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to his habitual hearers by his known correctness, and a delivery which partook both of gravity and warmth. But the brightest excellence of Dr. Clarke, as a publick instructer, consisted in the utility and taste of his pulpit compositions. He feemed to emulate the plainness of Dr. Chauncy, but to the perspicuity, of his great predecessor he added a high degree of elegance. Richness and propriety of sentiment, as well as precision in style, and fimplicity of method, characterize his discourses. He is there seen addressing mankind as they are ; as beings compounded of body and spirit, of passion and intellect, of ignorance and knowl. edge ; who, though principally attentive to sublunary affairs, do not however entirely reject religion, nor feel indifferent to its truths. To the improvement of fuch beings he directs his labours. He affails their understandings, sensibilities, hopes, and fears, and dexterously uses their own concessions to shake their

practical skepticism, and fix their principles and build their habits on a christian foun. dation.

The uniformity of our author's life is visible in his writings. He wrote many fermons on most subjects, and most of his A 2

fermons

sermons with equal felicity. It is hence difficult from what is always good to select what is best. This difficulty was said to be felt in making the former selection; and it has embarrassed and somewhat retarded the present publication. It is at length made, and not without hope of success, to answer the expectation excited in the advertisement to the other volume ; to gratify the friends of the author's memory; and to improve the morals of youth, and thus the customs and state of our country.

If the subsequent pages are not given to the world for the sake of decking the tomb of their writer with flowers, it is believed, that they will nowise diminish his well earned fame. The spirit, which animates other of his works, is manifest here. He well knew, that the controverfies of the fchools have no charms for the juvenile auditor, and that the hearing of sermons, to be followed with profit, must be attended with pleasure. These difcourses accordingly are alike free from mystery, which clothes religion with terrour, and from polemicks, which make it unintelligible. "As will be obvious to the reader, they were written without re

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gard to order ; and they were found, as were the sermons already printed, among the author's ordinary preparations for the Lord's day. In this fact an apology is furnished, if an apology is needed, for a repetition of sentiment, which will occasionally be observed. Yet he, who reads rather for edification than amuse. ment, will deem it a beauty instead of a blemish. Reiterated lessons are exactly adapted to the condition and wants of mankind. Men are wicked not so much through ignorance of their duty, as through the weakness or infrequency of motives to its performance. Young perfons especially stand in daily need of those goads to right action, which are formed by the words of the wife ; and that these sharp and wholesome counsels should penetrate and remain fast in the heart, they must be often impressed.

Let parents hence be inftructed in what they owe to themselves and their chil. dren. Let them remember, that the twig may be easily bent, but that the form and ramifications of the full-grown tree cannot be changed without violence. In imitation therefore of these discourses, let them begin with their offspring, saying, Wisdom is the principal thing, &c. Let them

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noť say fo in words 'merely, but in actions ; teaching equally by example and by precept, that they consider all knowl. edge whatever, without the knowledge of God, as of no value, and that the industry, which has not for its object the: melioration of life, is laborious trifling.

SUMMER-STREET,
March 19, 1804.

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