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T the time when

the following
Lectures were first begun, the poli-
tical, moral, and religious state of this
kingdom, wore a very unfavourable aspect,
and excited no small degree of uneasiness
and alarm in every serious and reflecting
mind. The enemies of this country were
almost every where triumphant abroad,
and its still more formidable enemies at
home were indefatigably active in their
endeavours to diffuse the poison of dis-
affection, infidelity, and a contempt of
the Holy Scriptures, through every part
of the kingdom, more especially among


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the lower orders of the people, by the most offensive and impious publications ; while at the same time it must be acknowledged, that among too many of the higher classes, there prevailed, in the midst of all our distresses, a spirit of dissipation, profusion, and voluptuous gaiety, ill suited to the gloominess of our situation, and ill calculated to secure to us the protection of Heaven against the 13rious dangers that menaced us on every side. Under these circumstances, it semed to be the duty of every friend to religion, morality; good order, and good gorernment, and more especially of the ministers of the Gospel, to exert every power and erery talent with which Gred lad lead them, in enter to countract the best ets et those pestikatil seg when every dar vieni

from the press; to give some check to
the growing relaxation of public manners;
to state plainly and forcibly the evidences
of our faith, and the genuine doctrines
of our religion, the true principles of sub-
mission to our lawful governors, the mode
of conduct in every relation of life which
the Gospel prescribes to us; and to vin-
dicate the truth, dignity, and divine au-
thority of the sacred writings. All this,
after much deliberation, I conceived
could in no other way be so effectually
done as by having recourse to those
writings themselves, by going back to the
very fountain of truth and holiness, and
by drawing from that sacred source the
proofs of its own celestial origin, and all

he evangelical virtues springing from it,
and branching out into the various duties
of civil, social, and domestic life.


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