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Sermon IX. Assurance of Faith and Sal-
MY DEAR FRIENDS,
YOU have heard the substance of the following discourses, but I am desirous that you should have them in possession, read them until you have practically applied all of them, and then transmit them to your children. My heart's desire and prayer to God is, that you all máy believe on the Christ Jesus to the saving of your souls; may grow in knowledge, increase in faith, arrive at the stature of Christian men, and be fully assured of an inheritance incorruptible in the heavens.
With the humble hope of being instrumental in producing and perfecting saving faith in the minds of the people of my charge in particular, have I prepared the following pages
for the press; but should Providence send them to those who are strangers to us for their edification, it would be a source of joy and gratitude.
I confess that the desire of preaching the gospel to every creature often throbs in my heart, and runs through every vein, while I have peculiar pleasure in addressing you, and never feel so much at home as in my own pul. pit; but since it is impossible to be a living teacher in many places, I take this opportunity of preaching by notes to all who may be willing to give me their attention.
It may be objected to this little publication, that others have written on the subject in a better manner than I have done. What then? Because other ministers of Christ are better preachers than I am, shall I therefore cease to offer Jesus Christ to my fellow-sinners The principle of the objection, if made general rule, would exclude from the field of usefulness all preachers and writers but the best ; and consequently the gospel must be confined to a few.
If others have enjoyed the satisfaction of doing good according to their ability, I am disposed to do the same: and I am persuaded that many will peruse my treatise, who have dever seen one before from any pen, on the same subject : while not a few in the circle of my acquaintance will read what I have written with more attention than they would a better work of another man, because they either feel the partiality of friendship for me, or else have been constrained to regard me as the minister by whom they have believed.
If any other consideration than the love of promulgating the truth has influence in the publication of these Sermons, it a desire of expressing my high regard for those to whom I am bound in the tenderest ties, in inscrib. ing the volume,
TO THE DEAR PEOPLE OF MY CHARGE, The Third Presbyterian Congregation in the
City of Philadelphia. We have cost each other much, and there. fore ought to be mutually precious in each other's esteem. “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel :" w for what is it wherein ye are inferior to other churches,