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Designed for the Use of Families.
Ai the Servant! ef Christ doing the Will us God from the ifcar/.-i-Ephes. vi. '6.
THE FIRST AMERIcAN FROM THE SIXTH LONDON EDITION.
prosecuting that design. When any doctrine of the . Cospel is the argument, to bring it down to practice, by shewing the reafonable influence which it ought to have upon one and another virtue: Or whan the dispositionsandduties of a Christian are more directly insisted upon,. to recommend them from christian motives.
The difcourses now offered to your perusal, are drawn up with the latter view: Wherein I have endeavoured to (elect those characters and ingredients of the christian temper, .which I apprehend to be of principal weight, and of the most frequent and extensive use in the course of our obedience. In the. review, they are cast intQ that method and order, which I thought most natural, and likely to be of the greatest service. The contents of both .volumes will shew. you the plan of the whole. design at one view. I have taken the liberty of making. such additions or other alterations in transcribing them. for the press, as appeared to me most conducive to serve the ends of practical religion...
They are designedly accommodated to the use of families, especially on Lord\s-day evenings. For that purr pose I have endeavoured that they might not exceed in length; that in most of them a particular subject might be sinished in a single discourse; or, that. where that rule could not be well observed, that the matter might be fo divided, as to make each sermon as intire and independent as possible.
If you shall think fit to make use of them in that way, I 'would hope that by the blessing of God the labour would not be in vain to your children and ser. vants; and that at least it may be fo far useful to yourselves, as to bring to remembrance the most necessary directions for christian conduct, though ye know them, and be ejlablijhed 'tn them.
I am pursuaded .upon a long knowledge of many of you, that I have your concurrence in hearty wishes, that the-zeal of all good' Christians might be chiefly spent.about the unquestionable points of vital religion: that eager and unedisying contentions among them who hold the head, might give place lo a holy ardour for pro
njetinj. moling love and good works in themselves and others i and that the faith once delivered to the saints, might be employed as a weapon in the christian warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil, rather than be made the occasion of doubtful disputations, or of angry contests among brethren.
I have nothing to add, but my servent prayers to God, that j/eur love may abound yet mare in knowledge, and in ell iudgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere, and without offence till the day of Christ; being filed with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the praise and glory of God. "And it is my earnest desire of you my brethren, that you-would continue daily to pray for us who labour among.you in the word and doctrine, that we may obtain mercy to be faithful and succetsful.
/ am your asset! ianate Servant,
Prescot-street, April J, 1723,