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To the sincere Seeker after Fellowship with GOD,

and seriously Heaven-ward-tending Christian.

Dear and well-beloved Friend,

A

S thou art in thy self a rare Jewel, a most precious Stone, one of a thou

sand, yea, of ten thousand, being compared with the many thousands

of common Stones, I mean, external Profesors in tbe visible Church, wbo rest on a bare Name, and of whom ibat is verified in every Nation, which our Saviour faith, Mat. xx. 16. Many are called but few chosen ; and of many of which that is also too true in every Generation (and ob ! that it were not 100 manifex in this also) which Paul observed in bis Time, Phil. iii. 18, 19. Por many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you, even weeping, that they are the Enemies of the Cross of Christ. "Whose End is Destruction, whose god is their Belly, and whose Glory is in their Shame, who mind earthly Things. And as to Christ thy Lord, most comely as a Lilie among Thorns, being his Love among the Daughters, Cant. ii. 2. So also, tbou in a special Way art the dearly beloved and longed for, the Joy and Crown, of every fincere Servant of Chrift in tbe Gospel, Phil. iv. 1. Tbou art, if not the only, yet the chief Object of tbeir Labours, their work being either to confirm and strengthen thee in thy Way, that thou may so stand fast in the Lord, or remove Impediments, make crooked Things straigbt, and so prepare the Way of the Lord before thee, or to guide tbee by tbe light of God's Word in the dark Night of Temptations and Desertion : Now, as we are confident these Sermons were preached at first by that bleled serious Labourer in the work of the Ministry, Mr. Hew Binning, with a special Eye to the Advancement of fincere Seekers after Fellowsbip with God, and seriously Heaven-ward-tending Christians amongst bis Hearers : So to whom shall we direct this posthumous, and alas, unperfected Work, but to thee (O Serious Cbristian) who makes it thy Work not only to seek after be Knowledge of God in Cbrift, in a meer speculative Way, that tbou may know, and therein rest, as if thy. Work were done, but also to follow after the Enjoy, ment of tbat known God, and believed on Saviour, and all the promised Privileges of Grace in this Life, and of eternal Glory in the Life to come ; To thee cfpecially belong tbese precious Soulravisbing Truths delivered in these Ser. mons. Two Tbings, we know, thou bast determined tby Soul unto, and fixed ibine Eye on, as tby Aim and Mark in thy Generation, viz. tbe Light of Knowledge, and the Life of Practice : As to Knowledge, we are confident that with the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. ii. 2. Thou hast determined to know nothing but Chrift, and him crucified; and as to Practice, with tbc Said Apostle thou prays, That thou may be fincere and without Offence till the Day of Chrik, being filled with the Fruits of Righteousness, which are by Jesus

Chrif

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Chrift unto the Glory of God, Phil. i. 10, 11. And that thou may be blamelefs and harmless, the Son of God without Rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverfe Nation, shining as a Light in the World, Phil. ii. 15. Now in reading these Sermons tbou fall perceive, tbat to belp tbee in both tbefe, batb been the very

Scope and Design of tbis serious Preacher. Defirest thou to know Jesus Christ the Lord of Life, either according to bis eternal Subsistence in tbe infinite Understanding of the Father, as God, or as to his Appearance in the Fles, as Man, or Fitness as Mediator, to reconcile tbee to God bis Father, both in respect of Willingness and Ability to save? I'ben bere tbou sball be bold bim delineate to the Life. Would thou be clearly informed anent the only true and fure Foundation of Fellowship with God, tbe Way of entertaining it, the Honour or Happiness of it, and sweet Fruits of it, that Fulness of Joy tbat accompanies it? Here fallibou find so clear a Ligbt as soall rejoyce tby Soul. Would thou be fortified against the Incur. fions and Recursions of Sin and Satan? Then come to this Magazine, and be furnisbed abundantly. Defireft tbou to bave thy Soul increased in the Love of God, and to see manifelt Demonstrations of bis Love in Cbrift to thee? Ob tben turn in bitber, and get Satisfaction to tby Soul's Desires. If tbou defire it withe David, to bate Sin with a perfect Haired; bere, if any wbere, thou shalt obtain tby Desire. Yet let none think tbat we limit tbe Benefit and Usefulness of these Sermons to serious Christians only, and so by Consequence exculde all others from any Hope of Soul-advantage in reading them. Nay, we declare that thouglo it be undenyáble that John did write this Epifle with a special Respect to the Spiritual Advantage of serious Chriftians, and that this boly Preacher also, bad this same Design, yet we dare be bold to invite all of whát Degree foever, to tbe Serious perusing of tbem, assuring them that in so doing, they shall not find their Labour in vain in the Lord; for bere are sucb pregnant Demonstrations of a Deity, Infinite, Eternal, Omnipotent, Iwomprebensible, Governing all Things by the Word of bis Power, as may dasb tbe Boldness of tbe most metapbysical notional, or propbanely practical Atheist, and with Conviction of Spirit make him ery out, as Psal. bxxiii. 22. So foolish was I and ignorant, I was as a Beast before thee! Here are fucb clear. Discoveries of the Vileness of Sin, of its direct opposition to a boly God, and his most boly Will, of its woful Soul dam. ning Effects, as may convince the most propbane and stout-bearted Carnalia, and awake bim out of bis Soul-destroying Sleep of Security and Presumption: Here are so glorious Evidences of God's free and inconceivable Love to the World, in Christ Jesus the Son of his Love; as are able to inlighten with the Light of Con folation the fadlieft dejected andcaften down Soul,under the Apprebenfion of the Curse and Wrath of God due to it for Sin, and raise it up to the Hope of Mercy in andabrougb so clearly a revealed Saviour : Ina Word, bere are to be found Convictions for Atheists, piercing Rebukes to the propbane, clear Instructions to the Ignorant, Milk to Babes in Cbrift, strong Meat for the strong, Strength to the Weak, Quickning and Reviving for

fucb as faint in the Way, Restoratives for Such as are in a Decay, Reclamations and loud Oyelles after Backsliders to recal

them

ibem, Breasts of Confolations for Zion's Mourners, whether under the first Con. victions of the Law, and Pangs of the new Birth, or under the Challenges and Compunctions of Heart for Recidivations and Relapses

afier Conversion, even wbile they are groaning under the Power and Burden of the Body of Death, Rom. vii. And to add no more, bere are most excellent Counsels and Directi. ons to serious Seekers of Fellowship with God, to guide tbem in their way, and belp them forward to the Attainment of that Fulness of Joy wbicb is to be bad in Fellowsbip with the Father and the Son. That the Lord may bless all sucb to wbosc Hands theje Sermons fall come, with Blelling's suitable to their Souls Condition, especially the serious Cbriftian,) for wbose Souls-furtberance and Advancement these Sermons were firit pennd, and now printed, is the most af: fectionate Defire of

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