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W. E. TRENCHARD, M. A.
Of Pembroke College, Oxford,
AND LATE CURATE OF WEST MONKTON, SOMERSET.
MESSRS. RIVINgton, st. pauL'S CHURCH-YARD;
W. C. POLLARD, EXETER.
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
SOME apology may be expected for the appearance of a volume possessing, as this does, so few pretensions in itself, and being at the same time so devoid of any recommendations derived from high office in the ministry, publicity as a preacher, of other causes attaching influence to a writer's name. In explanation, therefore, the author begs to state that he should not have presented these pages to the public but for very peculiar circumstances. A long and tedious illness (the consequence of a hæmorrhage on the lungs which befel him while in the performance of Divine Service some months since) having compelled him, for an indefinite period, to relinquish all the active duties of hi
profession, he has been induced to employ a portion of the leisure time thus unexpectedly afforded him in preparing for the press a few discourses which, he was assured, were not altogether un profitable, when delivered from the pulpit, in promoting the sacred objects for which they were designed. To this undertaking he was prompted simply by the hope that they might, in their printed form, be made humbly instrumental, under the divine blessing, in subserving the same holy cause on a more extended scale of usefulness. Whether or not in indulging that hope he may have been somewhat too presumptuous, it must remain with the public to decide; but, whatever be the fate of his volume, he may at least be pardoned if he states that, in the motive to exertion which it has supplied him, he has found both a consolation and a resource during a period of much affliction in which the fear that he had become wholy inefficient in the ministry was not the least painful ingredient.
Of the matter of his work (for which, of course, these circumstances afford no apology) (the author feels that he must speak with the
The standard of literary
merit, indeed, in a publication of this kind, provided there be no defect in purity of doctrine or fidelity of interpretation, is not usually expected to be very high. Any pretensions to novelty also would be but an equivocal recommendation; nor, in the composition of sermons, which consists less in the exercise of the inventive powers than in the happy disposal of materials already prepared, can we look for much further originality than what is to be found in that peculiar and characteristic colouring which the plainest truth, after independent study and research, must ever assume when reflected from the plainest mind. While, however, he believes that little is expected as regards the mere execution of a work of this nature, he is deeply sensible of the responsibility which every writer must incur who undertakes to interpret the word of truth; and it is not without Jomuch anxiety on his part, nor, he may add, with
out many prayers for the direction of a Superior Power, that he ventures to commit his volume to (the hands of the public.
It is proper to state that considerable addi