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· TO THE READER.
It is not merely to add another book to the countless number already in existence, that the following pages are published ; nor is it to offer the Christian community a "standard work” on the doctrine of the Reconciliation; nor is it to give countenance to the idea that whenever a preacher leaves us by death, his works must of course be made public property. Other motives promptus. Since the death of Rev. William C. HANSCOM, many of his friends have been desirous of encouraging the publication of a selection from his sermons. It is almost needless to say that, wherever he was known as a preacher, his pulpit services were highly acceptable ; and many of his discourses were heard with admiration and profit. His manuscripts having been placed, by his own request, in the hands of the subscriber, it has
been deemed proper to issue this volume. It is the property of the denomination to which our departed brother belonged ; and it is confidently hoped, that, if not the production of an old and experienced mind, it will be read as it is, the effusion of a spirit filled with rich and holy thoughts, and sanctified by the truth of God. Although the traces of youth may here be seen, yet, to the devout mind, the teachings of heavenly wisdom, also, will be observed and felt.
The editor would here remark, that some of the productions of this work have before appeared in print; but, as they were issued in our weekly periodicals, many of which are not regularly filed, it was thought expedient to insert them here. One or two sermons, which were desired by our friends, have not been published, as the manuscripts would not warränt an attempt to do them justice. The sermon on “Home," was of this character - of which the “substance” only is here given.
The sermons and selections are now commended to the reader. May their author's spirit inspire him, and the perusal of them prove a source of life unto life.”
J. G. A.
WILLIAM CUTTER HANSCOM was born in Elliot, Me. July 4, 1815. Of his disposition in early life, it may be proper to remark that he was much inclined to study. He loved books and the school-room; and the advantages afforded him by kind parents to acquire the rudiments of an English education, were assiduously improved. Possessed of a naturally reflecting mind, his thoughts and moments were rather occupied in the acquirement of useful knowledge, than in the ordinary sports and pleasures of boyhood. Such a temperament as he possessed, led him to be religious, not only in intellect, but in feeling and devotion. The early exercises of his mind were not unlike those of many others, who have heard-inquired-read-meditated-argued and prayed for the attainment of truth. Of the various popular and unpopular religious sentiments he had heard declared, none had so strongly attracted his attention as that of Universalism. Yet he did not embrace this merely because it looked desirable. He was not the one to rest his religious belief on such a foundation. Neither was he kept away from it by the assertions of those who had no sympathy with believers in the faith of “the common salvation.” In imitation of the Bereans of old, he resolved to " search