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I LIF Ε
of the REVEREND, LEARNED and PIOUS Mr. THOMAS HALY BURTON, Professor of Divinity in the University of St. An..
In FOUR PARTS.
FOURTH collected by his Friends from his private
THB EIGHT Edition.
With a large recommendatory Epifle by 1. Watts.
Plalm lxvi. 16. Come and hear, all ye that fear God
and I will declare what he hath done for my Soul. Pfalm. xxxvii. 37. Mark the perfect man, and behold
the upright for the end of that man is peace. Pfalm. cxii, 6.- The righteous shall be in everlaf
M, DCC,LVI. 210: 23
old serpent to keep the foul from God and his Chrift; and all the counter-workings of sovereign grace. which in the end appears victorious. You see here the self-fattcry and many deceits whereby finners raise a good esteem of themselves, and build up their vain confidence in oppofiiion to the holiness of the law and the grace of the gospel ; and here Christians may learn much of the holy skill that is needful to maintain a constant and glorious war with sin by the strength that is in Christ, and they may read the triumph of a dying conqueror. .
Now though every Chriftiani hath some inward sense of divine things yet every one has not so rich a variety of experiences; and among those that have, few are fo watchful as to take a due account of them; few fo wife as to judge aright concerning them ; and few fo faithful and bold as to consign these things to : writing for the use of others. Men that are fic to publish their obfervations of this kind generally i. magine, that humility requires to bury them in filence and darkness. But the author and subject of this narrative was a man of great piety, bright natural parts, studious learning and uncommon penetration and judgment, as fufficiently appears in his other writtings ; yet there is fuch a vein of humility and honesty that runs through every page. that you may see the fecret workings of his thoughts thro:?gh his holy language. His fins as well as his graces lie open to light, the labours of his soul appear to the eye, and the pious reader will find himself at once delighted and improved. So the curious operations of bees are seen through a hive of glass, and the spectator is at once entertained with instruction and pleasing wonder.
· II. Another thing that gave me an esteem of this work was the account that is given of an evangelical conversion, after the author had been long Aruggling
with sharp convi&tions of conscience and labouring long under sharp agonies and terrors : He had been fighting with guilt and corrupt nature to attain holinels, pardon and peace, by all the methods that the reason of man would naturally luggest, and by the doctrines and duties of the gospelilelf used in a more legal way and manner; and found his labours res peated and vain, and his work Bill to begin. Here he describes at large the utter insufficiency of all convictions and awakening words and providences, all tears and repentances, all religious duties of worship public and private, all vows and promises, covenants and bounds with which he bond his soul to God; and how sin prevail'd and triumph'd over them all when they were practised only in a legal manuer, as a mere task of conscience, and without the delightful taste of the grace of the gospel. All these lift him ftill under guilt, under rhe power of sin, and in outmost confusion near to despair, till it pleased God to open his eyes to behold the mercy and comfort of the gospel 3S the way to holiness and peace; till divine grace brought him as a dying sinner, empty of all good and helpless, to the full falvation that is in Christ, and sweetly constrained hiin to receive peace and holiness together; till he learn'd the way of sanctification by faith and hope in a pardoning God, a God reconciling finners to himself through Jesus the redecmer, This overwhelm'd his soul at once with deep humility and repentance, with wonder and holy joy, with hope and love, and constrained him to pleasant obedience. This renew'd his nature, this wrought in him all the powers and principles of Christian holiness, and raised and lopported them in a glorious degree.
Now though I dare not confine the workings of the blessed spirit, 'who is infinitely free and various in his operations, and he hath carried some thousands to Salvation in a more legal way, and doch daily con form his divine workings in many souls to their lo