Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

]9C' COMPILER'S PREFACE. without good reason that Dr. Calamy remarks concerning it, " This is a book, for which multitudes will have cause to bless God for ever," This excellent and useful book now appears in the form of an abridgment ; and therefore, it ispresumed, will be the morelikely, under the divine blessing, to diffuse its salutary influence among those that would otherwise have wanted opportunity or inclination to read over the larger volume. In reducing it to this smaller size, I have been very desirous to dojustice to the author, and at the same time promote the pleasure and profit of the serious reader. And, I hope, these ends are, in some measure, answered ; chiefly by dropping things of a digressive, controversial, or metaphysical nature ; together with pre- faces, dedications, and various allusions to some peculiar circumstances of the last age.; and particularly, by throwing several chapters into one, that the number of them may better correspond with the size of the volume; and sometimes by altering the form, but not the sense, of a period, for the sake of brevity; and when an obsolete phrase occurred, changing it for one more common and intelligible. I should never have thought of attempting this work, if it had not been sug- gested and urged by others ; and by some very respectable names, of whose learning, judgment, and piety I forbear to avail myself. How- ever defective this performance may appear, the labor of it (if it may be called a labor) has been, I bless God, one of the most delightful labors of my life. Certainly the thoughts of everlasting rest maybe as delightful to souls in the present day, as they have ever been to those of past generations. I am sure such thoughts are as absolutely necessary now ; nor are temptations to neglect them, either fewer or weaker now than formerly. The worth of everlasting rest is not felt, because it is not considered ; it is forgotten, because a thousand trifles are preferred before it. But were the divine reasonings of this book duly attended to, (and 0 that the Spirit and grace of a Redeemer may make them so !) then an age of vanity would become serious ; minds enervated by sensuality would soon resume the strength of reason, and display the excellence of Christianity ; the delusive names of pleasure would be blotted out by the glorious reality of heavenly joy upon earth ; every station ami relation in life would be filled up with the propriety and dignity of serious religion ; every member of society would then effectually contribute to the beauty and happiness of the whole ; and every soul would be ready for life or death, for one world or another, in a well- grounded and cheerful persuasion of having secured a title to that rest which remaineth to the people of God. B. F. ,Kidderminster, Dec. 25th, 1758.