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in the first conversion of the soul to God; and in the continual opposition that is made unto it by grace. But this is the subject and design of another endeavour.
It may now be expected, that we should here add the especial uses of all this discovery that hath been made of the power, deceit, prevalency, and success, of this great adversary of our souls. But as for what concerns that humility, self-abasement, watchfulness, diligence, and application unto the Lord Christ for relief, which will become those who find in themselves by experience the power of this law of sin, have been occasionally mentioned and inculcated through the whole preceding discourse; so for what concerns the actual mortification of it, I shall only recommend unto the reader for his direction, another small treatise written long since unto that purpose, which I suppose he may do well to consider together with this, if he find these things to be his concernment. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and ma
jesty, dominion, and power, both now and for ever. Amen.
ΦΡΟΝΗΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΟΣ; ;
GRACE AND DUTY
DECLARED AND PRACTICALLY IMPROVED,
To be spiritually minded is life and peace.-Rom. viii. 6.
I think it necessary to give the reader a brief account of the nature and design of the plain ensuing discourse, which may boty direct him in the reading, and be some kind of apology for myself in the publishing of it. He may therefore know, that the thoughts here communicated, were originally private meditations for my own use, in a season wherein I was every way unable to do any thing for the edification of others, and far from expectation that ever I should be so able any more in this world. Receiving, as I thought, some benefit and satisfaction in the exercise of my own meditations therein, when God was graciously pleased to restore a little strength unto me, I insisted on the same subject, in the instruction of a private congregation; and this I did, partly out of a sense of the advantage I had received myself by being conversant in them; and partly from an apprehension that the duties directed and pressed unto, in the whole discourse, were seasonable from all sorts of present circumstances, to be declared and urged on the minds and consciences of professors. For leaving others unto the choice of their own methods and designs, I acknowledge that these are the two things whereby I regulate my work in the whole course of my ministry. To impart those truths, of whose power I hope I have had in some measure, a real experience, and to press those duties which present occasions, temptations, and other circum
stances do render necessary to be attended unto in a peculiar manner, are the things which I would principally apply myself unto in the work of teaching others. For as in the work of the ministry, in general, the whole counsel of God concerning the salvation of the church by Jesus Christ is to be declared; so, in particular, we are not to fight uncertainly as men beating the air, nor shoot our arrows at random,without a certain scope and design. Knowledge of the flock whereof we are overseers, with a due consideration of their wants, their graces, their temptations, their light, their strength, and weakness are required herein. And when, in pursuance of that design, the preparation of the word to be dispensed, proceeds from zeal to the glory of God, and compassion unto the souls of men; when it is delivered with the de. monstration of a due reverence unto God, whose word it is, and of authority towards them unto whom it is dispensed, with a deep sense of that great account which both they that preach, and they that hear the word preached, must shortly give, before the judgment-seat of Christ; there may be a comfortable expectation of a blessed issue of the whole work. But my present design is only to declare in particular, the reasons why I judged the preaching and publishing of this small and plain discourse concerning the Grace and Duty of being Spiritually Minded, not to be altogether unseasonable at this time, in the present circumstances of most Christians. And the first thing which I would observe unto this end is, the present importunity of the world to impose itself on the minds of men ; and the various ways of insinuation whereby it possesseth and filleth them. If it attain hereunto, if it can fill the minds, the thoughts, and affections of men with itself, it will in some, fortify the soul against faith and obedience,