The following Sermons were written in the course of duty, without any view to publication ; and they are now published only in obedience to the desire of those who heard them. To them they have a value very different from that of literary merit; the value which kindness ever gives to the objects upon which it has long been employed; the value, still more, which time bestows upon the feelings and the memories of former years. To the rest of the world, I feel, they have no recommendations; and had it been possible for me, therefore, to have limited the publication to the congregation to whom they were originally ad. dressed, I should never have presumed to intrude them upon the notice of the world.

To those who are unacquainted with that Congregation, it is necessary for me to state, that it is of a peculiar kind; that it is composed almost entirely of persons in the higher ranks, or in the

[ocr errors]

more respectable conditions of society; and that one very interesting part of it is formed by the young, who, in the course of academical education, are preparing themselves for the important stations or the liberal professions of future life. The recollection of these circumstances may, I hope, sometimes account for the choice of subjects, and sometimes for the views and illustrations that are employed.

Such as these sermons are, I now submit them to the world, with no other sentiment than that of the most unfeigned humility; and I request it may be believed, that their appearance is not the result of voluntary presumption, but of the simple obedience to grateful duty.

Edinburgh, March 24, 1814.

« VorigeDoorgaan »