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iv lished were written since that selection was made, and consequently could not then have formed a part of it. If the present Sermons should be favourably received, there are many more that may come before the public. In making the present selection the Editor has been chiefly guided by the knowledge that the Sermon was intended for publication by Dr. Parr, or by considerations of its importance, its variety in point of style or matter, (for he has wished to exhibit specimens of his familiar instruction to his parishioners, as well as of his more profound and learned disquisitions,) and sometimes its clearness; for many of the Sermons, being either originally written on loose papers, or on papers which have since been loosened and displaced, are almost in the state of Sybil's leaves, which it is extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible to arrange, when the connecting parts appear to have been lost. A volume of extremely beautiful fragments might be formed from these relics, and from detached passages added as after thoughts, but displaced, and not referable to any certain part of the context.
The Editor fears also, notwithstanding all the pains that have been taken to print the present volumes correctly, that now and then errata have crept in, owing rather to the transcriber than the printer, and almost inseparable from so difficult and illegible a manuscript.
The Sermons have been revised since they came from the press by a learned friend, who has pointed out some errors as important, a list of which will be found at the end of each volume, and for which the indulgence of the reader is respectfully solicited.
Fragment of Dr. Parr's intended Preface, written apparently
The following Sermons have no claim upon the curiosity or taste of the public, either from depth of research, or originality of matter. They seldom profess to solve the speculative difficulties of religion, but are chiefly calculated to explain and to enforce its practical duties. I would not, however, presume to send them into the world, if I thought that they would be wholly useless to others, or quite dishonourable to myself. But for the imperfections that may be found in them it is proper for me to apologise, and of the apology, which I know to be true in itself, I may hope that to the candid reader it will not be wholly unsatisfactory. Be it remembered, then, that far the greatest part of these discourses were composed under the pressure of poverty, amidst the distractions of care, and after the fatigues of a most laborious and irksome employment.
Though I have for some time past retired from the more vexatious circumstances of my engagements as a teacher, yet I have never been fortunate enough to meet with those opportunities and encouragements without which attention becomes gradually languid, and exertion is intolerably oppressive. I am not, even at the present moment, induced by any motives of vanity to commit these Sermons to the press. But they were entirely useless to me in my humble situation, and, in my very confined circumstances, I could not; without gross indiscretion, refuse the advantageous terms which were proposed to me. by my bookseller. To these prudential considerations may be added the request of some friends, in the soundness of whose judgment, and the sincerity of whose regard, I can safely confide.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME V.