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now exift, would never have been known.Had they stood in the truth, as the primitive church did for fome time, they would, like them, have still been of one heart and of one foul; but the very reverse is the cafe-no people in the world more divided than chriftians. Ten thousand doctrines and opinions, as oppofite each to other as darkness and light, are fathered upon the holy word every system, and every fentiment, is fuppofed to have its foundation in the facred pages. Can any stronger proof be given that those pages are not understood? that pure truth is not now known?

All I wish is, that those errors, falfe doctrines, and inventions of men, which have defaced the chriftian religion, defolated the church, caused fo many divifions, and fpread darkness over the land, may be removed and done away, by the bright beams of divine truth now dawning upon the world. That all parties may fee how far they have strayed from the Lord and his word, return back again, be united in faith, in heart, and in life, and become the pure, the living, and happy church of the Lord our God, in these last days.


It is for this bleffed end, that the Lord is now come; he hath fent a messenger to prepare his way; and they who receive the meffenger, will receive the Lord who fent him. Were his writings read with an un-prejudiced, candid mind, with a fincere defire to know the truth, it would then be seen what is the real ftate of the chriftian world, with the nature of the Lord's fecond appearing. It would be known, not only that he is come, but that he is come to remove the darkness, falfhood, and evil, which abound -to open the true internal fenfe of his word -to illuminate the mind-lead us into genuine truth-unite us all in faith, doctrine, and life-and to fet up a pure fpiritual church that fhall ftand for ever. These things, though now treated with indifference by many, and with contempt and ridicule by fome, would be feen as clearly as the fun beams at noon-day-we should rejoice in the fecond appearing of the Lord, acknowledge him as our only God and Saviour, and be happy in that divine kingdom, which he comes in mercy to establish in the earth.

Happy fhall I be, if the following difcourfes fhould be the means of exciting any


serious and pious perfons, to examine into the things above-named for themselves. We well know, by experience, as well as by observation, that the prejudices of men are very strong-that pre-conceived opinions are hard to remove-and therefore we wonder not at the oppofition divine truth meets with at this day; nevertheless, we fee it our duty to ftand forward in the recommendation and defence of truth, and to do all we can towards removing the prejudices of menalthough we may be cenfured for our endeavors, and condemned for our zeal. However, the motives of our conduct herein, and the end we have in view, are known to the Lord; and if, from love to his name, and pure charity to our fellow men, we are laboring to diffeminate the truth of his word, we shall meet with his approbation, though all the world should oppose and condemn us —and his approbation is a fufficient reward.

The author of the following fermons has this fatisfaction, that he is confcious his defign in the compofition, the delivery, and the publication of them, is no less than the glory of God and the good of mankind. flatters himself that they have not only



been approved, but also useful; and he most
fincerely wishes they may be of real use, of
much spiritual advantage to all who shall
think good to read them. Whatever there
is in them that is good, or true, or useful, all
that is of the Lord Jefus Chrift alone, who is
the fountain and fource of goodness and truth
-and to him alone be all the praise given!

May the divine influx of wisdom from the

Lord, illuminate the mind of every reader;

may he distinguish truth from error, receive

the pure truth of the holy word into his

understanding, unite with it goodness of

heart and life, and be for ever happy in the

new kingdom of the Lord Jefus Chrift;

who is the only God of heaven and earth,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in

his divine humanity, one Jehovah in one di-

vine perfon; to whom be glory and domi-

nion ascribed, by all in heaven and earth, for

ever and ever. Amen!

BIRMINGHAM, Sept. 3, 1792-36.

J. P.

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