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ON THE

GOSPEL OF ST. MATTHEW;

DELIVERED IN THE

PARISH CHURCH OF ST. JAMES,

WESTMINSTER,

IN THE YEARS 1798, 1799, 1800, AND 1801.

BY THE RIGHT REVEREND

BEILBY PORTEUS, D. D.

BISHOP OF LONDON.

COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR SMITH AND ELDER, FENCHURCH STREET.

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PREFACE.

At the time when the following Lectures were first begun, the political, moral, and religious state of this kingdom, wore a very unfavourable aspect, and excited no small degree of uneasiness and alarm in every serious and reflecting mind. The enemies of this country were almost every where triumphant abroad, and its still more formidable enemies at home were indefatigably active in their endeavours to diffuse the poison of disaffection, infidelity, and a contempt of the holy scriptures, through every part of the kingdom, more especially among the lower orders of the people, by the most offensive and impious publications; while at the same time it must be acknowledged, that among too many of the higher classes, there prevailed, in the midst of all our distresses, a spirit of dissipation, profusion, and voluptuous gaiety, ill suited to the gloominess of our situation, and ill calculated to secure to us the protection of Heaven against the various dangers that menaced us on every side. Under these circumstances, it seemed to be the duty of every

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