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“The spiritual nature of man is stronger than codes or institutions.
No government can endure which does not recognize that for its foundation, and no legislation last which does not flow from that fountain. The principle may develop itself in manifold forms, in many shapes of creeds, and in many Churches, but the principle is Divine. As time is divided into day and night, so religion rests upon the Providence of God, and the responsibility of man. ... He who has a due sense of his relation to God is best qualified to fulfil his duties to man.”
LORD BEACONSFIELD's Rectorial Address, Glasgowo, Nov. 1873.
IN sending out this book it seems only right to the public and
fair to myself to say a word as to its origin. The Lectures were written amidst the manifold engagements of a busy town Incumbency, and delivered in the course of ordinary public preaching to a Sunday evening congregation. After their delivery a strong desire was expressed by many that they should be put into a permanent form. I shrank at first from the idea, knowing the little worth of these Lectures in comparison of the works of others; but afterwards I yielded to it, in the hope that those who had heard the Lectures might find still more profit in the perusal of them, especially if I enlarged and improved them as I have endeavoured to do.
The wish to publish is a natural feeling of the man who writes, and not an unworthy one in itself; and when others urge him to do so, he is apt to allow their favourable judgment to lead his
Of course he must face the risk of the consequences; and, for myself, if critics deign to criticize I hope I shall know how to profit by their strictures.
Though my book is only sermons, yet I feel I have dealt in it