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THREE GREAT TEMPTATIONS
WITH SEVERAL LECTURES ADDRESSED TO
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL MEN.
SAMUEL W. FISHER
MOORE & ANDERSON, PUBLISHERS,
28 WEST FOURTH STREET.
ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDONS DATIONS, R 1911
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
MOORE & ANDERSON,
cA. MORGAN *:co®, STEREOTYPERS AND PUBLISHERS,
This volume contains the substance of a series of discourses principally addressed to young men, and delivered during the last winter in the Second Presbyterian Church in this city, of which the author is pastor. They are printed for the same reason that they were originally composed and delivered — to promote the temporal and eternal well being of the multitudes of young men who gather into these great centers of business. The desire for their publication has been so general among those who heard them, and expressed in so substantial a manner, that the author has not felt at liberty to withhold them. He has long been convinced, that these popular vices, perhaps because they are so manifestly evil and ruinous, have not received that attention from the pulpit and the press which their fearful prevalence in our large cities imperatively demands. By the pulpit, they have been regarded as so unmistakably wicked - so broadly offensive to religion, as to need only an occasional allusion, an indirect discussion ; by the press at large, they have too generally been regarded either as a necessary evil, or as fine subjects for editorial witticisms. Meanwhile hundreds and thousands are yearly entering upon this broad pathway to perdition.
There have been of late years a few most admirable volumes published on these subjects. They do not, however, meet all the wants of the public in this respect, even if their more gen
Transfer from Circ. Dept.
eral circulation could be secured. Every person who has, to some extent, gained the ear of the community in which he resides, may to that extent, hope to influence the public mind more directly and fully, than can be done by a writer from a distance, even though the latter may have given to the same subjects a more thorough discussion. This home influence is the result of personal confidence and respect, acquired through the personal intercourse and public demonstrations of years. It is this consideration which has led the author to suppose, that the publication of these discourses might secure for them a circulation among many young men, who would not so easily be reached in other ways. At the same time, he cannot but indulge the hope that, as these temptations to vice are the same in all our cities, and to some extent in our towns and villages, there would be found in these discussions such an adaption to meet these evils and aid in their removal, as will secure for this volume an extensive circulation in other parts of the country.
In regard to the discourses themselves, it is proper to remark, that, with the exception of the introduction, they were originally written amidst the hurry of a weekly preparation for the pulpit. In revising them, the author has felt that, for the purposes designed to be accomplished by such a publication, it was better to suffer them to retain the free, bold style of the pulpit, than to recast and elaborate them into a form that would please the taste of the critic. The accuracy and the refinement which a more labored preparation might have given to the style, might also have taken something from the freedom and the spirit which usually belong to discourses prepared rapidly under the pressure and the excitement of an immedi. ate delivery before a large assembly. In acting thus, however, the author is aware the work may be open to the objections of