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TWENTY-SEVEN SERMONS

PREACHED AT

GOLDEN GROVE;

BEING FOR THE

SUMMER HALF-YEAR,

BEGINNING ON WHITSUNDAY, AND ENDING ON THE

TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.

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TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

AND TRULY NOBLE

RICHARD LORD VAUGHAN,

EARL OF CARBERY, BARON OF EMLIN AND MOLINGAR, KNIGHT OF

THE HONOURABLE ORDER OF THE BATH.

MY LORD,

I now present to your Lordship a copy of those Sermons, the publication of which was first designed by the appetites of that hunger and thirst of righteousness, which made your dear Lady (that rare soul) so dear to God, that he was pleased speedily to satisfy her, by carrying her from our shallow and impure cisterns, to drink out of the fountains of our Saviour. My Lord, I shall but prick your tender eye, if I shall remind your Lordship how diligent a hearer, how careful a recorder, how prudent an observer, how sedulous a practiser, of holy discourses

and that therefore it was, that what did slide through her ear, she was desirous to place before her eye, that by those windows they might enter in, and dwell in her heart: but because, by this

she was ;

truth, I shall do advantage to the following discourses, give me leave (my Lord) to fancy, that this book is derived upon your Lordship almost in the nature of a legacy from her, whose every thing was dearer to your Lordship than your own eyes; and that what she was pleased to believe apt to minister to her devotions, and the religions of her pious and discerning soul,—may also be allowed a place in your closet, and a portion of your retirement, and a lodging in your thoughts, that they may encourage and instruct your practice, and promote that interest which is, and ought to be, dearer to you, than all those blessings and separations, with which God hath remarked your family and person.

My Lord, I confess the publication of these Sermons can so little serve the ends of my reputation, that I am therefore pleased the rather to do it, because I cannot at all be tempted, in so doing, to minister to any thing of vanity. Sermons may please when they first strike the ear, and yet appear flat and ignorant, when they are offered to the eye, and to an understanding that can consider at leisure. I remember, that a young gentleman of Athens, being to answer for his life, hired an orator to make his defence, and it pleased him well at his first reading ; but when the young man, by ofien reading it that he might recite it publicly by heart, began to grow weary and displeased with it, the orator bade him consider, that the judges and the people were to hear

it but once, and then it was likely they, at that first instant, might be as well pleased as he. This hath often represented to my mind the condition and fortune of sermons, and that I now part with the advantage they had in their delivery; but I have sufficiently answered myself in that, and am at rest perfectly in my thoughts as to that particular, if I can in any degree serve the interest of souls, and (which is next to that) obey the piety, and record the memory, of that dear saint, whose name and whose soul is blessed : for in both these ministries I doubt not but your Lordship will be pleased, and account as if I had done also some service to yourself : your religion makes me sure of the first, and your piety puts the latter past my fears. However, I

suppose, in the whole account of this affair, this publication may be esteemed but like preaching to a numerous auditory; which if I had done, it would have been called either duty or charity; and therefore, will not now so readily be censured for vanity, if I make use of all the ways I can, to minister to the good of souls. But because my intentions are fair in themselves, and I hope, are acceptable to God, and will be fairly expounded by your Lordship (whom for so great reason I so much value,)-I shall not trouble you or the world with an apology for this so free publishing my weaknesses: I can better secure my reputation, by telling men how they ought to entertain'sermons ;

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