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LONDON:

REED AND PARDON, PRINTERS.

PATERNOSTER ROW.

PREFACE.

The Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association again commend to the favourable reception of the public the EXETER HALL LECTURES of the past season-the Sixteenth Course delivered, the Fourteenth Volume published.

To many it has been a matter of surprise that the Lectures have been so long sustained, and that the Annual Volume has not, ere this, run its race, and been supplanted by something more adapted, as it might be thought, to the taste of a new generation of readers.

The explanation is to be found in the fact that these Lectures address themselves to a permanent necessity, meeting its ever-recurring forms by the application of the fixed principles and rules of scriptural godliness to all the subjects discussed, whether of History, Biography, Science, or Theology.

It is a proud thing to say of this age, with all the faults which characterise it, that its most popular features are those associated with the spread of religion and knowledge.

No books have such sale as those which treat on religious subjects; none are more appreciated than those in which men of the highest character and attainment share the fruits of their deeper culture and learned toil with their less favoured brethren who struggle amid the anxieties and difficulties of commercial life, or toil in the haunts of manufacturing industry.

It is to this source that these Lectures owe the continued interest which attaches to them; and as the class for which they are specially designed is replenished from year to year by fresh accessions of earnest and highminded youths, anxious to quit themselves like men in the battle of life, but needing to be guarded from influences of evil—to be guided into the knowledge and apprehension of that which is good and true—the Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association rely confidently upon the support of their friends to enable them to sustain these Annual Lectures in continued force and efficiency. It must not be forgotten, however, that it is the tendency of all such arrangements to wear themselves out, unless adapted and invigorated from time to time by appropriate revision and changes. The Committee are addressing themselves anxiously to the consideration of this subject. Meanwhile, they ask all who sympathise in their work to aid it by the large circulation of the present volume, and by their prayers for its usefulness.

It is the grateful duty of the Committee to record here their obligation to the honoured friends whose Lectures compose this volume: nor less so to one, the Rev. William Brock, the subject of whose Lecture, “The Seventh Commandment," renders it more appropriate for separate publication. The Committee have felt it their duty to offer to Mr. Brock special expression of their sympathy in the anxiety and labour which the preparation of a Lecture on such a subject demanded, and of their gratitude for the scriptural fidelity and moral courage with which his responsible duty was discharged.

Should his Lecture be prepared for publication, it will be issued on the 1st of May, uniform with the other Lectures of this series, for the convenience of those who may desire to bind it in the volume.

W. E. SHIPTON,

SECRETARY.

YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
OFFICES AND LIBRARY,
165, Aldersgate-street,

London, E.C.

26th Feb., 1861.

Persons desirous of becoming acquainted with the work of the YOUNG

MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, are requested to communicate with the Secretary, as above.

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