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TO THE

READER.

T

CHRISTIAN READER,

HE koly and learned Author of this little Book, kaving out-run his Years, haltened to a Maturity before the ori dinary Seafon, insomuch that ripe Summer Fruit was

found with him by the first of the Spring : Fon before he bad lived twenty five Years complete, be bad got to be. Philologus, Philofophus, Theologus eximius, whereof be gave suitable Proofs, by his Labours, having firft professed in Philosophy three Years, with bigh Approbation, in the University of Glasgow, and thence was translated to the Ministry of the Gospel in a Congregation adjacent, where be laboured in the Work of the Gospel near four years, leaving an Epistle of Commendation upon the Hearts of bis Hearers : But as few burning and shining Lights bave been of long Countinuance bere; so he (after be bad served his own Generation by the Will of God, and many bad rejoiced in bis Light for a Season) was quickly transported 10 the Land of Promise, in the 26th rear of his Age. He lived deservedly esteemed and beloved, and died much lamented, by all discerning Christians who knew him. And, indeed, the Loss which the Church of Christ, in these Parts sustained in his Death, was the greater upon a double Account : First, That he was a Person fitted with Dexterity to vindicate School. Divinity, and Practical Theologie, from the Suferfluity of vain and fruitless perplexing Questions, wherewith latter Times have corrupted both, and had it upon bis Spirit in all his Way to reduce that native Gospel-fimplicity, which (in most Parts of the World, where Literature is in Esteem, and where the Gospel is preached) is almost exiled from the School, and from the Pulpit, a Specimen whereof the judicious Reader may find in this little Treatisė. Besides, be was a person of eminent Moderation, and Sobriety of Spirit, (a rare Grace in this Generation)

whose

whose Heart was much drawn forth in the Study of bealing Waysa and Condescensions of Love among Brethren ; one who longed for ibe recovering of ihe Humanity of Christianity, which bath been well near lost in the bitter Divisions of these Times, and the Animosities which kave followed thereupon.

That which gave the Rise to the publishing of this part of bis. Manuscripts, was partly the longing of many (who knew bim) after some Fruit of his Labour's, for the Use of the Church; and partly the exceeding great Usefulness of the Treatise, wherein, I am bold to fay, that some Fundamentals of the Christian Religion, and great Mysteries of Faith, are handled with the greatest Gospel-fimplicity, and most dexterous Plainness; and are brought down to the meanest Capacity, and vulgar Understanding, with abundant Evidences of a great height and reach of useful Knowledge in the Author. Whe, bad he lived to have perfected the Explication of the Grounds of Religion in tlis Manner, as he intended, in his opening the Catechism. unto his particular Congregation ; le bad been, upon this lingle Account, famous in the Churches of Christ : But now, by this imperfect opus posthumum, tirou art left to judge ex ungue leoneni,

The Author's Method was his peculiar Gift, who being no Stranger. to the Rules of Art, knew well how to make kis Method fubferve the Matter which be bandled (for thobe tells not always that his Dif course bath so many Parts, thou mayeft not think it wants Method, it being maximum artis celare arten.) That the same Spirit, which enabled him to conceive, and communicate to others, these sweet Mysteries of Salvation, may help thee with Profit to read and perují them, is the Defire af bin who is,

Thine in the Service of the Gospel;

Patrick Gillespie

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The

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Mr. Hugh BINNING, sometime Minister of the Gospel at Govan.

HERE being a great Demand for the several Books that

are printed under Mr. Byrning's Name, it was judged I

proper to undertake a new and correct Impression of them in one Volume : This being done the Publishers were much concerned to have the Life of such an useful and eminent

Minister of Christ written in Justice to bis Memory, and bis great Services in the work of the Gospel, that it might go along with this Impression. We living now at so great Distance from the Time wheré. in he made a Figure in the world map be at a confiderable Loss, in giving an exact and particular Relation however, his pious and exemplary Life, may in some Measure be kngwn from his Writings; and for abis End, a great many bright Pasages might be gathered out of them, which would raise his Chara&ter highly in the Eyes of all good Men, for the Reverend Mr. Robert M'Ward Minister in Glalgow observed,

his Life was his Sermons put in Print, by which Means they who did forget what he had said in the Pulpit by seeing what he did in his con

versation,

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versation might remember what they Had forgot ; be lived as be fpoke, " and spoke as he lived." All due pains have been taken to procure proper Materials, and good Vouchers of the following Narration Some few Things are learned from the Preface prefix'd to his several Pieces, by worthy and able Divines, who revised and published them more Accounts of him were furnished by Persons of great Credit, on whafe Veracity we can safely

