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PLAIN AND FAMILIAR
BY WAY OF PARAPHRASE,
OF ALL THE
HARD TEXTS OF THE WHOLE DIVINE SCRIPTURE
OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT.
TO THE HIGH AND MIGHTY MONARCH,
BY THE GRACE OF GOD KING OF GREAT BRITAIN', FRANCE, AND IRELAND, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH.
MOST GRACIOUS AND' DREAD SOVEREIGN:
Nothing can so much concern a man to seek for, as life eternal. The only means to find this eternal life, is the knowledge of God. There is no means to know God, to purpose, but by his Word. This word, though plain, and clear in the main truths, yet wants not some difficulties in other expressions. The explication of these difficulties, is, for a great part, the occasion and matter of our sermons, lectures, commentaries; every man holding it both a high honour, and a happy service, to be God's trucheman to the world. The clearest and shortest way of explication, is, by Paraphrase. Many learned interpreters, both of our Church and the Roman, have undertaken this task by parcels j the use and benefit w hereof, is, and should no less be, universal.
My meanness hath, therefore, boldly endeavoured this great work; which, as I durst not undergo, without the aid of the best commenters, both ancient and modern; so I do in all humility subject it to the grave and holy judgment of this renowned Church. It is so far from my thoughts, peremptorily to prescribe senses unto any, as that I am ready, upon better information, to amend my own errors: only my desire and ambition is, to give some light to weaker apprehensions; wherein I hope to do a service, not utterly unbeseeming your Majesty's gracious patronage; and unspeakably beneficial to many thousands of souls; who shall bless God, for the least glimpses of illumination in these Divine Oracles.
The work, such as it is, I most humbly cast down, with myself, at your Majesty's feet; for who, but God's vicegerent upon earth, could seem proper to challenge the protection of a business, so highly importing the honour of the God of Heaven; and, amongst kings, besides the relation of a sovereign Master, who, but the Defender of that true Faith, which is infallibly grounded upon these Holy Scriptures: eminent no less in goodness and piety, than in greatness and power; the great pattern of devotion, twice every day, even in public view, constantly busied in this book of God? In so many names, I have presumed, through your Majesty's royal hands, to tender it unto God's Church, not without the vows of my most fervent prayers to God, for the enlargements of his blessings upon your sacred person, family, government; as who am ever justly obliged to be
Your Majesty's most loyal
And faithfully devoted servant,