Imatges de pàgina
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and our wisdom, health and safety, must now come after, by the way of recovery and cure. The first born of lapsed man was a malignant persecuting Cain. The first bom of believing Abraham, was a persecutor of him tbat was born after the Spirit, i John 3. 12. Gal. 4.29. And the first born of this Isaac himself, was a profane Esau, that for one morsel fold his birth-rightHeb. 12. 16. And naturally we are all the off-spring of this profanerefs, and have not acquaintance enough with God, and with healthful holsness, and with the everlasting heardiepily Glooy. to make us cordially preferr it before å forbidden cup, or morlel, or a game at foolery, or a filthy lust; or before the wind of a gilded fools acclamation and applause or the cap and counterfeit-fubječtion of the multitude : But the ---fortuna, non tua turba (ut Orv.) quos Sportula fecit amici (ut fuv.) who will serve mens lufts, and be their servants, and humble attendants to damnation, are regarded more than the God, the Saviour, the Sanctifier, to whom these perfidious rebels were once devoted. That

yours may live that more wife and delightful life, which consisteth

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you and

in the daily fight of Heaven, by a Living Faith, which worketh by Love, in conftant Obe

. dience, is the principal end of this publick appellation: That what is here written for the use of all, may be first and specially useful to you and yours, whom I am so much bound to love and honour; even to your safe and comfortable life and deach, and to your future joy and glory; which is the great desire of

Your obliged Servant, Feb. 4. 1669.

Rich. BAXTER.

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Reader,

F it offend thee, that the Parts

of this Treatise are so unlike, understand 1. That they are for various uses : The first Part

to make mer willing, by awakening perfwasions; and the rest, to direEt them in the exercises of Faith, who are for made willing. 2. That I write not to soin thy praise of an artificial comely Stručture ; but to help souls to Holiness and Heaven and to these ends I labour to }uit the means

: 3. That the first Sermon 146 "published long ago, and

the

the Book

seller defiring me to give him some ada ditions to it, I thought meet first to make up the exciting part in the same style, and then to add a Dire&tory for the pra&ice of judicious Believers.

2. And if it offend thee that the second Part containeth but such matter as I have already published, in my Reasons of the Christian Rea ligion, understand 1. That I perceived that that Treatise was negleEted by the more unlearned sort of Christians, as not descending enough to their caps. cities, and that it would be useful to the confira mation of their Faith, to draw forth fome of the most obvious Arguments, in as plain a manner, and as briefly as I could, that length nor obfcus rity might not deprive them of the benefit, who are too slothfull, or too dull, to make use of more copious and accurate discourse. 2. And I knew not here to write a Treatise of the Uses of Faith, which should wholly learve out the Confirmations of Faith, without much reluctancy of may. Reafon.

3. And again, I fay', I can bear the difpraise of Repetition, if I may beat fürther mens Fastb And Salvation.

3. And, if it offend sbee that I am so drill in all the Directive part, I cannot wel do both works at once, awaken the Affeffions, and accomm

rately

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rately durelt the mind for praftice: Or at least if I bad poken all these Direčtions in a copious applicas tory Sermor ftyle, it would have fwelled the Book to a cuery tedious coftly volume: And Affection must not too much interpose, when the Judgment is about its proper work. And being done in the beo ginning, it may be the better pared afterward.

4: If it offend you that I open the Life of Faith in somewhat an unusual marmer, 1 answer for my self, that if it Methodical, true and apt for uje, I da that which I intend: And on a subject fo Frequently and fully handled, it were but an injury to the Church, to say but the fame which is faid already Mr. John Ball, Mr. Ezekiel Culverwell, and Mr.Samuel Ward in a narrower room harve done exceeding well upon this

subject. If you have nothing more than they have said, read their Books only, And let this alone.

5. If it offend you that the Directions are many of them difficult, and the Atyle requireth a slow confiderate Reader, I answer, the nature of the Jubječt re. quireth it ; and without voluminous tedion/ness, it cannot be avoided. Blame therefore your unprepared ignorant minds; and while you are yet dull of hearing, and so make things hard to be uttered to your understanding, because you have still need of Milk, and cannos digest strong meat : but must again

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