FROM SOME OF THE
MOST EMINENT PREACHERS,
IN THE UNITED STATES,
DIFFERENT DENOMINAT IONS
BYABEL MORSE, FOR THE EDITORS, WHO
HOLD THE PRIVILEGE OFCOPY-RIGHT.
The text of this and other superb works are available on-line from:
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Reprint and digital file May 5, 2002.
This preface to THE AMERICAN PREACHER, serves as one of the most conspicuous proofs of the Biblical world view serving as the foundation of American society and Government. With the recommendations by the Governors of New Jersey and New York, the President of Columbia [University], and New Jersey's congressman. Elias Boudinot [ See his Biography available at Willison Center, also ]one can have assurance from the highest levels as to the truth of this matter of most importance!
The impact of this goes far beyond adherents to Biblical Christianity, as the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island pronounced to Washington on his visit there, for the first time since the Diaspora (70 ce.) they became under our present Constitution, free and equal citizens of a sovereign nation ( ! ) and fully protected as such. *
*See. Enos Hitchcock, D.D. (Brown. 1778) An Oration in Commemoration of the Independence of the Unites States of America., as reprinted in Political Sermons of the Founding Era, by Ellis Sandoz, Liberty Press.
The following begins the original text, page numbers in the original are shown in brackets [ ]
[ iii ]
PREFACE Of VOL. I.
TO THOSE who have seen the plan and circular letter sent abroad for the execution ‘ of this work, little information will be necessary; but for the information of those who have not seen them, it may not be improper, or out of place, to say——that the following were the objects in view, and those which were published s~ the foundation and intention of the work.
"I. To bring into public view many excellent discourses now in manuscript, promising great benefit to the interests of religion.
"II. To unite in one work some of the best performances of the day, as a specimen of the pulpit talents of the time.
"III. By uniting the several most important religious denominations in one work, to open the door for the more extensive exercise of CHRISTIAN CHARITY among CHRISTIAN BRETHREN.
"IV. To afford Christian families a compendium of Christian instruction.
"V. To prevent the farther importation of printed sermons, by encouraging the publications of our own country."
[ iv ] PREFACE.
Such were the real, and, we trust, justifiable reasons, by which the public were invited to encourage the plan.
BESIDE the influence the plan itself might be suppoesd to claim, it was supported by the following recommendation.
"Having duly considered the plan of the AMERICAN PREACHER, now offered for the approbation of the public, we take the liberty of signifying our concurrence in the same; not doubting but it may well execute the objects it proposes.
WILLIAM LIVINGSTON, Governor of the State of New-Jersey
GEORGE CLINTON, Governor of the State of New- York.
WILLIAM SAMUEL JOHNSON, President of Columbia College, and one of the Senators of the United States.
ELIAS BOUDINOT, L. L. D. Member of Congress."
The success of the plan and circular letter is sufficiently testified by the existence of the work in its present form, as well as by the respectable list of subcribers who have supported it.
IT IS not pretended that all the preachers of the gospel in the United States, who are justly entitled to distinction, both for the purity
[ V ] PREFACE.
of their doctrines and elegance in style, are among the number of those who have supported this work: but we believe, that those who appear in the following pages, will be pronounced to have well supported the cause they were so indulgent as to undertake.
SUCH has been the reception of our plan in the present instance, that we feel ourselves justified in announcing to the public, a FOURTH VOLUME; and in a word, a SUCCESSION of volumes, so long as the present disposition to encourage the work shall continue.
IN support of this plan, we plead an inclination more fully to execute the objects just now recited, as giving origin to the work; and we add a desire,
I. To form such a collection of discourses, as may amount to a system of Christian faith and practice.
II. By this system to raise an opposition to error and heresy of every kind.
III. To direct the present prevailing disposition to liberality in matters of religion, into a proper channel; and open the door for Christian communion upon principles ACKNOWLEDGED and UNDERSTOOD.
IV. To lay a foundation for the universal
[ vi ] PREFACE
agreement of the Christian church, when the high prospects of futurity shall be unfolded.
WE pretend not to a spirit of prophecy; but find a willingness to hazard a conjecture, that, under the supreme and superintending providence of God, some such small beginnings or dawnings of light may, eventually, be considered as announcing the approach of MERIDIAN DAY.
WE are not backward to say, that such religious union and influence as this work labors to accomplish, will add no small DIGNITY and SUPPORT to the POLITICAL INTERESTS of our country. To the influence of law, it will add the energy of conscience and moral duty ; to the subject, it will administer safety and protection from the encroachments of arbitrary power ; and to all under its influence, will shed the richest of CIVIL and SOCIAL blessings.*
* " A transient view of those states and kingdoms, which have made the most striking figure in the history of the world, and which have been most renowned for he felicity of their government, will convince us, that religion was by them always considered as a matter of great importance to CIVIL SOCIETY.
The greatest politicians and most celebrated legislators of antiquity depended much on this, to give sanction to their laws, and make them operate with vigour and facility"
REECE: On The influence of religion in civil society.
