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How. That all mankind, however differenced by their rank and oved, station in the world, have an equal concern in what is revealed vieurs concerning another and future world, will be readily owned;

and it must be as readily granted, that however allowable it ndere may be for men of learning aod parts, to please themselves with

this fineness of language, juliness of thought, and exact connection of all in writings upon other subjects; yet they ought not to indulge

themselves in the fame taste in discourfes on divine things, left this they expose themselves to the just cenfure of ading with the pens

fame indiscretion, as a person in danger of familhing by bunger, trong would be guilty of, if he perverfly rejected plain wholefonie food, when offered io him, for no orher reason than the want of

pa aril. Jarable Sauce, or order and splendor in serving it up. Er all

The facred book we call the Bible, has a peculiar sublimity nder in it, vailed with unusual dialect and seeming inconnection : ncies but it is not therefore to be rejected by men who bear the name

of Christians, as uncouth or unintelligible ; true wisdom dictates and quite anorber thing : it counsels us, by frequent reading, to arist acquaint curselves well with ir; become accukumed to its right' peculiar phrases, and search into its fublimities; upon this re to ground, that the matters contained in it, are of the utmost re ha confequence to us, and when rightly understood, yield a refined lili, delight, much fuperior to what is to be found in reading the

best written books on the most entertaining fobjects. What pleads for the parent, is a plea for the progeny; practical discourses opos divine subjects, are the genuine offspring of the facred text, and ought therefore to be read carefully and with attention, by perfons of all ranks and, degrees, tho they are

indeed calculated for, and peculiarly adapted to fuch as move gired in low spheres of life. fore

Let it, however, be a prevailing argument with persons of

all denominations, carefully co read books of practical divinity; deed! That

many of them are not written on the same motives and cally principles as other books are ; the authors have often a peculiar

divine call to publish them, and well-founded hope of their being useful to advance Christianity in the world. Io confe.

quence whereof it is, that great numbers have reaped benefit te by reading them, especially childhood and youth ; many have bosh) been converted by them; and it may be questioned, if ever

there was a true Christian, since the Art of Printing made these books common, who has nor, in some stage 'of life, reaped confiderable advantage from them. This book recommends itself ia a particular manner, by its being a short fubftantial system

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practical divinity, in so much, that it may with truth be afferted, That a person who is throughly acquainted with all that is here taught, may, without danger to his eternal interest, remain ignorant of other things, which pertain to the science called Divinity. It is therefore earnestly recommended to the serious. and frequent perustl of all, but especially of such as are in that stage of life called youth, and are fo ftaiioned in the world, as not to be frequently opportuned to hear fermons, and -read commentaries on the sacred text.

It is doubtless incumbent on masters of families to make some provision of spiritual as well as bodily food, for their children and servants; this is effectually done by putting practical books in their hands : and therefore this book is humbly and earnestly recommended as a family book, which all the members of it: are not only allowed, but defired to perufe.

As to the difference betwixt this and the former edition, which gives it preference, it lies chiefly in the Author's not only haring reviled the stile, but the thought in many places, and corrected both, so as to 'fer leveral important truhs in a clearer light, and make the stile of the book now uniform, which for:merly was not so, because of the explications of peculiar words and phrafes in ufe amongst practical divines, especially of the Church of Scotland, which were interspersed throughout the. former edition, and introduced by another hand, for the fake of such persóns-as- are not accustomed to them. , It remains, that kili the prefacer not only fubjoin his name, which was concealed in the first edition, as a tellimony that he esteems the Author and values the book, but ihat he may thereby recommend it in a particular manner to the perusal of perfons of his own acquaintance. If, in his aslifting towards its being published, and in prefacing both editions, he has not run unfent, he has what will bear 'him up under all censures; the charitable will think no.. evil, and others will do as they please.

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March, 1729.

