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X111

AUTHOR'S

PREFACE.

cumstances

do

render necessary to

be

attended to

in a

peculiar

manner, are

the things which

I would

princi-

pally apply

myself

to

in

the

work of

teaching

others.

For

as in

the work of the ministry

in

general, the

whole counsel of

God,

concerning the

salvation

of

the church

by

Jesus

Christ,

is

to

be

declared

-so

in

particular,

we

are not to

fight

uncertainly,

as

men

beating the

air,

nor

shoot our

arrows

at random,

with

-`

out a

certain

scope and design. Knowledge of

the

flock

whereof

we

are

overseers, with à

due considera-

tion

of

their

wants,

their

graces,

their

temptations,

their

light,

their

strength,

and weakness, are

required

herein.

And when,

in pursuance of

that

design,

the

preparation

of

the

word to

be

dispensed proceeds

from

zeal to the

glory

of

God,

and

compassion to

the

souls

of

men;

when it

is

delivered with the

demonstration

of

a due

reverence

to

God;

whose word it

is,

and

of

authority

towards

them

to

whom

it

is

dispensed,

with

a

deep

sense

of

that great

account, which both

they

that

preach,

and

they that hear the

word preached,

must shortly

give

before the

judgment

seat of Christ,

there

may

be

a comfortable

expectation of

a

blessed

issue of

the

whole work. But my

present

design

is,

only

to declare,

in

particular, the reasons

why I

judged

the

preaching

and publishing of

this

small and

plain

dis-

course concerning the

grace

and duty of

being

spiritu-

ally minded

not

to be

altogether

unseasonable

at

this

time,

in

the present circumstances

of most Christians.

And-the

first

thing

which

I

would observe

to

this

end

is,

the present importunity

of

the

world

to impose

itself

on

the

minds of men, and

the

various ways of

in-

sinuation, whereby it

possesseth and

filleth

them.

If

it attain hereto, if

it can

fill

the minds,

the thoughts

and

affections of men

with

itself,

it

will,

to

some, for