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Lordship’s Patience, I will only
· and humble Servant,
TO THE R E A D E R **AM HE following Entertain
ments having bitherto ferI ved only for the Use of a A private Assembly, the Rea
der must not be surprised to find me fometimes addressing myself, as is usual in Sermons, to the Congrezation before me. However, I did not think it proper to call them by that Name ; because the Method commonly used in Sermons is very different from what I have made Choice of in these Discourses. But it is not at all material by what Name they are calld, so they do but answer the principal End they are design'd for, which is, to move Sinners to a serious Repentance and A. mendment of Life, and give them the best A 4
Advice I can in order to it. 'Twas this I had principally in View in my Choice of the important Truths I have handled in relation to Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven ; the Enormity, and fatal Consequences of Sin, &c. which are the Subjeets treated in the thirtyone Entertainments of the first Part * But what will appear peculiar in this Part is, that the Discourses it contains are linked together with almost the Jame Connection, as the several Chapters of a Book relating to one Subject.
The second Part is made up of mifcellaneous and unconne&ted Subjects; fome of which I was led to by the GoSpels of the Sundays, on which I had Occafion to speak; others were my voluntary Choice, because I thought them useful to the Generality of Christians. But I have always taken care not to force my Text to come over to my Subject, but to make my Subje&t follow my Text ; so that whoever reads but the Text will immed now
* The Author at first designed but two Parts, but the Publisher found it more commodious to divide the whole Work into three Volumes.
what Entertainment is prepared for him. And 'tis for this Reason I have not confined myself to any particular Gospel, nor even always to the New Teftament, but allow'd myself full Liberty to take my Text from any Part of the Word of God: that fo I might be wholly unconstrain’d in the Choice of my subject; wherein I always had a principal Regard to the Benefit of . those I was to inftruet.
I will not here trouble the Reader with any Apology for the Meanness of my Performance. For let that be as it will, I have done my best to do hine good: And if in reading the following Entertainments be will but take the Interest of his Salvation as seriously to Heart, as I have labour'd to inftru&t. him in the. Method of attaining to it. I hope I shall not be wholly frustrated of the End I have proposed to myself ; which is to be asisting to him in the Ma. nagement of that important Concern..
However, I will not presume to flatter myself, that the Entertainments í bave prepared will please all Sorts of Pa. lates; being sensible that those, who are
already considerably advanced in the Way of Perfe&tion, would be much more agreeably entertain'd with Lectures of a more. sublime and spiritual Taste. For I cannot deny but the greatest part of the Subjects I have chosen are to the Persons now mention'd much like the first Rudiments of Learning to a consummate Scholar And tho the very Alphabet of Christianity, and te most vulgar Truths of the Christian Do&trine may be render'd profitable, even to the most perfe£t; 'tis certain, however, that all Truths are not equal. ly 1feful to all States. St. Paul spoke Wisdom amongst the Perfe£t ; sapientiam autem loquimur inter perfectos : But to the Imperfeet be wrote thus, I have fed you with Milk, and not with Meat, for hitherto ye were not able to bear ii ; neither yet are ye able. So that ive Circumstances of Perfons are .no less to be confi:er'd in the Choice of Advice, or Truths to be deliver'd to them, than their Conftitu170115 in the Choice of Meats.
Now I bave neither writ for Priests mer Religious, but for Laicks only; that