, rely ; but the most remarkable Patages of his life are happily preferved, in a Letter written by Mr. M'Ward, to the Reverend Mr James Coleman, sometime Minister at Sluys in Flanders. The Writer of his

I.ife, muft in the Entry confess, that his Part is so small, that he can searce asume any Thing to himself, but the procuring of the Materials from others, the copying out of those Things thdt were of any Moment, and disposing them in the best and most natural Order he could think of, having studied the Strictness of a selvere Historian, without helping out Things with his Invention, or setting them off by a rhetorical Stile of Ļanguage; nay, all that is contained in Mr. M.Wadd's large Letter concerning him, is told almost in his very Words, with a little Variation of the Order wherein he had placed the fame, omitting the many long Digressions on see weral fubjects, which that worthy Perfor judged fit to infif upor, taking Occasion from wha: he had noticed concer ping Mr. Binnigg, to enlarge on the same

John Binning of Dalvennan was married to Margaret M'Kell a Daughter of Mr. Matthew M.Kell Minister at Bochwel

, want Sifar sonder thaght M'keht-one-of-the-Mintiftirs of Edinburgla; he had by her Mr. Hugh and Alexander. The Father was pobeft of no inconsiderable Eftate musha Shire of Ait for Mr. Hugh having died before his Father, John the only Son of Mr. Hugh, was forord Heir to his Grandfather in the Lands of Dalvennan. Alexander the second Son, who died about ten Tears ago, got the Lands of Machrimore, and was married to a Daughter of Alexander Crafturd of Kerle, and is fucceeded therein by bis Son John Binning, at present a Writer in Edinburgh.

The worldly Circumstances of the Grandfather being so good, he was thereby enabled to give his Son Hugh a liberala Edwestion. The gooshinand defireable Effects of which appeared very early jupon him; the Greatness of bis Spirit and Capacity, gave his Parents god Grqund ta conceive the pleasant Hope of his being a promising, Child. Jwhen he was at the Gram. mar-school, he made so great Proficiency in the knowledge of the Latin Tongue, atret homens dubany that he outstrips Wit Gondifeipte geven

fuch

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such as were fome Years older tban himself. When bis Feltow School-boys went to their Play And Diverfion; he destined their SUCTETT, And chcelestio employ himself, either in secret Duty with God, or.Conference with religeous leople, hiseadetime way to recreate himself in this manner, he tinde an Averfan to Sports, Games and other Diverfions, not from any Moroleness or Melancholly of Tempet, being rather of an affable, chearful and debonair Disposition, thinking that Time was too precious to be lavished away in these things; Religion and religious Exercises were his Choice, And the Time he had to spare from his Studies he spent that Way. He began to have sweet Familiarity with God, and 20 live in near Como munion with him, before others began feriously to lay to Heart their lof and undone Condition by Nature, and that additional Misery they *** pose themselves to, by walking in a wicked Way Amalfi fost Courfer When be arrived at the 13th or 14th Tear of his Age, he had even then attained so much Experience in the Ways of God, that the most judicious and exercifus Christians in the Place confeded they were much edified, ftrengthned and comforted by him ; nay, that he provoked them to Dilie gence in the Duties of Religion, being abundantly fenfible, that they were mücb cutrun by a Youth.

Before be was fourteen Tears old, he entered upon the Study of Philosophy in the University of Glasgow, wherein he made very confiderable Progress, and with us mus. Facility outfizip dhe telluw Students, as he had done his that the main schodity which keins, he came to be taken Notice of if the College by the Profesors and Students; and at the same Time, that he made Proficiency in the liberal Sciences, he advanced remarks ably in Religion. The abftrufe Depths of Philosophy, which are the Torture of friskuginsy anderweak Capacities, he dived into without any Trouble Mainan And notwithstanding of his surprising Attainments and Improvemenes, bisgraat Acintorna ready Apprehenfon of Things, whereby he was able to do more in one Hour, than others in some Days, by hard Study

tudodafone toplicamining and the ox these Accounts he was much respected' By the eminent Misters of the City; and learned. Profedors of the Unic washing; yet was he ever bumbler never exalted above Measure, nor swelled with Mae Tagsuportate Pride and self-conceit, the common Priblemente Disease of young Men of any Greatness of Spirit:

So foon as he had finished his Course of Philofophy, he was made Master of Arts with great Applause; and having furnished his Mind with an uncommon Menfiere of the writting Knowledge of Letters, he began the

Study.

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