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or none, who are deemed great and wise in this age, to bear them company; yet they are kept in countenance by the practice of the best and greatest of men,—and the most distinguished saints that ever existed in this world. Covenant-renovation having been the usual mean of Reformation in the Church, and of reviving to the souls of the Godly, since the world began. In the next place, The argument taken from the approved example of the Saints appeared, by much, the easiest to be handled by the author, and understood by the reader. Examples are more readily comprehended than precepts and doctrines, or prophecies. The greater part of mankind are better able to judge of what is done, than what ought to be done. And, Providence having laid the materials to hand, honesty and diligence, more than capacity, were requisite for their arrangement. These were some of the reasons which induced him to adventure
on a publication. It is sincerely regretted, that some material parts of information could not be procured by the author, in his present circumstances; but, where information was a-wanting, he chose to be silent, rather than hazard conjectures. Some may centre him, perhaps, for producing too many vouchers, and others may still demand more; but, as the former objection appears to be without foundation; so he lhall endeavour to satisfy the latter, when the defect of evidence, as to particular facts, (hall be pointed out. The formality of method, used in delivering the discourses at first, is still retained. It may appear insipid, perhaps, to the refined taste of some readers; but it was deemed proper to prefer order and perspicuity to elesance: as divisions of discourses render them more memorable and plain to some sorts of readers.
It will also be remembered, by those who heard the first part of these Dissertations, tations, that some of the Reflections are omitted, and others of them transplanted to a different place from that which they originally held. The same Reflection, having occurred oftener than once, is retained only in the place in which it appeared to be moil proper.
That the Father of Mercies may accompany these Dissertations, so far as agreeable to his will, with his blessing, is the earnest wifii of
Introduction, p. i—62.
XII. On the Covenant between God and his Church