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THE

P R E F A C E.

W

ORTHY conceptions, and a firm

and habitual persuasion of the Divine Benevolence, being of high importance to the credit, pleasure, and practice of religion ; it is greatly to be desired that these should become universal. The writers who have treated this subject in the most judicious manner, have aimed more at the satisfaction of the thoughtful and studious, than the instruction and conviction of the main Body of Christians, who yet are equally interested in this important doctrine. They have also omitted a distinct and animating representation of the practical Consequences. The Author of the following discourses hath therefore endeavoured to set the evidences of this great doctrine in a Light easy to the understandings of the generality, still preservA 2

ing

ing their clearness and strength; and to affift Persons in regarding the Works of God in a view, proper to raise their apprehensions of the Divine Goodness, and to warm their hearts with an habitual sense of it, and engage them to live as always surrounded with the presence and kindness of the best of Parents, well affected to their brethren, alike children of the

great Father of Spirits, cheerfully resigned amidst the trials of Life, and serene and full of hope at death.

This the Author can say, that to the firm belief, and frequent meditation of those interesting truths, which are included in the boundless benevolence of our Creator and Governor, he himself has been obliged for the most valuable satisfactions he hath known in life; and to these he owes it, that he can look forward to a future state with the noblest hopes. And if the publication of the following Discourses shall make these truths more cordially received, and their beneficial influence more felt, he shall greatly rejoice in the time and thought employed for these purposes. Whatever the event be,

he

he has the Satisfaction of having, according to his abilities, endeavoured to serve the Honour of his Maker, and the best interest of his fellow creatures; and can therefore humbly commend these, with the other Difcourses on like important subjects, to the Divine Blessing, and to the candid perusal of the serious and judicious,

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