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and which He freely difpenfes even to Sinners, that so many unthinking Persons are attached to ignoble Objects, and beguiled by delufory Pleasures. Unhappy Creatures! What can they do, but catch at Shadows, and ftoop to Trifles, while they are ignorant of the grand, the fubftantial, the exalted Good?-It is for want of duly attending to that Fulness of Grace, and that Plenteousness of Redemption, which dwell in our most adorable SAVIOUR, that so many Serious Perfons are Strangers to the Tranquility and Sweetness of Religion: are fubject to all its Restraints, but enjoy few, if any of its Delights. Miftakén Zealots! How can they avoid the gloomy Situation and the uncomfortable Circumftance, fo long as they withdraw themselves from the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS and his all-chearing
MAY your LADYSHIP live continually under his heavenly Light and healing Wings! Be more fully affured of his dying Love, and have brighter, ftill brighter Manifestations of his immenfe Perfections! By these delightful Views, and by that precious Faith, may your Heart be transformed into his boly, his amiable, his divine Image! Your Happiness will then be juft fuch as is wished, but far greater than can be expreffed by,
Your moft obliged, and
Moft obedient bumble Servant,
HE Reader will probably expect fome Account of the enfuing Work; and, to gratify Him in this Particular, will be a real Pleafure to
The Beauty and Excellency of the Scriptures -The Ruin and Depravity of human Nature -Its happy Recovery, founded on the Atonement, and effected by the SPIRIT of CHRIST -Thefe are fome of the chief Points, vindicated, illuftrated, and applied in the following Sheets.-But the grand Article, that which makes the principal Figure, is the IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS of our divine LORD; from whence arifes our Juftification before GOD, and our renewed Title to every heavenly Blef
fing. An Article, which, though eminent for its Importance, feems to be little understood, and lefs regarded; if not much mistaken, and almost forgotten.
The Importance of this great evangelical Doctrine -bow worthy it is of the most attentive Confideration, and of univerfal Acceptance is binted in the fecond Dialogue. So that I need, in this Place, do nothing more, than give the Senfe of a Paffage from Witfius, which is there introduced in the Notes." The "Doctrine of Juftification, fays that excellent
Author, Spreads itself through the whole System of Divinity. As this is either folidly eftablished, or fuperficially touched; fully Stated, or fightly difmiffed; accordingly, the " whole Structure of Religion, either rifes graceful and magnificent, fuperior to Alfault, "and beyond the Power of Decay; or else it appears difproportionate and defective, totters on its Foundation, and threatens an opprobrious * Fall *"
The Defign is executed in the Form of Dialogue. Thofe Parts only excepted, in which it was not easy to carry on a Converfation, and affign to each Perfon a proper Degree of Significancy. Here, to avoid the common Imputation, of bringing upon the Stage a Mute or a Shadow,
• See p. 65, 66.
Shadow-one who fights without Waepons, and fubmits without a Contest -the Scene fifts. Our Gentlemen feparate; and, inftead of converfing, enter upon an epiftolary Correfpondence.
The Dialogue Form feems, on many Confiderations, a very eligible Way of Writing.-Hereby, the Author gives an Air both of Dignity and of Modefty to his Sentiments. Of Dignity, by delivering them from the Mouths of Perfons, in every respect fuperior to Himself. Of Modefty; because We no longer confider Him in the raised, but invidious Capacity of a Teacher. Inftead of calling Us to his Feet, and dictating bis Precepts, He gratifies our Curiofity. He turns back a Curtain, and admits Us to fome remarkable Interviews, or interefting Conferences. We over-bear, by a kind of innocent or imaginary Stealth, the Debates which pass in the Receffes of Privacy; which are carried on, with the most unreferved Freedom of Speech, and Openness of Heart.-A Circumftance, which will apologize for fome Peculiarities, that might otherwife be inconfiftent with Humility, or offenfive to Delicacy. Particularly, it may obviate the Difguft, which generally, and indeed defervedly, attends the frequent Intrusion of that ambitious and ufurping little Monofyllable, I.