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'HE Bible is a book of fuch tranfcendTH ent worth, and so happily fuited to all the parts and purposes of the Christian life, that it can never be too much recommended to the world: Every thing that allures the world to peruse it, is a bleffing to mankind, And though it is hard for our narrow capacities to grafp, and take in the feveral diftinguishing excellencies of it at one view, yet if we take a separate furvey of the doctrines and duties, the promifes and threatenings, the prophecies and histories, which are contained therein, each of them will afford us an awful or a delightful profpect, with leffons for fpecial improvement.
THE worthy author of this Collection, whom I have long known with esteem and honour, has chofen to reduce all the most ufeful and important Promises of the word of God into order, and fet them before us here. These are the most powerful motives
to duty; these are the constant food of a living Chriftian, as well as his highest cordials in a fainting hour. And in fuch a world as this, where duties perpetually demand our practice, and difficulties and trials are ever furrounding us, what can we do better than to treasure up the Promises in our hearts, which are the most effectual perfuafives to fulfil the one, and sustain the other? Here are laid up the true riches of a Christian, and his highest hopes on this fide heaven.
THE materials which are collected here are all divine, and the disposition of them is elegant and regular; fo that it is an eafy matter to find fomething fuited to the frame of our fouls, or our prefent wants on every occafion: And that foul who knows what a fuitable promise is worth in an hour of darkness. or temptation, will never think such a work as this, and fuch a various treasure, can have fufficient value fet upon it.
THIS is fuch a piece as I dare put into the hands of every Christian, among all their divided fects and parties in the world. Here is no danger of error or mistake in point of orthodoxy, if the English be but truly tranflated from the facred originals. The noify controverfies of the age, which eat out the
vitals of true religion, have no room nor place here; for these sentences are the pure word of God, without any mixtures of the wit or reasonings of man.
IT is the least thing that I can do to fhew my gratitude to the pious Author of this Collection, to tell the world how much I efteem it, how often it has given me confolation and support in the midst of my long infirmities and confinements in former years, when I was not capable of reading a whole page together in any writing: And there are multitudes of Chriftians that can bear the fame teftimony, to the value of this Collection of Promifes, who have found it an effectual fpur to duty, and a divine relief under furrounding forrows.
In order to a better improvement of these Promises, it may be very proper to read the Introduction firft, which will teach even Chriftians of the lower rank, how to understand and apply all these discoveries of divine mercy. Those who have little leisure for reading, may find their account in keeping this book always near them, and with the glance of an eye, they may take in the riches of grace and glory, and derive many a sweet refreshment from hence, amidst their labours and travels through this wilderness. It is of
excellent ufe to lie on the table in a chamber of sickness, and now and then to take a sip of the river of life, which runs through it in a thousand little rills of peace and joy.
MAY this 2d edition, which brings it again into the world, be attended with ftill greater fuccefs: And I fhall be glad to see fuch an evidence of growing Chriftianity and living religion among us, that fuch an affemblage of divine mercies which have been showered down from heaven in different ages, upon this wretched world, ever fince the fall of man, comes into the relish and taste of mankind, fo far as to be perufed and prized by them. May the Holy Spirit of God who indited all these Promises, and our bleffed Mediator, who by his ministry and by his blood, has fealed and confirmed them all, render them every day more and more powerful and prevalent, to draw the hearts of men towards God, and to fit them for the enjoyment of these words of grace in their complete accomplishment in glory.
NEWINGTON, Jan. 19, 1750.
Some Obfervations upon the Excellency and Ufe of the PROMISES, and Directions for the right Application of them.
ESIDES the many other evidences the holy fcripture carries in it, of a Divine original, there are efpecially remarkable the fublimity, excellency and reasonableness of the doctrines it teaches; the wifdom, holiness, and perfection of the rules of life it lays down; and the ftrength and efficacy of thofe fanctions, with which it enforces its precepts. As the Threatenings have the greateft tendency to ftrike an awe upon the mind, and to lay a powerful reftraint upon every irregular inclination; fo the Promifes are of fuch a nature, as most strongly to excite to, and give the greatest encouragement in a course of piety and univerfal holiness. It is therefore with the highest reafon the apoftle fays of them, That there are given unto us exceeding great and precious promifes, that by thefe we might be partakers of the divine nature, having efcaped the corruption that is in the world through luft, 2 Pet. i. 4. They are great and excellent; whether we confider the nature and variety of the bleffings contained in them, the manner in which they are expreffed, the certainty with which we may depend upon them, or their happy influence upon the