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I AM A CHRISTIAN;
THE DYING WORDS OF DR. PAYSON.
REV. G. COLE, A.B.
MINISTER OF ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL, WORCESTER.
JAMES NISBET AND CO. BERNERS STREET
WILLIAM WIGHT, CHELTENHAM.
M DCCC XXXVIII.
THE publication of a volume of Sermons is too common a thing to need a preface. But author has his own peculiar feelings as to the manner in which he wishes his work to be received. The author of the following Sermons therefore ventures to say a few words as to the proper light in which such a volume should be regarded.
There are various reasons why a minister who is anxious for the welfare of his flock is desirous of putting a volume of his own Sermons into their hands. There are some amongst them who desire to have an opportunity of considering at leisure, and in
retirement, the statements and exhortations to which they are accustomed to listen in public; and at the same time that their minister is ready to fall in with so reasonable a wish, he has an earnest desire himself to be their companion in the closet as well as their instructor in the pulpit, and to minister to their edification in private as well as in public. By others his oral statements may be misunderstood, or misrepresented, and it is his wish to supply standard by which all erroneous impressions may be corrected, and his real sentiments ascertained.
If he has the pastoral superintendance of a parish or district, there will be many of its inhabitants who, from various causes, attend other places of worship. But this does not release him from responsibility on their account. And by
publishing a volume of Sermons which contains a fair sample of the truths which he is constantly in the habit of delivering he has the means of preaching to many who would not otherwise come within his reach. Some are prevented by sickness or infirmity from coming to the house of God at all, and some of those who do come are prevented by deafness from hearing as they could wish. The christian minister overlooks no class of those committed to his care, and it has appeared to the author that these latter are a class who have reason to be peculiarly thankful for the invention of printing. "Faith," in the ordinary way, "cometh by hearing," but when this sense becomes impaired the same blessings may be looked for from reading the word of God, and scriptural sermons and expositions.