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and learned commentators; independent likewise of those divisions of chapters and verses which are not always the most judicious, and which are very apt to lead the reader into a mistake by supposing the sense complete at the end of a verse, or at least at the end of a chapter ; whereas nothing is more certain than that many chapters break off in the middle of a fentence. If any human composition had been thus injudiciously divided, it must have rendered it altogether unintelligible; but the fcriptures are like pure gold tried in the fire ; every part and particle will be found pure and genuine : such is the beauty and harmony of God's word, and such is the onenefs of truth; fo entire, compact, and consistent with itfelf; that, after the wise disputer, the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator, have gone as far as human ingenuity could go, assisted by the devil himself, in darkening the divine counsels, artfully, blending them with philosophy and vain deceit, yet they have not been able to injure the truth; and a mind divinely taught, and spiritually enlightened, will be able to separate the precious from the vile, and the

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pure and genuine from that which is bafe and counterfeit. 4: In arranging the hymns I have observed that order which appeared to me most convey nient, and have added an Index; whichi; fart tended to, will fhew the plan I have observed by this means any particular hymn may be found with great readiness. For this reason too I have divided the book into three parts.

The first contains those hymns which are adapted for public worship more generally:

The second contains hymns upon various subjects.

The third contains hymns more particularly adapted to family or private exercises of devotion

One objection, I know, will be made to many of the hymns contained in this colile tion--that they are too pofitive. It is said that we can never offend by speaking with too much humility and diffidence, but we may by speak ing with too much confidence. I do not say. but many, may express themselves with great confidence who never experienced any change of heart; who are strangers to a broken spirit, and that faith which works by love. What.

then I though some may presume, does that prove that there is no such thing as the rest and confidence of faith? If the Lord has bleft you or me with that .privilege, shall we not magnify the riches of his grace, and tell what great things the Lord has done for our souls? Do men light a candle to set it under a bed or bushel? Do they not set it in a candlestick, that it may give light to them that are in the house? Our Lord tells his disciples, “ What

ye hear in the ear, that preach on the " bouse-top.” God knows my heart, that I would not break a bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax; but, as to those who plead for this kind of diffidence, and wish to make pour souls easy and contented without a knowledge of their personal interest in Christ, I confider them of the generation of Moab, of whom the prophet Jeremiah speaks, xlviii. 11. “ Moab hath been at ease from his youth ; and * he hath fettled upon his lees, and hath not * been emptied from veffel to yeffel ; neither “ hath he gone into captivity: therefore his "taste remained in him, and his scent is not I changed.??

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election, imputed righteousness, &c. As one reason for my publishing this collection was to thew what those truths are which lie rearest my heart, I shall point out two or three instances, wherein I differ from many who are highly esteemned, and generally received as preachers of the gospel.

I would not be understood as if the difference was only about words or phrases. The difference is material, if there is truth and reality in any thing; for it is upon that important question-What is truth? not, Whether this doctrine or that, this sentiment or that, this proposition or that, be right? but the question is, Whether there be such a thing as truth? what it is? whether it is to be known? and, if known, what influence or effect must it have upon the mind? Our Lord says, They shall know the truth, and the

truth shall make thein free.” If we differ about this truth, this knowledge, and this freedom, the difference must be material. Be not deceived. Wheie the difference is fo material, if one is right, the other must be wrong. Ex, amine for yourselves; call no man master; be

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lieve not every fpirit, but try the spiritsa “ Beware of false prophets,” fays our Lord, " who come to you in theep's clothing, but

inwardly they are ravening wolves.” There must be a falling away, and a departure from the truth, that the inan of sin

may vealed. The Lord's controversy must continue upon this earth as long as the two feeds—the feed of the woman and the serpent's feed--are found upon it. Though the gospel in itself is a message of peace; and though, when believed and received, it brings peace to the finner's heart; yet, by reason of the enmity of the carnal mind, it is impossible to preach the gospel without giving offence : " I am not * come,” says our Lord, « earth, but a sword.” In those points which nearly concern the interest and happiness of your never-dying souls, be not biassed or infuericed by names, or the authority of any man in the world. Let God be true, and every man' a liar, till you find the truth is in him; let every difference of opinion be tried by the unerring standard of God's most holy word. With this view I will

66 to send peace on

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