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(Each PERSON distinctly) in
BY JOHN OWEN, D.D.
WITH A PREFACE
BY THE LATE
Rev. MR. DANIEL BURGESS.
God is Love-1 John iv. 8.
Cant. i. 7.
A NEW EDITION.
CHRISTIAN READER, IT is now six years past, fince I was brought under I an engagement of promise for the publishing of some meditations on the subject which thou wilt find handled in the ensuing treatise. The reasons of this delay, being not of public concerament, I shall not need to mention. Those who have been in expe&ation of this duty from me, have for the most part been so far acquainted with my conditions, as to be able to fatisfy themselvesyas to the deferring of their desires. That which I have to add at present is only this; having had many opportunities, since the time I first delivered any thing in public on this subject, (which was the means of bringing me under the engagements mentioned) to reassume the consideration of what I had first fixed on, I have been enabled to give it that improvement, and to make those additions to the main of the design and mata ter treated on, that my first debt, is come at length to be only the occasion of what is now tendered to the saints of God. I shall speak nothing of the subject here handled; it may I hope speak for itself, in that spiritual favour and relish which it will yield to them, whose hearts are not so filled with other things as to render the sweet things of the gospel bitter to them. The design of the whole treatise, thou wilt find Christian reader, in the first chapters of the first part ; and I Ahall not detain thee here with the perusal of any thing which in its proper place will offer itself unto thee: know only that the whole of it hath been recommended to the grace of God in many fupplications, for its usefulness unto them that are interested in the good things mentioned therein.
To the READER.
A LPHONSUS, King of Spain, is said to have found
A food and physic in reading Livy: And Ferdinand king of Sicily, in reading Quintus Curtius. But thou hast here nobler entertainments, vaftly richer dainties, incomparably more sovereign medicines ; I had almost said, the very highest of angels food is here set before thee. And, as Pliny speaks, permista deliciis auxilia : things that minister unto grace and comfort; to holy life and liveliness
Such is this treatise. This which is the only one extant, upon its great and necessary subject. This, whose praise hath been long in the churches ; and hath gone enamelled with the honourable reproaches of more than one English Bollec. This whose great author, like the sun, is well known to the world, by eminence of heavenly light and labours, This which, as his many other works, can be no other than manna unto sound Christians; tho' no better, than stone and serpent to Socinians and their fellow-commoners. .'.
Importunity hath drawn me to say thus much more, then I could think needful to be said, concerning any work of
Dr Owen's. Needful in our day itself; a day wherein pau. · ci facras fcripturas, plures nomina rerum, plurimi nomina magi
Atrorum fequuntur. Few do cleave to the holy scriptures ; many do rest in scholaftic senseless sounds. And most men do hang their faith upon their Rabbi's sleeves,
This only I add ; of the swarms every day rising, there are few books but do want their readers. Yet if I underAand aright, there are not many readers but do want this book.
In which censure, I think, I am no tyrant (which the Philosopher names the worst of wild beasts :) and I am sure I am no flatterer, (which he calls as juftly, the worst of tame beasts.)
Let the fimple fouls (the paucissime le&ionis mancipia) who take the doctrine of distinct communion with the die