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W O R K S
REV. JOHN NEWTON,
LATE RECTOR OF THE UNITED PARISHES OF ST. MARY WOOLNOTH,
33, PATERNOSTER ROW.
THE following Sermons, as to the substance, (for most of them are considerably abridged,) were preached to a public and numerous assembly; and, therefore, an accurate and logical discussion of the several subjects was not aimed at. They are rather popular discourses, in which the author, though he wished not to treat the politer part of his auditory with disrespect, thought it likewise his duty, so to adapt his manner to the occasion, as to be intelligible to persons of weak capacities, and in the lower ranks of life. He conceives himself to be a debtor to every class of his hearers; and that he ought to endeavour to please all men, with a view to their edification ; but, farther than this, not to be greatly affected, either by their approbation or by their censure.
Many of the subjects are so nearly coincident, that repetitions could not be always avoided, without the appearance of affectation. Besides, as it may be expected, that in a large congregation there are always some persons present for the first time; with respect to these, an observation may be new, though, perhaps, the more stated hearers may recollect its having been mentioned before. For a similar reason, such repetitions are not improper in print. Many persons read part of a book, who may not have opportunity or inclination to read the whole.“ Should any one, by opening these Sermons at a venture; meet with a passage which, by a divine blessing, may either awaken a careless, or heal a wounded spirit, that passage will be exactly in the right page, even though the purport of it should be expressed in several other places. Farther, since we do not