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ter For

red, 1. The State of INNOCENCE, or Primitive Integrity, Discoursed

from Eccles. vii. 29. Dain lled F Man's original righteousness,

Page 19 His understanding a lamp of light, that His will Atraight with the will of God,

ib His affections orderly and pure, ead The qualities of this righteoufness, Of man's original happiness,

24 Man a glorious creatures

ib. Irén The favourite of heaven,

25 oks The covenant of works,

26 illy Lord of the world,

27 fit

The forbidden tree a stay. to keep him from falling,
His perfect tranquillity,

23 on Life of pure delight,

ib. enly Man immortal,

29 and Inftractions from this ftare,

30 Three sorts of persons reproved,

31 A lamentation over the ruins,

32 rds Ethe II. The STATE OF NATURE : or Siute of entire Dethe:

pravation. jat Head I. The SINFULNESS of Man's IJATURAL STATE, Dile

foursed from GEN vi. 5. HAT Man's nature is corrupied, proven, From God's word,

ib. From men's experieoce and observation,

Fallen Adam's inage, in eleven particulars, lia ural to men, 46
Of the Corruption of the undecanding,
Weakness with respect to spiritual things,
Three evidences of it,

53 Gruss darkness in fpiritual things,

ib. Four evidences of it,

57 A bas jo it io evil,

ib. E Six evidences of that bias,

6 € Averfion to fpiritual truths,

Three evidences thereof,
Proneness to lies and fallhood,
Man naturally high minded,

66 Of the corruption of the will,

ib. Uiter iuability for what is truly good,



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Page 68

73 74

Twosevic-aces of it, Averseness to good, Four evidences of it,

ib, Proneness to evil,

Fire évidences of it, Ennity against God,

75 Against the being and nature of God,

77 Five queries for conviction on this head,

ib Against the son of God,

78 In his prophetical office,

Two evidences of it, In his preiftly office;

81 Three evidences of it,

ib In his kingly office,

82 Three evidences of it,

84 A peculiar malignity againft the priestly office ; corrupt nature lying cross to the gospel-contrivance of salvation, 84

Four proofs of it,
Bent to the way of the law, as a covenant of works,

86 Four proofs of it,

ib. Against the Spirit of God,

ib, Against the law as a rule of life,

ib. Two evidences of it, Contuinacy against the Lord,

88 Perverseness in reference to the chief end,

89 Corruption of the affections, conscience, and memory,

90 The body partaker of this corruption,

93. How man's nature was corrupted;.

957 The doctrine of the corruption of nature applied, The natural man can do nothing but fing

99 Gód takes special notice of the fin of our nature,

105. Evidences of men's overlooking the sia of their nature; . Wherein that sin is to be specially noticed,

108 Why it is to be specially noticed,

109/ How to get a view of the corruption of nature,





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p. 112?

HEAD II. The Misery of Man's NATURAL STATE,

Discoursed from Eph. ii. 3.
AN's.catural state, a state of wrath,

What this state ó wrath is,

114 Wrath in the heart of God against the natural:man, Wrath in the word of God against him, Wrath in the hand of God against him,





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On his body, soul, and enjoyments, Pag. 118-120


He is under the power of Satan,

Hath no security for a moment's safety,


Wrath against him at death,

- at the general judgment,


The qualities of that wrath,

The doctrine of the fate of wrath confirmed and vindicated, 129

Several instructions from it,


Alarm to the unregenerate,


They are under the covenant of works,


Their misery in that respect,


"They are without God,


Their misery in that respect,


Instances of the wrath of God,


A view of the Bature of God, whose wrath it is,


How to flee from wrath,


A few words to the saints,


A word to all,


HEAD III. Man's UTTER INABILITY to recover himself,

Discoursed from Rom. v. 6. John vi. 44.

NLY two ways of man's recovering himself supposable,

viz. the way of the law, and the way of the gospel, 142

Man unable to recover himself in the way of ihe law, 144

He cannot keep the commandments perfectly,



The perfection of law.obedience, four-fold,

He cannot satisfy the justice of God for his ling 145

Obje&t. God is merciful: we hope to be saved, if we do as

well as-we can. Answered,


Man unable to recover himself in the way of the gospel, to

embrace and use the help offered for his recovery,


Proved by several arguments,


Object. (1.) If we be under an-utter inability to do any

good, how can God require us to do it? Answered, ib.

Object (2.) Why do you then call us to believe, repent,

and use the means? Answered,


Object. (3.) The use of means needless, feeing we are

utterly unable to help ourselves out of the ftare of fin

and wrath, Answered,

Quest. Has God promised to convert and save them,

who, in the use of means, do what they can towards

their own relief ? Answered,


The Conclusion of this head


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