"Our holy religion, by regulating and composing the passions, enlightening and exalting the
mind, and purifying and meliorating the heart, conduces, in a high "degree, to the peace and
well being of social life. It makes good men—from thence the transition is easy and natural
to regular citizens and obedient subjects. "When private virtue cannot be found, it is in vain
to look for public [ felicity ]and laws are of little efficacy without good example."
Governor PATTERSON'S answer to the congratulatory address of the Presbytery of New—Brunswick.
"Another important consequence of this discovery, is, an enlarged liberality of sentiment among men. The "Liberality to which I refer, is discernible in the spirit "of religious toleration, which spreads like a flood over the face of the earth. This toleration, when it becomes universal, cannot but accomplish matters of the highest importance to the WORLD. Truth and reason will then burst with irresistible energy from the dark clouds of superstition and bigotry--dispel the mist of error and absurdity, and bring the GREAT FAMILY of THE WORLD to an uniformity of religious belief and worship."
ALFERD: on the progress of true principles of freedon and good government.
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WITH the deepest veneration, we DEDICATE our labors, and those of our brethren, to the GOOD PROVIDENCE of ALMIGHTY GOD, and to the PATRONAGE of the pious of every denomination, into whose hands this work may come; trusting that those who favor it, will, in the perusal, find their attention amply rewarded; and, in the end, enjoy the high prospects it permits them to entertain.
We return our grateful acknowledgments to those REVEREND GENTLEMEN who have contributed to the execution of this work thus far--not doubting, that the contemplation of
[ viii ] PREFACE
having added something to the support of the great truths of the gospel——of having administered instruction to the ignorant, warning to the impious, and edification to the saints——but above all, the contemplation of having laid a foundation for the beliefs, unity and perfection of the kingdom Redeemer, will afford higher reward for their services, than it is in our power to give.
In behalf of the interest of this work, subscribe,
to the cause of truth, a friend,
and to the public,
a devoted servant--
Jan. I, 1791
C O N T E N T S.
The Nature of Saving Faith.
By ROBERT SM1TH, D. D. Pastor of a Presbyterian Congregation, Pequea, Pennsylvania.
II. Pet.i 1.——To them that have obtained like precious faith with us. Page 9.
The Excellency of Saving Faith.
By the fame.
II. Pet.i 1.——To them that have obtained like precious faith with us.
I. John, iii. 23. And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Page 43
Practical Uses from the Nature and Excellency of Saving Faith.
By the Same.
The subject continued, Page 65
[ x ]
The Christian Religion attested by the Spirit of Prophecy.
By THEODORE HINSDALE; A. M. Pastor of a Congregational Church in Windsor, Connecticut.
Revelation of St. John, xix. 10. I am thy fellows servant, and of thy brethren, who have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jsus is the Spirit of prophecy. Page 93
The Subject continued.
By the same. Page 119.
The Efficacy of the Gospel above all worldly Wisdom.
By SAMUEL LANGDON, D. D. Minister of a Congregational Church, Hampton falls, New—
I. Cor. i. 21. For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by its wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Page 137
[ xi ]
The Business of Life, and Hope in Death.
By the same.
Acts, xiii. 36. For David, after he bad served us own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption. Page 169.
The divine Government Matter of universal Joy.
By CHARLES BACKUS, A. M. Pastor of a Congregational Church, Somers, Connecticut.
Psalm, xcvii. 1. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
Human Depravity the Source of Infidelity.
By JONATHAN EDWARDS, D. D. Pallor of the Second Congregational Church, New-Haven, Connecticut.
John, vii. 17. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. Page 215
[ xii ]
C O N T EN TS
The Christian Hope.
By ACHILLES MANSFIED, A. M. Pastor of a Congregational Church at Killingworth, Connecticut.
Rom. v. 4. And Hope maketh not ashamed Page 215
S E R M ON LXXI.
By SAMUEL SPRING, A. M, Pastor of a Congregtiona1 Church at Newbury—Port, Massachusetts.
Gen. viii. 21. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour. Page 253.
The Subject continued.
By the fame. Page 267
On the Change of the Sabbath.
By MOSES MATHER, D; D. Pastor of a Church of Christ in Stanford, Connecticut
[ xiii ]
Hebrews, x. 24, 25. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approach— Page 281.
The Subject continued.
By the same. Page 299
S E R M O N LXXV.
Christ the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.
BY NATHAN PERKINS, A. M. Pastor of a Congregational Church, Hartford, Connecticut.
John, xiv. 6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: No man cometh unto the FATHER, but by me. Page 323.
The Subject continued.
By the same. Page 344.
S E R M O N LXXVII.
God’s Sovereignty in conferring Means and Grace.
[ xiv ]
By NATHAN KERR, A. M. Minister of the first Presbyterian Church, in Goshen, State of New-York.
Romans. ix: 21. Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? Page 365.
Willison editor note: This ends the preface, please note that the sermons listed in the contents are consistent with all our other titles of similar topics. We will try to scan and re-key some selected works as time permits, beginning with Robert Smith's.