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PREFACE.

The following pages are presented to the public, in the earnest hope, that being particularly suited to the times, they may be instrumental under the Divine blessing, in creating a circle on the languid sea of religious sentiment, in arousing some, who are careless and at ease, to an increasing liveliness on the most important of all subjects: and in conveying a word of seasonable consolation to others, who “ mourn in Zion.”

In the opening Lecture it is attempted to be proved that the times are perilous ; in those immediately ensuing, our peculiar duties at such times are pointed out; and in conclusion are shewn the believer's privileges and prospects.

The second Lecture has been found far the most difficult. To exhibit an accurate picture of the actual state of affairs at a period so uncommonly mutable and eventful as the present, is a task not less arduous than the delineation of a landscape on a very stormy day. This moment a gleam of sun

shine, bursting forth, throws a smile of cheerfulness over the entire face of nature : presently the clouds return, and envelope the scenery in a mantle of gloom. Under these circumstances the author has been no little perplexed in his endeavours to represent matters as they really are,-since the portrait which would be faithful to day, might cease to be so to-morrow; but he has given that view of them which, after much consideration, inquiry, and prayer, has appeared to him the most just. Of its correctness, the candid reader will judge for himself.

In the course of the book are introduced such occasional quotations from other writers as appeared suitable, and calculated to render it at once interesting and profitable. The appendix contains further documents from various pens, too extensive to be inserted in the body of the work, but which serve to corroborate or illustrate the writer's statements. They will be found a valuable portion of the volume.

In some of his opinions he may very possibly be mistaken. Of course he presumes not to predict but even should the events which he looks for, never be realized, the counsel that he offers will not be without its advantage, if followed; should those events occur, the advice will prove of immeasurable importance.

It would be altogether in vain for any writer on divinity to hope to meet the views of all parties in these days ; so diversified are the sentiments of

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