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Present Enhabitants of Anclent Dedham,
WHICH IS NOW DIVIDED INTO TEN TOWNS AND TWENTY-EIGHT RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES,
THIS VOLUME OF SERMONS,
COLLECTED AND PUBLISHED FOR THEIR USE,
WITH A DESIRE TO PRESERVE THE HISTORY OF THIS ANCIENT CHURCH,
TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF ITS WORTHY PASTORS,
AND "TO BRING DOWN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS INTO THE CHILDREN,"
IS RESPECTFULLY COMMENDED,
DEDHAM, MAY 1, 1840.
BY THEIR FRIEND AND Servant,
THIS volume contains a complete collection of the Sermons published by the Ministers of the First Church in Dedham from 1638 to 1800. It is a humble tribute to our successors, who may celebrate the next Centennial Anniversary in this church. As historical documents, they are of some value. As exhibiting the spirit and principles of the Fathers, with their style of preaching, they are precious memorials. In several of our early churches, as Plymouth, Salem, Charlestown, Boston, Cambridge, Roxbury and Dorchester, it would be easy to collect a volume, greater in extent and more rich in intrinsic worth. This hint may be useful. If this volume should contribute, in any degree, "to turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers," it will amply compensate for the labor and expense.
To recover such documents from dust and oblivion is a task, which some future age will more justly appreciate. An Indian relic, which the ploughman covers with his furrow, will yet be gazed at with a curious eye. Centennial Discourses are now frequent. The settlement of colonies, the incorporation of towns, the institution of churches, and the occurrence of important events, are commemorated. Many facts are revived and authenticated, the providence of God is devoutly acknowledged,