Imatges de pÓgina
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PREFACE.

GENTLE AND PIOUS READER: We live in an age, in which a tendency to licentiousness exerts a powerful influence, the world being filled with all kinds of erroneous and perverted writings, for the most part the productions of philosophy and human reason, by which the truth is held in unrighteousness and the word of God adulterated; the pure and evangelical doctrine has been rendered cloudy and obscure before the eyes and hearts of men, in consequence of which many candid inquirers are distracted and perplexed; a circumstance which gave me great anxiety, particularly when I observed so many poor wandering sheep drinking the impure water of false doctrine, which the faithless shepherds have rendered turbid with the feet of their philosophic wisdom. I have, therefore, been induced by the internal impulse of the Spirit to publish this work, constituting a clear mirror,

in which every man may view himself and observe his shape, provided he proceeds cor rectly in the examination; for it contains, properly speaking, an illustration of Christ's sermon on the mount, which sermon every body will doubtless look upon as a mirror of all such christians as are dead unto the law and married unto another, namely unto him who is risen from the dead, inasmuch as in this discourse he has displayed before our eyes and hearts a doctrine which stands in direct opposition to our carnal desires and corrupted humanity. Hence so few are found in our time who regulate the conduct of their lives by this doctrine, or act in conformity with its requisitions; for they love the pleasures of this world more than they love God, although Christ himself, in the conclusion of his sermon, declares, Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock, and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them

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