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V. 3

District of Massachusetts, to wit.

District Clerk's Office.

BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the thirty-first day of January, A. D. 1812, and in the thirty-sixth year of the Independence of the United States of America, JOHN MURRAY, of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:

"Letters and Sketches of Sermons. In three volumes. By JOHN MURRAY, Senior Pastor of the First Universal Society in Boston.

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience, that, whereas they speak evil of you as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in CHRIST. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing. 1 PETER, iii. 15, 16, 17.

Vol. III."

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act entitled, “An act supplementary to an act, entitled, An "act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching, historical and other prints.”



Boston, Franklin Place, 1800.

As from my time of life and accumulating infirmities, I indulge a hope, that the hour of my emancipation draweth nigh; and as my labours must, of course, close with my life, I do, upon this sixth day of June, one thousand and eight hundred, commence a plan of noting and preserving as often as my leisure, my health, and my mental feelings shall permit, the heads of those discourses which I may yet be permitted to deliver. When I am no more with the dear people of God in this place, these hints may be amplified and improved, to the glory of the only-wise God our Saviour, and the comfort and edification of my much loved congregation; and if God should spare the life of my faithful friend, she may so arrange these hints as to render them generally useful. She has long been an attentive hearer of the word of God, and she is sufficiently acquainted with the foundation laid in Zion to rejoice in the superstructure, to echo the divinely inspired voice, which emphatically cries upon the elevation of the top-stone, GRACE,


This faithful friend will not, as I believe, be at a loss, while perfecting or filling up the outlines of discourses delivered, even when she was not present; and should she find leisure and inclination, she may collect these scattered materials, and connecting them together, compose a volume that may contain instruction and consolation, both to preachers and hearers.

Those who have, from time to time, listened with admiration, delight, and gratitude, to the volume of inspiration, will be gratified when they recognize these glorious truths, presented in this concise manner to their view; they will thus be reminded of what they before so well knew, and they will not readily let those divine discoveries pass from their recollection.

I have another motive for wishing to preserve these outlines of sermons; it appears to me they will clearly manifest, that scripture is the best expositor of scripture; and they will impress upon the serious and attentive mind, a veneration for the testimonies of divine truth.

Placed in their own proper light, the sacred records will appear to be what they really are, a consistent and a luminous revelation. I confess I have only caught a glimpse of the glory of these divinely consolatory truths; but I have seen more of their divinity, when consulting no other testimony, than while encompassed by a crowd of commentators.

In taking these minutes, order makes no part of my calculation. The idea of preserving these small scrips of paper, on which a few texts of scripture will appear, primarily intended merely as a direction to my own mind, since I have suffered from the failure of my memory; this idea, I say, is of recent birth, many are lost, and those which remain are more indebted for preservation to accident, than to design. To dates I have had no regard, having devoted the greater part of my life to the study of the scripture, and possessing some strength of memory, I have not, until lately, found it necessary to note upon paper a single text; and being confident, that I was designed rather for a speaker than a scribe, I have, perhaps too much indulged a natural aversion from writing.

But should my friend continue her mortal career after I am called out of time, she may derive essential advantage from compiling and arranging these minutes; they will aid in forming the mind of our precious child; they will lead her to thestudy of those

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