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The Preface

to

the Reader.

VI,<

The

following

Hiftory

takes a'confiderable compafs

( from

A.

0.1615.

to

r684)

and

it

Will entertain

the Reader

with no

fmail

variety of

ufeful

and delightful

Matter.

I, You

have

here the Hiftory

of

God's early, kind, and

e

powerful Dealings with

him-

felf, fo

as

to enprinciple and train

him up

as

a

Chriftian

:

and how

God

tonch'd

and

fixed

his Soul

forhimfeif in Chriftian

Bonds.

God call that Mantle on

him

which made

his

heart

to

turn

and Rand towards him

s

and

be rpoft

ambitious o

and

folicitous about

his

pardon

from, fellowfhip

with,

devotednefs

to, and living

with God

in

the

heavenly glory.

Then

God acquainted him with

his

natural,

de-

generate and loft

felf,

till

Chrift

by

Grace befriended and relieved him. When ma-

king

towards,

and brought to

Chrift,

he

is

pre1

ntly and

(enfibly engaged

inferrer

and open War with

Satan and

his

own

Leif.

And here hisConflióts and

Temptations

are gradually and

wifely

ordered him, and

lec

loofeupon him

;

but

every way

fuit-

ed to

his

ftrength and

benefit. His Exercifes were

and muff

be fuch

as

(hall put

him

to deep Thoughts,

clofe Studies,

ftri

t

Guards and Watchings,

fervent

Prayer,

and

a quick

fenfe

of

the Neceffity

of

daily help fromHeaven.

And Satan

is

permitted

toattack

him in

all

the

Articles

of

his

Chriftian Faith, and in the Foundation

of

his Heavenly Hopes.

He

was

fo

feverely

urged

b,Satan

to Atheifm,Scepticifm,In-

fidelity, and followed

with fuch perplexing

Difficulties

and amazing Intricacies a-

bout both

Natural

and Revealed Religion,

as

that

he had

concerned and earneft

breathings after,

value of,

and refolution

for

full

Satisfaítion

about both the Foun-

dations and SuperftrsEture

of

Religion. Slight

Studies

,

precarious though confi-

dent Affertions, the

Publick Vogue and Suffragesof

Men, Worldly

Interests,

Popu-

lar

Applaufes, and Fleshly Eafe, could

fet

no Pints and limits

td

his inquihtive

Mind

and painful

.Searches. His Soul

ever lay open

to Evidence:

His

Eye

was

fit* upon

the

Matter to

find

out that

:

he

then confidered Words

as

the

fit

Portraiétures

of

Things, and Reprefentations

of Humane

Apprehenfrons to mutual

Information a-

bout Things

and Words. And when he

observed

Words

to

be fo

equivocal, and

of

fuch lax,

uncertain

fence, he was evercareful

to

give Expreffions

their

Prix

and just

Interpretations, and to

be

clear about the

fixed fence

of

doubtful Terms. And

from

the

accuracy

of

his

Judgment,

and

finenefs

of

his

Thought,

and from

the impetu-

oufnefs

of

his tiefstes

and endeavours to know.Things clearly, orderly and

diftinft-

ly,

aroff that multitude and

variety

of

Diftin,tions,

(many

whereof were

thought

unufual,

though

I

never thought yet any of

them

u(ele(s

and

impertinent

as

impro-

ved by

him) which

ufually

accompanied

his

Difcourfe

and Writings. But

(tocon-

clude

this

Head)

clear knowledge

of

the Name and Kingdom

of God in Chrift,

well

grounded Faith,

lively

Hopes, rational

Satisfa6tiota

about the

Safety

of

his

State

and

Saul,

the

Soondnefs and due

Furniture

of

his

Inner Man in order to

his

fulfilling

after God and

ChriP,and

-an

Exemplary Holy Life,an happyDeath,a

joyful

Refurre-

Etion, there were the Pleafure, Ambition and

Employment

of

his

Life

; as

alfo

to be

found in

ChriP,and

every way faithful and fruitful

tohim.And

by

what Instruments,

Steps

and

Methods, God brought him hitherto,

this

following Account of

his,

from

his

own Pen

will tell

you:

As

alfo

to what

he ever had recourfe

for his

ownPerfon-

alSatisfadion

and Redrefs, and how

God exercifed and

used

his Parts

and

Thoughts

herein.

You

have here

the Hifiory of

his

Minifterial Self God

fet

upon his

Soul,

asone

refolv'd

to

qualifie

and anoint it in no ordinary manner, for

that

Sacred

Fun

&ion,

whereunto

(

after many Temptations and Attempts to

fix

him

in fome

other Stati-

on

and Employment, both

from

others

and

himfelf)

by the Call and

Conduet

of

his heavenly

Mater,

he applied and kept

himfelf

at laB.

God

throughly made him

fire to know

the

Soul

which

he had

breathed into him,

as

to

its

Faculties,

Capaci-

ties, Worth and Ufefulnefs. God made

him

feel

and

mind that

Body

wherein this

Soul

of

his was

lodged

;

and wherein and

how far

his

better

Parc

might

be helped

or

hinder'd thereby

:

and

the two Worlds whereto both

Soul

and

Body

were rela-

ted

;

and wherewith they were

variously

concerned. And in this World God

fix'd

him in

fuch a Profpeet

of

another,

as

made him intimately and sharply-feel

both

what, and where,

amidst what Circumstances,.

anti

to what

purpofes he here a

bode

in

painful, exercifed and declining Flelh. And

all

this gave

him great Advantages

and Inducements to deal more clolèly,

skilfully,

diligently, and

conitantly,

and im-

portunately with

Souls,

about their great Concerns. And what

a

Transcript God

made

him

of

what the Apofllefpeaks

as

to

himfelf

-nd

Timothy,

in

Col.

r.zf

--ap.

the

following History

of

his Kidderminfler

(and

other)

Labours and

Succeffes

in

the

Gofpel, will convince you to great Sarisfaftiox:

as

allo

of

what Oppofitions

and

Deliverances and Prefervations he met with there.

And