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say, the way to the compassionate heart of Jesus must be opened unto us by faith towards God, that we may receive from the heart of Jesus, out of the rich treasury and fulness of God, grace for grace, by which we are enabled to complete the whole in the most firm and substantial manner; so that neither the tempests of the devil, nor the rains and floods of temptation, which beat upon this edifice, shall be able to prevail against it.
But if we are desirous of finding the way to the heart of Jesus, it is necessary for us, in the first place, to discover our poverty, our inability, and our incompetency either to begin of ourselves or superintend this spiritual building, which Christ in the introduction of his sermon plainly presupposes, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This humility and deep self-abasement must be firmly grounded in us, so that we may place no reliance upon ourselves, which Paul, the wise, deeply skilled and highly enlightened architect, was well acquainted with from experience; for he says, our sufficiency is not of ourselves, but of God. He was able to do all things only through
him that strengthened him, namely Christ, by whose word and spirit he was rendered wise, skilful, and competent for the erection of this spiritual edifice, and has become a shining example for our imitation. So that we should take heed how we build upon this foundation, having Paul and the other apostles for examples, by which we can see how we ought to build; for as they followed Christ, so ought we, having their example, to follow him also, that we may have part with him, and he become our all, so that he may work all things in us, both to do, to speak, and to urge on according to his good pleasure. O how glorious and god-like is that soul who remains quite nothing and insignificant in her outward nature, so that Christ, residing in her inward part, may direct and influence all her movements. What a sweet and heavenly rest does she not find in her Saviour, who has chosen her as the place of his abode. Here the sensuality of the outward man vanishes entirely away, for now the soul esteems entirely as folly all carnal and philosophic wisdom, and goes on increasing by continued accessions of glory in the presence of the Lord Jesus; in
consequence of which she is enabled, according to the doctrine of Christ, to try the spirits, whether they are of God, or whether they make a glorious display, in semblance of the light, by means of signs and lying wonders and a deceptive exhibition of power. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Cor. 1: 25.
Therefore, friends and fellow travelers to eternity, I come unto you in this little book, not with high sounding words or profoundness of wisdom, by which to make known to you the gospel of God; but I have endeavored, according to the pleasure of God, by the foolishness of preaching, to be instrumental in promoting the happiness of them that believe. For God knows, I seek in this no honor from men, nor any earthly gain; but I desire from my heart, through much prayer and supplication to God, that many of those who are yet shut up and imprisoned in Babylon, may be enabled to embrace the doctrine of Christ, and become heirs of eternal salvation.
Now, I give heartfelt thanks to the everlasting mercy of God for his grace, in permit
ting the light of his Spirit to shine abroad in the hearts, and the word of life to take root in the souls of many, so that the true faith begins to flourish, and the truth of the gospel to beam forth and be received and embraced by many. Oh, may the bountiful and all-wise God bless his word and render it fruitful, not only here in our own land, but in all regions and countries, to his everlasting praise and the glory of his great name here in time, through Jesus Christ to all eternity. Amen.