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IS RESPECTFULLY AND GRATEFULLY INSCRIBED
MY BELOVED AND REVERED
THROUGH WHOSE EARLY INSTRUCTIONS AND PRAYERS,
I am indebted under God,
FOR MY FIRST ACQUAINTANCE WITH, AND FOR MANY OF MY
MATURER VIEWS OF,
THE GREAT TRUTHS, WHICH IT IS AN HUMBLE ATTEMPT
BY HER AFFECTIONATE AND DUTIFUL
The design of this series of works, with the reasons which weighed with his mind in prosecuting it, the Author has stated at length in the preface to the first volume, now before the public. * That the Lord should have honoured, to the extent which he has done, so lowly an attempt to present his truth in its experimental character and practical tendency, was but in harmony with the general principle of his procedure, which has ever been, to choose the foolish things, and the weak things, and the base things, and things which are despised, yea, and things which are not,' to accomplish the great purposes of his wisdom and love, “ that no flesh should glory in his presence.” The great importance of the principle pleaded for and discussed in these works,-the necessity of experimental religion,and the simplicity of their execution, more than ever commend themselves to the Author's conscience and judgement. And that the blessed Spirit should have spoken through his writings, winning to himself a glory so great through an instrumentality so feeble, fills the heart with brokenness, and the mind with tender, loving, and admiring thoughts of his condescension and grace. It has been the aim of the writer to adhere closely to his original plan, of presenting a gentle crush of scripture,' unconnected with any peculiarity of individual sentiment, unadorned by human ornament, and untrammelled by scholastic or theological technicalities.
* “The Inquirer Directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the Atonement.”
To the subject discussed in the following pages, he earnestly bespeaks the prayerful consideration of the Christian reader. It cannot occupy a position too prominent in our Christianity, nor can it be a theme presented too frequently for our contemplation. All that we spiritually know of ourselves,-all that we know of God, and of Jesus and his word, we owe to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. And all the real light, sanctification, strength, and comfort, we are made to possess on our way to glory, we must ascribe to him. To be richly anointed with the Spirit, is to be led into all truth, and to be filled with the Spirit, is to be filled with love to God and man. The gift of the Spirit he has not felt it his duty to plead for in these pages. It is already given. God has given the Spirit to the church, dwelling in, and for ever abiding with, her. “I will pray the Father,” says Christ to his disciples, "and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth ; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him ; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” God has never revoked this gift. He has never removed his Spirit from the church. He is still her divine, personal, and abiding Resident. And, to plead for the bestowment of that which God has already so fully and graciously given, seems to mark an unbelief in, and an overlooking of, the mercy, as ungrateful to the Giver as it is dishonouring to the Gift.
But, for a larger degree of his reviving, anointing, and sanctifying influences, we do most earnestly plead. The Spirit, though the ever-blessed and abiding Occupant of