Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE

WAY OF SALVATION

ILLUSTRATED IN

A SERIES OF DISCOURSES.

BY

ALBERT BARNES.

PHILADELPHIA:
PUBLISHED BY PARRY AND M'MILLAN,

(SUCCESSORS TO A. HART, LATE CAREY AND HART.)

LONDON: KNIGHT AND SON.

1858.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by

ALBERT BARNES, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and

for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

COLLINS, PRINTER,

PREFACE.

THERE are two classes of Sermons. One is composed of those which enter into the permanent literature of a nation, and which take their rank with its most pure and elevated writings, as enduring monuments of argument and of style. The English language is, perhaps, more rich in this species of literature than any other. For lucid statement; for profound argument; for richness of imagination; for copiousness of illustration; for beauty of style; for just views of morals,--the sermons of Barrow, and Tillotson, and Jeremy Taylor, and South, have taken their place with the best classical writings in our language.

The other class is composed of those which are of a less exalted and permanent character, and which are adapted to meet only a local or a temporary, though it may be a very important purpose. They are addressed mainly to the passing age. They are adapted to meet some peculiar state of public opinion, or some prevailing phase of error. They are designed to illustrate the doctrines and duties of religion in the language and style of that age. They, perhaps, have me temporary and local advantage from the name of the author, or from the relations which he sustains to a particular congregation. They accomplish an important purpose on a limited scale, and then pass away, with much of the literature of past ages, to be recalled and remembered The volume of Sermons now submitted to the public does not aspire to the dignity of the former class, nor is there any hope or expectation that it will occupy that elevated rank. All the hopes cherished in respect to it will be accomplished, if it has a place of temporary usefulness among the other class of sermons referred to, and if it may

no more.

be made a means, to any extent, of meeting the wants of any portion of the passing generation.

This work has been prepared at the suggestion and the request of the English publishers. As it seemed desirable that there should be some unity of design which might be expressed by an appropriate title," THE WAY OF SALVATION" has been selected as indicating, in the main, the purpose and character of the volume; and though not properly a treatise on that subject, yet it will be found, I trust, that all the Sermons have a bearing more or less direct upon the theme, and that each one will help to remove some obstacle, to explain some difficulty, or to throw some light on the points on which one inquiring how man can be saved, might desire information.

The volume is not an argument for the truth of revelation, nor is it designed formally to meet the objections of infidels, the difficulties of honest sceptics, or the sneers of cavillers. The man whom I have had in my eye in the preparation of the discourses—as I have usually had in my preaching on these and kindred topics—is not he who disbelieves because he chooses to do so; nor he who prefers to be a sceptic; nor the mere caviller, who, because he can laugh at death and the judgment, seeks to satisfy his conscience that it is right to do so; nor he who desires to find difficulties in religion because he is unwilling to submit to its claims and its restraints :-but I have had in my eye a class of minds, much larger than is generally

« PreviousContinue »