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A THANKSGIVING SERMON.
BEFORE RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS FOR THE INSTITUTION OF
A CONSECRATION SERMON.
IN THE HANDLING AND TREATING OF CIVIL, AS WELL AS RE
LIGIOUS, AFFAIRS.... AND MORE ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF
MY DEAR SIR,
I HAVE carefully read the sermon that came enclosed to me in yours of the fifteenth instant; and cannot but think the subject well chosen, and highly seasonable. The thoughts you have chiefly dwelt on, are truly interesting; and their frequent intrusion shews a mind more deeply impressed with its sub.
• This letter was written on Braddock's defeat, in answer to one from the Reverend Thomas Barton, then exercising his ministerial office in the frontier counties of York and Cumberland, Pennsylvania, as missionary to "the venerable society in London, for propagating the gospel in foreign parts.".... The author intends both this letter, and the address to the colonies, which follows it, “On the opening of the campaign, 1758," as a kind of preface to the following Sermons on Special Public Occasions, and an apology, where it may be necessary, for the manner or expression, in any particular parts of them
ject, than attentive to external niceties and method. But, for this very reason, perhaps, the sermon may be more generally useful to such readers as want to have the same truths set in various points of view; 60 that I have been very sparing in my proposed alterations of method. Some transpositions and abridgments I have, however, offered to your consideration, agreeably to the confidence you are pleased to repose in me.
There is, if we could hit upon it in composition, a certain incommunicable art of making one part rise gracefully out of another; which, although it is to be seen by a critic only, will yet be felt and tasted by all. To please in this respect is well worth our warmest endeavours. We are debtors alike to the wise, and the unwise; the learned Greek, and the foolish Barbarian. None but a few choicer spirits, have sense and goodness enough, to be captivated by the naked charm of Religion. Vulgar souls need to be roused from the lethargy of low desire, and to have their love of God and goodness, excited and enflamed. Hence, Religion must be taught, as it were, to breathe and to move before them, in all the grace and majesty of her most winning and attractive form.
We shall, therefore, err greatly, if we flatter ourselves that it will cost us less labour to preach or write to the ignorant, than to the intelligent. To please and profit the latter, requires sense only. To please and profit the former, requires sense and art both.
I am obliged to you for your kind expressions towards me. An intercourse of compliment would ill suit the seriousness of our characters; and, in re