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PREFACE.

ON THE BENEFIT OF ASSOCIATIONS FOR
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS PURPOSES.

WHEN the Committee of the Young Men's Society honoured me with the expression of a wish that I should supply a Preface to the Volume, which was to contain the addresses delivered to them during the year; I felt that it was hardly possible to resist an application proceeding from a Society formed of such materials, and directed towards such an end.

The Institution seemed to realize an object which must be dear to every Christian mind, and to offer means of accomplishing purposes, which Christian benevolence has been long contemplating with anxious and increasing desire. Its rise was a sign of the times, but it was a sign for good. It was one of those signs which we are justified in hailing with gratitude, as a token of God's favour to the country where they originate; signs which cheer the spirit of the believer, which encourage the zeal of the pastor, and bring with them the recompense of many an hour of weary labour and persevering prayer. But I own, that when I began to survey the nature of the work which I had proposed to undertake; when I saw the various subjects that were included in the scope of the Society's exertions, and saw the amount of Christian talent which was exhibited in the addresses; I felt doubtful whether I had not attempted a work for which I was unequal; and whether any remarks of my own could be connected with those which I was to introduce to

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