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unaffected earnestness of Mr. Richards's manner, and to the high esteem entertained for his character. To the approbation of such as may see them destitute of these advantages, the Sermons can rest no claim but on their intrinsic worth. The indulgence however of the reader may, it is hoped, be obtained, on the consideration that they were written amidst the constant hurry and interruption attendant on the exercise of an arduous ministry, and under the pressure of severe family affliction. They make no pretensions to a higher character than that of plain practical discourses. They were written for a mixed congregation, but with a studied adaptation to the capacities of the poor. Although it is probable, that some few sentiments in them may have been suggested by other writers, it is hoped that, on the whole, they will not be found less original than the generality of plain parochial sermons, composed with an exclusive view to practical utility.
The disadvantages common to posthumous works have, in this instance, been much increased by several circumstances, which have contributed to delay the publication much longer than was anticipated. On perusing the manuscripts, many of the Sermons which were probably most impressive when preached, were found in too imperfect a state for publication. Blanks were left, which were filled up at the time of delivery. The Sermons in which these are of most frequent recurrence have been withheld. In those selected nothing has been added to the original MSS. except a few words occasionally, necessary to connect the sense: where the omissions appeared to exceed a few words, asterisks have been placed.
In the selection, it has been the object to exhibit the writer's sentiments without repetition: but so anxious was Mr. Richards to impress the great leading truths of Christianity on the minds of his hearers, and so little desirous to attract
them by novelty, that this has been in a measure unattainable.
A short Memoir of Mr. Richards is prefixed to the volume; and a selection from his letters is added, at the request of many who had been struck with their genuine piety and feeling. They were written in short intermissions from more laborious engagernents, often in the midst of his family and with great dispatch. Such as it is, the volume is offered to the Public, with the earnest desire that it may, by the blessing of God, prove the humble instrument of spiritual good to the reader.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SECOND EDITION.
THE List of Subscribers to the first edition, from peculiar and unavoidable circumstances, was both imperfect and incorrect. It was the Editor's original intention to have reprinted it in a more accurate and complete form, with the addition of many names, the insertion of which would have particularly gratified him. But the design was relinquished; principally because there appeared no prospect of obtaining a perfectly satisfactory list. The Editor hopes that those, whose names were omitted or incorrectly set down, will admit the circumstances of the case to plead his apology.
opened, and they knew that they were naked.