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TITUS KN I G H T,
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perisha
I Cor. i. 18.
power of God.
GOD forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ. Gal. vi. 14.
L E EDS:
P R E F A C E.
OME who chuse not to encourage labours of
this kind, plead in excuse, that the world is full of books, and that many more are published, than are profitable, &c.--And others
further ftill, and make it matter of doubt, if men's morals are not made worse by the multiplicity of publications on various subjects year after year. As to the truth of what these affirm, I have neither leisure nor inclination at present to enquire into; this I think seems pretty clear, that as all men do not write with a design to instruct, so all do not read with a desire to be instructed; but as some write and publish with a view to their own profit. and advantage, others purchase and read with no other view, but to please and amuse themselves.
And perhaps this may not only furnish us with the most probable reason of the above, viz. why men's morals are not mended by much reading; but may serve also to suggest to us another obvious truth, viz. that books of wit and pleasantry, &c. are generally preferred to those instructive of the mind, and calculated to amend the morals. Hence, though much truth may be observed in the above objections, yet the charge is not well fixed; seeing the fault complained of, is either ist, In the reader, who either makes a wrong choice of books, and only reads such as were never intended, either to correct the faulty, or instruct the ignorant ; or, in reading those that intended both, with too much carelessness and inattention. Or 2d, Those books ought to be blamed, or the authors of them which rather terd to lead the mind astray, than conduct it in the paths of piety and truth. Some object with the above, that there are as good books already wrote and published, as any we may expect; to which, I would only say, it is not usual (I presume) to complain that a cause is clogged with too many witnesses, nor does a truth contested become more doubtful by having a greater number of evidences to defend it. If it fhould be said the truth of the gospel is so universally received, and so firmly established, that further testimonies are needless to be offered in confirmation thereof; I answer, in respect to myself (blessed be God) and I hope the friendly objector this is true; but it is far otherwise in respect to the bulk of mankind. Nor need we look to the Jews, Turks and Pagans, who all want proof of the truth of Christianity; so long as christendom swarms with christian unbelievers, many of whom, though called by the name of Christ, yet are continually labouring as much as in thein lies, to fap the very foundation of christianity.
The following discourses were not penned, nor are they published so much with a design to confute the adversaries of the gospel (this I leave to abler pens) as simply to maintain the truth; from this persuasion, that error is most effectually confuted, by a manifestation of the truth.
also the following sheets may through a divine bleffing be made useful to confirm, and establish the minds of some, who may not only doubt of the truth of gospel-doctrines, but of their own experience of the grace of God also.-If the candid reader should observe any mistake that may have Nipt both pen and press, as I doubt not but he will charge it to infirmity, I promise myself a pardon ; and should he meet with any thing that may thwart his own received opinion, I hope he'll consider what is offered; before he condemn it, which after all should he think it neceflary to do, I expect he will moderate the sentence according to the equity of that rule, that what he requires, he'll not refuse to give; viz. the liberty of thinking. I only beg leave to add, what I have written in the following sermons, I have written in the fincerity of my heart, and with a view to do good; therefore, if this end be answered in any wise to any who shall read them, let the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ have all the praise; for to him alone, the adorable Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, in one undivided essence, all glory, might, and majesty are due in time and through the tractless depths of eternity.
Halifax, June 20, 1766. Titus Knight,