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PAROCHIAL OR DOMESTIC READING:
BY THE REV. JOSEPH JOWETT, M. A.
RECTOR OF SILK WILLOUGHBY,
AND DOMESTIC CHAPLAIN TO THE RIGHT HON. LORD BARHAM.
To my Parishioners, at Silk Willoughby, in the
County of Lincoln.
MY DEAR FRIENDS,
Ever since it pleased God, by
family sickness of which I cannot yet see the termination, to remove me to a distance from you, I have been desirous of giving you some pledge of my continued concern for your welfare. You may have thought that other scenes, and other connections, must by this time have almost broken the cord which bound us to each other. Be assured, however, that a pastoral intercourse of nineteen years, with all its attendant circumstances of pain and pleasure, of anxious labour, and of hopes at one time disappointed and at another fulfilled, was not to be so easily forgotten. He who now occupies my place, and is "over you in the
Lord," has my heart-felt prayer that he may be, in the best sense of the word, "the Minister of God to you for good:" but " because I have you in my heart"-I cannot be content that he shall do his work alone. By this little book, therefore, I come among you once more. Present in spirit, though absent in body, I here set before you the substance of those Divine Truths, which it was once my highest happiness, from one Sabbath-day to another, to press upon your acceptance. You will, I think, readily perceive, "that it is my mouth which speaketh unto you" but oh that, as you read, the Holy Spirit may cause you to hear his persuasive voice, saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it!" May you receive it, "not as the word of man, but (as it is in truth) the word of God!"
It is indeed, my friends, no slight privilege, that this word has been proclaimed among you for so long a period of time. Recollect (and I say it not in a spirit of vain-glory—God forbid but from a genuine desire, that you may not hereafter be found to have "received his grace in vain ;") recollect, I say, how affectionately you have been warned, that "the wages of sin is death; "-how you have been urged to seek that spiritual influence, which would enable you to repent and forsake sin, and to ask for mercy, while mercy was yet