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THE TEMPLE CHURCH:
THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
MONTH OF JANUARY, MDCCCXXXVIII.
REV. THEYRE T. SMITH, M. A.
ASSISTANT PREACHER AT THE TEMPLE,
AND SUNDAY EVENING LECTURER AT ST. LAWRENCE'S, JEWRY.
B. FELLOWES, LUDGATE STREET.
THE Sermons in this volume were preached before the Congregation assembling at the Temple Church; and, in offering them to general perusal, the author cannot omit the opportunity, thus afforded him, of expressing his sense of the kindness and attention which he has uniformly received from that Congregation, during the several years in which he has held the office of Assistant Preacher. He is encouraged to hope that the ensuing Discourses may be, not unacceptably, recalled to their memory; while they may be read, he trusts, with some interest and advantage by others into whose hands they may happen. to fall.
The publication of the Sermons which were preached before the University of Cambridge is in accordance with the desire of several members of that body who heard them.
Of the substance or scope of these Discourses it cannot here be necessary to say much. Such compositions are presumed to consist, for the most part, of observations which are scarcely, if at all, open to dispute; and which it is mainly important to press on the consideration of those who hear or read them such is the character of not a few in this volume. In others, the author has entered into discussion and controversy; and, with respect to these, he will merely allude to one or two of the subjects to which he has principally directed his attention.
In the first three Discourses, he has argued the expiatory virtue of the sacrifice of Christ; though, in truth, that important doctrine has been so largely, and, as he conceives, satisfactorily established by divines, and more especially by Archbishop Magee, that it can stand in little need of farther defence or confirmation. He has, however, considered an objection which some have alleged against its reasonableness and credibility; and, more particularly, has endeavoured to bring to a decisive test certain explanations of the language of Scripture, which have been proposed with a view to supersede or disprove it.
In another series of Discourses, he has
attempted to ascertain the import of the term "faith" when used to designa the instrument of our justification, with the view of exhibiting a necessary consistency between the special demand of faith in the Scriptures, as the means of our justification before God, and the obligation to practical religion and virtue, or the necessity of personal holiness. To make out such a consistency is manifestly important, both as it affects the claims of the Christian religion in general, and the agreement of the sacred writers in the doctrines which they have delivered to us. At the same time, this subject has been handled so frequently, and is so continually under discussion, that the author would hardly lay before the reader an argument upon it extended through several pages, if he did not hope to draw a somewhat closer attention to particular passages in the Scriptures than is frequently or commonly applied to them, or than they have heretofore, so far as he knows, received.
He will refer to one topic more, which the reader will find discussed in this volumenamely, the import of the answer which our Lord gave to the inquiry of his disciples respecting his use of parables. There is, in general, some feeling of perplexity in the