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PREFACE,

TO THE

CHRISTIAN READER.

TH

HE Author humbly conceives that the following Discourses contain the most important and interefting truths of Christianity; and, as fuch, he earnestly recommends them to the perufal of every candid, and ferious Chriftian.

THERE is, he confeffes, nothing in their ftile, and manner, that will delight the critic, or entertain the curious; yet he hath ftudied to please every Reader for his good to edification.To fpeak the truth as it is in JESUS, and to fet it forth in a plain and intelligible manner, fo that he who readeth might understand, and have his foul profited thereby; is that which above all things is aimed at, A 2 and

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and intended by the publication of thefe Difcour For what is a man profited if he fhould gain the w world, and lofe his own foul? But as thou art c manded to try the spirits whether they be of even fo likewise examine and try all human tings by the Holy Scriptures.

THE Author confeffes alfo that in fome he differs in judgment from many eminent tians that have gone before him; or rathe differs in the manner of his explaining t which may be particularly feen in his Sermo repentance towards God, the communion of fain Gofpel fanctification. But fhould any perfon it plainly and fatisfactorily appear that he taken therein, and hath not spoken agreeabl divine records; he promises, by the help o not only to change his opinion, and retr error, but also to thank the inftrument th help him to understand the mind and word more perfectly. For my confcience bears nefs, in the fight of God, that I have fo make the truth manifeft, and to establjih from all error: Neither have I oppofed any for the fake of oppofing error; nor have other hand, paid the leaft regard to any b thority whatever, that is not warranted, ported by the oracles of truth. Thro' th as much as in me is, I have fincerely an aimed to inftruct and edify the Reader: thee therefore to understand, and then

what thou readest with the Scriptures; for every word of God is pure.

WITHOUT knowledge no man can rationally or acceptably serve the living and true God. For as the fun in the firmament cannot profit the blind, by fhewing him the right way wherein to walk with fafety, except his eyes be firft opened; fo CHRIST, the Sun of righteoufnefs, gives the light of life to no man, until the eyes of his understanding are opened to receive it: And the reason why fo few seek after spiritual illumination in the knowledge of CHRIST, arifes chiefly from a want of knowing their own blindness; for who but the blind will feek for fome one to lead him by the hand?Wherefore is it that men are fo notoriously alienated from the life of God? The Apoftle answers, thro the ignorance that is in them, because of the infenfibility, or bardness of their hearts.

*

THERE is not fo much want of Scripture light in our land, as of eyes to behold it. Every one who takes the Bible may thereby be made wife unto falvation, if he had but eyes to fee it, and a a heart to obey it; but my people perish, faith God, for lack of knowledge. The common people count the Scripture a fealed book, which none but the learned or clergy can read and understand: And frequently their leaders, instead of inftructing them in the right way, confirm them in their natural blindness, or cause them to err.

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By R. ELLIOT, A. B. Formerly of BENNET COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

They that be wife fhall fhine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteoufness as the ftars for ever Dan. xii. 3.

and ever.

LONDON:

Printed, and Sold by G. KEITH, at the Bible and Crown, in Grace-church street; E. DILLY, in the Poultry; M. FoLINGSBY, at the Seven Stars, near Temple-Bar, Fleetftreet; and T. FISHER, Bookfeller in Rochefter.

M DCC LXIV.

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