The circumstances which drew out the following discourses, are rather local, than general. The author is the only public advocate of a world's salvation, in a city of one hundred thousand souls. His sentiments are frequently attacked, and as often misrepresented, both in the pulpit and from the press. For this cause, he felt himself called upon to lay before his congregation and the public, so far as they wee willing to hear, a plain and explicit statement of his faith, and the reasons on which that faith was founded. He had no intention of giving these labors to the public through the press, but prepared them for the pulpit alone. He commenced their delivery; and it was soon discovered, that they attracted more attention than his most sanguine anticipations had led him to expect. The large house in which they wee delivered became crowded to overflowing, and a general desire was expressed that they might be issued from the press. In accordance with this desire and the advice of friends, the author has consented to present them to the public in their present form, with scarcely a revision from the original copy.
He is aware that there are already many able works upon the same subject before the public, in comparison with which, any effort of his pen must be feeble. But it is hoped, that the attention which has been given these lectures, in that portion of the Master's vineyard where the author resides, will secure for them there, a more general circulation than could be obtained for any other work upon the same subject. It is hoped, also, that they may be the means of adding something to the general good, by strengthening the faith of the believers who are scattered abroad, and presenting to the minds of those "who are of the contrary part", a feeble effort to explain and establish the doctrines of those who rejoice in the great salvation.
For the style and manner of his sermons, he makes no apology. His aim has been to be understood, and to convince, rather than please the ear with well sounded periods or flights of fancy. And as for his errors, if he has advanced any, let the reader and the public give them no quarters. "If this work be of man, it will come to naught, but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it". "Whosoever readeth let him understand", and if the doctrines here taught shall be proved false, none will be more ready to abandon them than the public's humble servant. THE AUTHOR.