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In the selection of the following Discourses, the author has endeavoured, so far as he was able, to afford a specimen of the manner in which Calvinistic principles can be applied to the illustration and enforcement of the duties belonging to the various relations of life.
Though the discourses are upon various subjects, there will no doubt be perceived by the reader, in some of them, a recurrence of the same thoughts, and often of the same manner of expression. It was not deemed of sufficient importance to endeavour to avoid this. Great and general principles are closely connected, and so incorporated with the results of these principles, that it is not possible for a person, whose opinions on these principles and their results are definite and unwavering, to conceal, or dissemble his views or feelings. And in the publication of these views and feelings, either in conversation or print, there must ne
cessarily be a similarity in the manner of express ing them. Besides this, the reader will recollect, that these discourses were delivered not in succession, but at intervals; that they are intended not to illustrate or enforce doctrines and precepts in a systematic, connected form, but merely as they presented themselves to view, in the discussion of the different subjects which, from time to time, had been selected for ministerial instruction.
Two of the discourses owe their publication in these volumes to personal feelings. The author wished to render a just tribute of affection to an excellent Father, still remembered with the tenderest emotions, and a dear, estimable Friend. To have his name coupled with their names, is to him a pleasing reflection, which will more than overbalance the severity of criticism. He loved them for their merit whilst they lived, and hopes to be united with them in immortality and glory beyond
CHRIST THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
JOHN VIII. 12.
I am the Light of the world. CONDORCET, Godwin, and other skeptics, in their writings, dwell largely upon what they call human perfectability. By this they mean the inherent power which mankind possess of improving themselves, so as ultimately to obtain a state of moral, physical, and political perfection. It is a remarkable fact that this state, which they consider as the consummation of human wishes, resembles, in the outlines of character which they have given to it, the prophetic descriptions of the Millennial period. One of them says, "Our hopes as to the future "condition of the human species may be "reduced to three points: the destruction