Shepard - BT378 T4 S44 1660

\ ~---- i T'he Epiflle to the 'l{~ader_. ___ thefe times) But therein every man is lefr free to his own further difquifitions. Neither is it for the fake of the bare expofition (much leffe Chronical Accomod:1tion) of the Text fo much, that we pub!Ifh thefe things (in that kind the Labours of others do abound ) hut for I thefpiritual, pradic:U, lively, foul-fearcbiog truths and applications thereof that are therein contained, the lub{hnce of which Truths the impartial Reader will eafily acknowledge te be clear both from this and I from other Scriptur~. I Thefe Sermons preached by the Author, in a weekly Lecture, were J begun in :.fune 163 6. :md ended in MAJ 1640. In which time tl~ ere was I a Leaven of AntinDmianand Familiftical opinions fiirring in the Country, as the world hath already in Print been informed: By occafi nn whereof the Reader will meet with fundry paffages tending to repmve and refute fome of thofe conceits and to efiab\tfh the contrary truth; which we have not expunged, but let them paffe moaly as we found them; feeing it is no more then the world already knows that there were fuch things then among us ; and though th:lt fiorre 'be ( as eo it's Of>en infl.uence ) comfortably blpwn over with us , yet the like errours are (if not latent among fo~e here) fpread elfewhere by the New Lights ot thefe times, w"ence thefe helps againfi them are fiill needful. And we doubt not but the fubfl:ance ot the Truth here defended by our Author will fi ,md and abide the Trial: Yea I fuppofe I may freely take liberty to fay, that among the many excellencies wherewith the Lord endowed this precious infirumcnt of his, this was none of the leall, that God taught him, anc helped him to teach others the: true middle way of the: Gofpel between the Legalill: on the one hand, :tnd the (or loofe Gofpeller) on the other, with much and fweec clearneffe, as was evident in the whole courfe and way of his preaching, agd may in fome meafure appear both in hts Books formerly printed, and in the following Sermons. Other paffages a!Co offpecial application to this Country and to thofc: firfi times of it , we willingly permit to paffe the: Prelfe, becaufe the;' may be profitable to others in like: cafes elfewhere, and of fpecial' btnefic to the New Englij# Reader, For why fhould we not defire and hope that the futable folemn counfels and warnings here given to thefe Churches by this Seer in lfrAtl, in reference to the main matters of life and godlindfe, may now be of living, awakening and foul-infuutling ufe to them (Oh that it may be ! ) unto many Generations ! Reader, if thou comefi hither to carp and cavil, or to criticife upon each imperfeCtion, this work is not for thy turn; but if ! thou bringefi with thee a fer ions and humble heart, defirous to h~ve thy foul fearched to thr quick, the [ores thereof lanced, thy fpiri tl:lal work and way directed, :tnd the interefi of thy eternal peace furthered ; if thou defirefi to walk wit~ God in good earnefi, and efcaping all the 1 fnares of a flight and flumbring Generation, to ftand before the S:m of ' m:m with comforrtn the day of his Glory, then mai,fi thou here find ! that that will fute thee, and which thou wilt blelfe the Lord for, even words '-