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HAVING been appointed a Committee from the Vestry of Grace Church, to request, in behalf of the members of the same, permission for the publication of four Sermons on the subject of “ Education," and one on " Filial Duty," delivered by you a short time since; permit us, in accordance with our appointment, to apply to you for your consent.
Deeply sensible of the importance of the subject, and receiving, as we have, the highest gratification from its treatment in the discourses mentioned, we make this application, in the fullest confidence that you will not disregard the sincere wishes of your congregation ; but allow us to disseminate more widely those opinions to which we ourselves have listened with such feelings of satisfaction, and which we believe so well calculated for the benefit of a more enlarged society. Under this assurance we urge our request, and we sincerely hope it may meet with your acquiescence.
To the Members of the Parish of Grace
Church, in the City of New York.
MY RESPECTED PARISHIONERS,
The Sermons here presented to you were prepared in the ordinary course of my parochial labours, and without the least reference to their appearing in print. Had I, therefore, consulted my own feelings and judgment, I should altogether have declined publishing them. But your wishes, made known to me by many private communications, and especially by the official request of the Vestry, have overcome my scruples.
I well know that very often a different impression is made by Sermons when printed, from that which their delivery from the pulpit might have led one to expect; and I cannot but apprehend, that in the present instance my hearers will be disappointed when they read, what they were pleased to receive, when spoken, with attention and a good degree of approbation. But as these Sermons were first written, less with a view to your commendations, than to your spiritual improvement; so now are they published only in the hope that they may have some small influence in turning the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers. If the Spirit of God shall so far bless this humble endeavour, as to make it instrumental to this purpose, even in a single instance, I shall covet no higher praise, and no better reward.
I now beg permission to dedicate this small Volume to you, my much esteemed friends, to whom I am bound by many ties of affection and gratitude, in addition to the more solemn ones that subsist between us as pastor and people.
J. M. WAINWRIGHT. Grace Church Rectory,