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Sir Robert and Lady Lawley,
WM. TAYLER, ESQ. WARDEN,
J. DUNCUMB, ESQ. and W. WEBB, GENT.
The principal Inhabitants of the Parish,
THE FOLLOWING DISCOURSE IS
WITH THEIR ASSENT,
BY THEIR MOST RESPECTFUL,
MOST OBLIGED, AND OBEDIENT
A D D R ES S.
MY GOOD FRIENDS, UNFEIGNEDLY reluctant as I was to
comply with your request, and to enter upon a public vindication of my principles and conduct in my ministry; I am now compelled to do it. My Rector says, that he has thought it his duty to bring what he calls this seeming charge against me, but what I cannot but call a direct and absolute one, that “ he and many other persons re“ member too well possibly to be mistaken, " that I have in this and other discourses “ delivered doctrines contrary to the facred Scriptures, the church of England, and
“ the promise I solemnly made in the
pre“ sence of God at my Ordination.” An afsertion that I shudder at, and which, if founded in fact would expose me deservedly to public censure. He adds “ that unless “ 1 submit the Sermon to his perusal mi
nutely to examine it, or print it, be is “ driven to say, that I have preached doc“ trines totally inconsistent with, or contradic“ tory to the scriptures, and the doctrines of “ the church, which I have solemnly en
gaged to maintain, and ruinous to the “ souls of those, who heard and believe “ them.” I therefore adopt the latter mode, and both the Sermon and the Letters shall lie publicly before you; and I hope and trust, that (after your private declarations in my favour) you will by some public testimony express your approbation, not only of my principles in this particular discourse, but of the general tenor of my doctrines and conduct in the ministry. I have now lived among you several years, experiencing many instances of personal affection, and flattered by numerous testimonies of applause, and I have maintained, or believe I have, that, according to the doctrines of the Scriptures, and of our Church in her eleventh Article, no man was justified by his own merit, or his own works, but by the imputed righteousness of Christ alone, and that though no man could hope to obtain that eternal reward which was purchased for him by the blood of Christ, and by the satisfaction he made, except by faith in him, yet have I always strongly endeavoured to inculcate that no one could have that practical faith, unless he shewed it by a moral, holy, and virtuous life, which was pleasing and acceptable to God. See the twelfth Article.
These were the sentiments, that in conjunction with
your late most respected and most revered Pastor, I long endeavoured to enforce. Under his patronage I almost began the office of my ministry. He set me a bright example of diligence in his vocation, of rectitude in his conduct, and of piety in his devotion. He was frequently pleased to express an approbation of my endeavours in