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X

AUTHOR'S

PREFA.CED

at this

season,

proceeding

from the

prevalent

abhor-

rence of

our affections to

things spiritual

and heaven-

ly,

without

a watchful endeavor to

keep

and

preserve

our

minds in

the constant contemplation of them,

as

will appear in

the ensuing discourse.

Again,

there

are

so

great

and

pregnant

evidences of

the prevalency

of an

earthly, worldly

frame of

spirit,

in

many

who make

profession

of religion,

that

it

is

high

time

they were

called to

a due

consideration,

how unanswerable

they

are therein,

to

the power

and

spirituality

of

that

religion which they

do

profess.

There

is

no

way whereby such a frame may

be evin-

ced

to

prevail

in many, yea, in

the generality

of such

professors,

that

is

not manifest to

all.

In their

hab-

its,

attires,

and vestments,

in

their

usual converse and

misspence

of

time, in

their

over liberal

entertainment

of

themselves and others,

to the borders

of excess, and

sundry other things

of

a

like

nature

;

there

is

in many

such a conformity to the

world,

(a thing severely

for-

bidden,)

that

it

is

"hard to make

a

distinction

between.

them. And these

things

do

manifest

such

a predomi-

nancy

of carnal affections in

the

minds of

men, as,

whatever may

be

pretended to the contrary,

it

is

in-

consistent with spiritual

peace. To call men off from

this

evil

frame

of heart and

mind,

to discover

the

sin

and danger of

it,

to direct them

to the ways and

means whereby

it

may

be effected,

to

supply

their

thoughts

and affections

with better

objects,

to discover

and press that exercise of them which

is

indispensably

required of

all believers,

if they

desire

life

and peace,

is some

part

of

the

work of

the ensuing discourse.

It

may

be,

it will be

judged

but a weak attempt

as

to the

attaining of

that

end

:

but

it cannot

be

denied to have

these

two advantages

first,

that

it

is

seasonable

and