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and which He freely dispenses even to Sinners, that so many unthinking Persons are attached to ignoble Objects, and be
Creatures! What can they do, but catch at Shadows, and stoop to Trifles, while they are ignorant of the grand, the subftantial, 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 Persons are Strangers to the Tranquility and Sweetness of Religion: are subject to all its Restraints, but enjoy few, if any of its Delights. Miftakén Zealots! How can they avoid the gloomy Situation and the uncomfortable Circumstance, fo long as they withdraw themselves from the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS and his all-chearing Beams?
May your LADYSHIP live continu'ally under his heavenly Light and healing Wings! Be more fully assured of his dying Love, and have brighter, still brighter Manifestations of his immense 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 just such as is wished, but far greater than can be expressed by,
Your most obliged, and
Most obedient humble Servant,
P R E FACE.
HE Reader will probably expect Sor r y fome Account of the ensuing Work;
and, to gratify Him in this ParCe na ticular, will be a real Pleasure to the Author. .
The Beauty and Excellency of the Scriptures ---The Ruin and Depravity of human Nature -Its happy Recovery, founded on the Atonement, and effe&ted by the SPIRIT of CHRIST -These are some of the chief Points, vindicated, illustrated, 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 arises our Justification before GOD, and our renewed Title to every heavenly Bles. : 4
fing. fing. An Article, which, though eminent for
its Importance, seems to be little understood, and ·lels regarded ; if not much mistaken, and almost forgotten.
The Importance of this great evangelical Doétrine - how worthy it is of the most attentive Confideration, and of universal Acceptance — is binted in the second Dialogue. So that I need, in this Place, do nothing more, than give the Sense of a Passage from Witsius, çbich is there introduced in the Notes." The « DoEtrine of Justification, says that excellent * Author, Spreads itself through the whole & Systen of Divinity. As this is either folidly " established, or superficially touched ; fully a stated, or fightly dismissed; accordingly, the * whole Strukture of Religion, either rises is graceful and magnijicent, Superior to Afault, *s and beyond the Power of Decay; or else it to appears disproportionate and defective, totters
on it's Foundation, and threatens an opprobrious to Fall *.”
The Design is executed in the Forn of Dialogue. Those Parts only excepted, in which it was nct easy to carry on a Conversation, and allion to each person a proper Degree of Significancy. Here, to avoid the common Imputation, of bringing upon the Siage a Mute or a
Shadow, * See p. 65, 66.
Shadow-one who fights without Waepons, and fubmits without a Contest — the Scene frifts. Our Gentlemen separate; and, instead of conversing, enter upon an epistolary Corre poxdence.
The Dialogue Form seems, on many Confiderations, a very eligible Way of Writing.--Hereby, the Author gives an Air both of Dignity and of Modesty to bis Sentiments. Of Dignity; by delivering them from the Mouths of Persons, in every respect superior to Himself. Of Modesty; because we no longer confider Him in the raised, but invidious Capacity of a Teacher. Instead of calling Us to his Feet, and distating bis Precepts, He gratifies our Curiosity. He turns back a Curtain, and admiis Us to fomie remarkable Interviews, or interesting Conjerences. We over-bear, by a kind of innocent or imaginary Stealth, the Debates which pass in the Recesses of Privacy; which are carried the with the most unreserved Freedom of speech, and Openness of Heart.-A Circumstance, which will apologize for some Peci:licrities, that might otherwise be inconsistent with Huinility, or offenfive to Delicacy. Particularly, it may obviate the Disgust, which generelly, and indeed dejervedly, attends the frequerit latrufion of that aizbitious and ufurping litile Monosyllable, I.