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VARIOUS RELATIONS OF LIFE.
“ If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."-
CHURCH AND CONGREGATION
ASSEMBLING FOR THE
WORSHIP OF GOD AND CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
IN UNION CHAPEL, ISLINGTON.
MY BELOVED FRIENDS,
With much pleasure, as well as from a sense of duty, I dedicate the following “Lectures” to you. For your benefit they were composed; to you they were, in substance, addressed from the Pulpit; and, at your request, they appear in their present form.
It is now nearly forty years since the great Head of the Church directed my steps to Islington, where he assigned me a Charge, in whose service he has graciously permitted me to labour, unto this day. In
the year 1801, I commenced my services with a body of Christians, Episcopalian and Congregational, who united together for the enjoyment of an evangelical ministry, then scarce in our parish. About three years after, in 1804, our church was duly organized in Highbury Grove, the place we formerly occupied. Now, indeed, few, very few, perhaps not six individuals, of the dear christian people to whom I was first called to minister the word of life, remain among us. But, on reviewing the way in which we have been led, and the great and good things our Lord has done for us, we may well exclaim, “What hath God wrought !"
For many years subsequent to the period I have just mentioned, the preaching of the gospel, truly so called, was enjoyed only among ourselves, and at two other dissenting places in our large neighbourhood. It is, however, with deep gratitude of heart I record it, our moral and spiritual improvements have been progressive. Several important societies originated with us, while we number, in connexion with our own Chapel alone, various benevolent and religious institutions. These you have hitherto been enabled to nourish and carry on with still increasing strength; and of their beneficial results you have often been assured, when “the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon you.” In your works of faith, and labours of love, you have done the father's office to the children; you have made yourselves as brothers to the poor, and friends to all you found in need. Go on, my beloved brethren,-pursue your errands of mercy, knowing, that in clothing the naked, in imparting instruction to the ignorant, and in visiting the widows and the fatherless, you at once confer and inherit blessings. I speak not thus in flattery: no, but in thankful acknowledgment to God, the Father of lights, from whom cometh down every good gift and every perfect gift;_to Him be the praise !