The title of this volume sufficiently indicates its design. It is published, because it is supposed that there is a want of such sermons constantly occurring. There are numerous congregations in this country, which, unhappily, have not the regular preaching of the gospel, and in which, in order to maintain public worship, it is necessary to make use of printed sermons. It is not supposed that these are better sermons than have before been published for such an object, but that there might be an advantage in having a greater variety; and that an interest might exist in behalf of those recently published which could not be excited for even a better volume that has been frequently perused. There are not a few families, also, it is supposed, which would be interested in a volume of sermons, and in which, it is hoped, good might be done by their perusal.
The discourses in this volume are wholly practical. They were intended to be such as would be adapted to impress on the mind the importance and necessity of personal religion, and to urge the necessity of a holy life, as the first great duty of man. There are no sermons in the volume which professedly discuss the doctrines of Christianity; and no sentiments are intended to be advanced which would offend evangelical Christians of any denomination. The appeals, illustrations, and arguments to a holy life, are based on the supposition of the truth of the evangelical doctrines; but it was no part of the plan to discuss those doctrines, or to make them prominent. I may be permitted, perhaps, to say, in justice to myself, that, my usual manner of preaching to my own congregation is much more doctrinal in its character than the perusal of these sermons might lead a reader to suppose. These are intentionally selected for their practical character.
Washington Square, Philadelphia,
June 16th, 1841.