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frequent and fervent prayer: "O Lord, revive thy work in wrath remember mercy, heal our breaches, forgive our animosities, and unite us in the bands of love and affection, that our arms may be strong, and the pleasure of the Lord prosper in our hands!"

That this book may be better understood, and prove a means of edifying every reader, let the following remarks be particularly attended to:

1. The Petitions and the Divine Answers, which are to be found among several of the Scripture texts in the titles, may be of admirable use to many: the questions generally run in the complaining, inquiring strain, for information and redress, under the painful anxieties of a wounded conscience; and the answers are well calculated to relieve and inform the distressed soul; they generally consist of gracious promises of Scripture, which may easily be ́turned into petitions; and if relief does not immediately come, yet the soul gets ease, by thus pouring out its complaints, and reminding the Lord of his promises; faith in the word is hereby strengthened, and the soul is led to see that trouble and anxiety must lead the way to rejoicing and triumph.

2. The distinction that is made in several parts of the Book between bare morality and true Christianity, respecting the motives of actions, the principle from which they are done, and the degree and extent of them, may be also useful. Morality is not Christianity, though there can be no true Christianity without morality; moral actions may be done from natural principles, and will certainly centre in self, in some shape or other; but a truly Christian act must proceed from a gracious principle in the heart. A moral man, and a true Christian, may both give something to the poor; the poor is relieved by each; but the benevolence of the one may proceed from a natural generosity of spirit, while that of the other comes from a sense of divine favour and bounty already bestowed upon himself. They may both join in the same ordinances, pray to the same Supreme Being, and yet the one continue self-righteous and vainly confident, while the other is humbled, and lives upon divine grace; the principle within makes the differences between them; and they who are only moral, would do well to consider the difference.

3. In almost every page there are different portions of Scripture put together, which serve to throw a light on each other; so that what in one is obscure, is generally opened by its parallel, which will be found very useful, if diligently compared; and serve to show

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the abundance, the superabundance of light, promises, privileges, and advantages there are in the word of God, and how they become "profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction, in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work, and, through the divine blessing upon him, be made wise unto salvation.”

4. Let the reader be careful to distinguish between a state of safety by faith in Christ, and a state of assurance arising from sensible comforts in the heart. The best Christians experience great changes in the frame of their minds; sometimes they are lively and comfortable, then they are low and depressed; now they have sensible tokens of divine favour, then again these are withdrawn, and they begin to question the safety of their state before God. The enemy often takes advantage of their uncomfortable frames, and would have them question the reality of grace in their heart; and the consequence generally is great anxiety in distress. In order to remove this, it is necessary to consider what is the true foundation of hope, and to distinguish between what is durable and what is changeable.

The work of the Redeemer is a perfect work; nothing can be added to it, and nothing must be taken from it. It is everlasting in

its duration and efficacy; upon this the eye of faith should be invariably fixed, and from hence comfort and support in every state is to be drawn; Christ's blood is a constant propitiation, his righte ousness is a perfect covering; to these, reader, have daily recourse for cleansing and recommendation before God; by these you may silence all the accusations of Satan, all the clamours of conscience, all the threatenings of the law; for in Christ the believer is complete, and here may he safely rest in his dullest and heaviest moments. Happy frames, on the contrary, are bestowed or withheld, as it pleases God; you may safely pray for them, because great peace is promised to the children of God; and, generally speaking, the diligent and watchful are most frequently favoured with them; and when you are blessed with them, be thankful; but beware of depending upon them, for this is the readiest way to have them withdrawn spiritual pride may arise from this quarter, while a feeling sense of weakness and unworthiness keeps the soul humble, and continually dependent upon the Lord Jesus Christ alone for pardon, strength, and salvation.


5. In spiritual conflicts it will often happen when God is about to work some great deliverance from some particular sin, or press

ing temptation, that, before deliverance comes, the believer will think he had never been so wicked or oppressed before; his corruptions are permitted to stir up in him, and he is apt to say with Moses, respecting the Israelites, that "God has not delivered him at all." Reader, beware of such a conclusion; the greatest darkness is generally a little before sun-rise; "the Israelites groaned, by reason of their task-masters and heavy burdens," just when God was about to deliver them; man's extremity is God's opportunity; out of darkness he brings forth light; out of unbelief, faith; and out of pride, humility: his design is to bring down thy self-righteousness and vain confidence; to cut the very sinews of an arm of flesh; to convince thee that deliverance is of himself alone; to bring thee to a steady dependence upon his power, that his strength may be perfected in thy weakness, and that he may have all the glory; then will he appear for thee, and work wonderfully; and in all thy after-conflicts of a spiritual kind, follow this advice: Build not thy comfort of pardon upon thy victory, but thy victory upon thy pardon and acceptance with God through Christ: strive not, thinking that thou shalt only have forgiveness of sin when it is conquered; but seek the pardon of sin first, through faith in Christ, and then that it may be manifested to thy heart. When this is accomplished, strive in faith against sins already forgiven, against

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