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whose kingdom I shall possess hrough his rich grace, and by the operation of his Spirit, if I put not the day of grace from me, the earnest of which is peace and joy in believing even here below, and the end of which is quietness and assurance for I feel a hope, I write in nothing against the gospel, pity trifling errors: and that the God of all grace may enlighten us here, and at length make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, is the sincere prayer of
Yours in the bonds of Christ Jesus,
* I have not spoken above thus conditionally, in consequence of supposing that the gospel and its attendant blessings are held out to us, on condition of our being willing to accept them. I believe life and salvation to be freely given of God, above all creature conditions and covenant of works; yea to be given even to the unwilling; not in their unwilling state, but by making them willing in the day of God's power, by the energetic and invincible operation of the Spirit of God. So that whilst our willingness does not merit or procure them conditionally; it doth yet prove how from the heart we receive them, to the praise of the glory of his grace who hath first made us accepted in the beloved.
Ir the employment and recreation of my leisure hours, hath produced any thing that may comfort the followers of the Lamb, or bring glory to the God of Grace, I rejoice in sending this Essay forth to meet the public eye. May it not go without God's blessing, without which it is written and published in vain. It arose undesignedly at first, out of a larger work, which at present lays by me unfinished, the title of which I have intended to be, "Glorious Dispensations, or the displays "of God's Wisdom, Power and Grace,
in the Salvation of Sinners by Jesus "Christ." I feel I enter on hallowed,
but by no means forbidden ground. God, (as revealed unto us in the scriptures, through the mediatorial nature of Christ Jesus) is an object worthy to be beheld, contemplated, admired, and adored. He himself, calls upon us to behold him, in the amazing stoop and condescension of his love, to save sinners through the efficacious atonement of Christ Jesus-efficacious so completely, that of all_that_the Father hath given him, Christ will lose nothing, but by his great power and infinite grace, will raise them up to eternal life at the last day.
Born myself of professing parents, the preaching of the Word hath from my earliest infancy sounded in my ears.-A privilege which few but the seed of professing parents do generally possess: yet, which I feel, for a long time I slighted,
and which I should have slighted till now, but for the exceeding riches of God's grace towards me.
The subjects of which I treat, it will be observed, are all taken out of the gospel of St. John. Some inay be inclined to ask why I confined myself to that gospel. I answer, because the double assertion Verily, verily, is not to be found to my knowledge, in any other parts of scripture. Not that the substance thereof may not be found elsewhere; for the word of God is full of Christ; and from Genesis to Revelations, presenteth his exceeding righteousness and atoning blood as the meritorious cause of a sinner's salvation, and acceptance before God. If these expressions are found in St. John, whilst they occur not in the other Evangelists, this may be the reason.-Matthew, Mark and Luke, recorded chiefly the actions, and John