and defects be pointed out; but merely to object that it shall not so be named, is only another evidence of the poverty-struck invention of this age in things religious, and its resolution to remain for ever in its miserable poverty. The world, the thirsty spirit of the world, will never be refreshed until more various vessels for containing and serving out the waters of life be discovered and made

use of.

For criticism I have given most plentiful occasion, and I deprecate it not; for it is the free agitation of questions that brings the


truth to light. It has also been my lot to have a good deal of it, and if I get a good deal more I will not complain. A book is the perty of the Public, to do with it what they like. The Author's care of it is finished when he hath given it birth; the people are responsible for the rest : And having besought the guidance of the Almighty and his blessing, I have nothing to beseech of men, but that they would look to themselves, and have mercy upon their own souls

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I do now return thanks to God, that he hath saved these speculations (whatever they be) from the premature grave into which the aristocracy of criticism would have hastened them; and that two large Editions are now before the world, which can judge for itself whether the work be for its edification or not. I have been abused in every possible way, beyond the lot of ordinary men, which, when I consider the quarters whence it hath come, I regard as an extraordinary honour. I know too well in whom I have believed to be shaken by the opposition of wits, critics, and gentlemen of taste, and I am too familiar with the endurance of Christians, from Christ downwards, to be tamed by paper warfare or intimidated by the terrors of a goose-quill. Even as a man I could have shaken a thousand such unseen shapeless creatures away from me, and taken the privilege of an author


of the old English school, to think what I pleased and write what I thought; and most patiently could I have borne exile from the ranks of taste and literature, if only the honest men would have taken me in. But as a Christian, God knoweth, I pray for their unregenerate souls, and for this nation which harboureth such fountains of poison, and is content to drink at 'them. Their criticisms show that they are still in the gall of wickedness and the bond of iniquity, and I recommend them once more to look unto themselves and have mercy upon their own souls.

I have gone over the book with care, and whatever seemed weak I have strengthened, whatever seemed incorrect I have written anew, and hasty transitions I have made more natural and easy by the introduction of occasional paragraphs. But there is no great and leading sentiment which I haye found it necessary to expunge; for, upon a man writing from the conviction of his own mind, and by the guidance of the oracles of truth, the censure of a nation of ungodly critics has little effect. The two Christian publications, which, of all that have thought the book worthy of their strictures, are

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almost the only ones who have been at pains to examine it, or who give evidence of having perused it, will find that I have not been inattentive to their suggestions. But from their accusation of having spoken unguardedly and with liberty of God, I appeal to the example of the Prophets and the Psalms and the Apostles, where not with liberty but with plainness, - plainness necessary to produce impression, the moral attributes of God, his justice, his wrath, his vengeance, his force of character, and strength of purpose, are interwoven with the whole strain of their discourse. And not only so, but the further to impress the imagination, bodily parts are given to him, hands, lips, nostrils, ears, eyes, with every active function of the body, and every perception of the mind; and, in truth, all which would be proper to a man inspired with infinite attributes of holiness, justice, and truth. And why? because it is the only way by which he can be brought into contact with the feelings of man, his hopes, his fears, his affections, his imaginative, and even his corporeal associations. Now by what reason or authority am I to cast away these, the patterns according to which to shape my conception

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