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AU'TIiORTS

PREFACE'.

ix-

tify the

soul against faith and obedience, and

in

oth

-,

ers, weaken

all

grace,

and

endanger eternal

ruin.

For

if

we love

the

world,

the

love

of

the Father

is

not

in

us

;

and when the world

fills

our

thoughts,

it

will

entangle

our affections. And

first,.

the present

state

of

public

affairs

in

it,,

with

an

apprehended

con

-,

cernment

of

private persons therein,

continually

ex

erciseth

the

thoughts

of many, and

is almost

the only

subject of

their

mutual

converse.,

For the

world

is

at,

present

in

a

mighty hurry,

and

being

in many

places

cast

off

from

all

foundations of steadfastness, it

makes,

the

minds of men giddy

with its revolutions,

or dis-

orderly

in

the expectations

of them.

Thoughts

about

these things

are both

allowable

and

unavoidable,

if they take

not the

mind out of

its

own,

power, by

their

multiplicity, vehemency, and

urgency,

until it

be

unframed

as

to spiritual things, retaining

neither room nor

time

for

their

entertainment..

Hence, men walk and talk,

as if the world were

all,

when comparatively it

is

nothing.

And when

men come

with

their

warmed affections

reeking

with the

thoughts

of

these thugs,

to

the per

formanee

of, or

attendance to, any spiritual

duty,

it

is

very

difficult

for them,

if

not

impossible,

to

stir up

.

any

grace to

a

due

and vigorous

exercise.

Unless

this

plausible

advantage which

the

world

hath

obtained,

of

insinuating itself and its occasions into

the minds

.

of

men,

so

as

to

fill

then

and possess them, be watch-

ed against and

obviated,

so

far,

at least,

as

that

it may

not transform

the

mind into

its

awn

image and

like-

ness,

this grace

of being spiritually minded,

which

is

life and peace, cannot be

attained nor kept

to

its

due

exercise.

Nor

can we be any of us delivered from

this

snare