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openings of early seriousness, do naturally raise a very high expectation of eminent advances in religion. Let it be your humble and diligent care, that these expectations be answered : That Your goodness may not be like the morning cloud, or the early dew, which soon goeth away*; but rather like The dawning light, which shines brighter and brighter till the perfect dayt.

Whilst providence continues these holy parents, to whom you have been so highly indebted, let it be your constant care, by all the most cheerful returns of duty and gratitude; to express your regards to them, and your sense of so great an obligation. And I will add, let it be your care, to hand down to future ages those important advantages you have received from them.

One generation passeth away, and another generation comethi. It is highly probable, that in a few years, numbers of you will be conducted into new relations; and we please ourselves with the hope, that you will carry religion and happiness into rising families.

Let not those hopes be disappointed. When God fixes you in houses of your own,

let it be your first concern to erect there such domestic altars, as those at which you have worshipped with such holy pleasure, and sensible tokens of divine acceptance. Let the sacred treasure of divine knowledge, which has been deposited with you, be faithfully delivered down to your descendants ; that they, in their turn, may arise with the same pious zeal, to transmit it to another generation, that shall be born of them.

And may divine grace, that inexhaustible spring of the most valuable blessings, sweetly flow on to add efficacy to all, that real vital religion, may be the glory and joy of every succeeding age; till this earth (which is but a place of education for the children of God, during their minority,) shall pass away to make room for a far nobler scene and state of existence ; where pious parents and their religious offspring shall for ever enjoy the most delightful society, inhabiting the palace of our heavenly Father, and surrounding the throne of our glorified Redeemer! Amen.

Hos. vi. 4.

* Prov. iv. 18.

Eccl. i. 4.

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DEDICATION.

To the young Persons belonging to the Dissenting Congregations at Hinckley,

Harborough, and Kibworth in Leicestershire, and at Ashley, und Northampton.

MY DEAR BRETHREN AND FRIENDS, At length, after a long and unexpected delay, I offer to your perusal a few sermons which I promised the public some years ago; all which some or other of you heard, and in which you are all concerned.

It is not material to tell you, on what account I have laid by some, which I had transcribed for your service, and which you probably expected to have seen with these. I have substituted in their room such, as I thought might, by the divine blessing, be most useful to you,

I hope you will peruse them with candor; and the rather, considering they were prepared for the press chiefly in some broken moments, while I was on journies, orin some fragments of time at home, often taken from my sleep; as the stated duties of my calling require an attendance, which will not allow of any long interruption. You would readily excuse what defects you may discover in them, if you knew that tender concern for your present and future happiness, by which every sermon, and every page has been dictated. They have often been mingled with prayers and with tears; and my heart is so full of affection to you, that it is with great difficulty that I forbear enlarging, more than the proper limits of such an address will admit.

As for you, my Leicestershire friends, amongst whom my ministry was opened, and the first years of it were delightfully spent, I cannot forget, and I hope you have not forgotten, that intimate and pleasing friendship, with which we were once almost daily conversing; the sweet counsel we have often taken together in private, as well as the pleasure with which we have gone to the house of God in company. All these sermons, but the second and fifth of them, were first drawn up for your service, and preached to you; and much of that tenderness for you, which gave birth to them, has been rising afresh in my mind, while I have been taking this review of them. I hope they were not then like water unprofitably spilt on the ground, and that the perusal of them may revive impressions made by the first hearing. Intermediate years have introduced new scenes; and some of us, who were then in the morning of life, are now risen up to the meridian of it. Providence has conducted many of you into new relations; and it is my pleasure to observe, in how honourable and how useful a manner several of you are filling them up with their proper duties.

While you are yourselves instances of the happy consequences which attend a religious education, I hope you will be singularly careful, that your descendants may share in the like advantages; and I shall heartily rejoice, if these sermons, or those I have formerly published, may be of any assistance to you in those pious cares. God has put an early period to the lives of some, who, when I was amongst you, were the growing hopes of the respective congregations to which they belonged. Several of them have died while these sermons were transcribing. May the thought quicken you in the improvement of so uncertain a life ; and may divine grace render some things, peculiarly intended for the use of those who are now beyond the reach of such an address, serviceable to others, into whose hands they may fall!

I greatly rejoice in the goodness of God 10 you, in setting over you such able and faithful shepherds, as those worthy ministers of Christ, under whose care you now are; and I heartily pray, that you and they may long be spared, as comforts to

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