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men are alienated from, and grow up, while in this their natural state, averse to, the lise and power of true godliness, as injoined in the divine law, which is explained by our blessed Lord, Mat. xxii. 37, 38, 39Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy foul, and with all thy mind, &o See Psal. Ji. 5, and many other places. From this corrupt disposition of mind, proceed evils of various kinds, to the dishonour of God our Maker; such as evil thoughts, adulteries, Sec. See Mark. vii. zi, 22. —Now as the wrath of God is revealed against all Ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, Rom. i. 18. tSerefore, every man by nature, is liable to, and a child of the wrath of God. Eph. ii. 3.—All men by nature are without strength or power to perform works to recommend themselves to God. Rom. v. 6. Hence it is expressly declared that salvation is not of •workt. Eph. ii. 8, 9. Tit. iii 5. Man being thus ruined, and helpless, if the blessed God had not looked upon us in mercy, we had been for ever without hope. But God commenderh his love towards us, in that while we see such miserable, helpless sinners, he gave his Son Jesus to die for us. Rom. v. 8. Jesus in dying for us is the propitiation or atonement for bur sins. 1 Joh. ii. 2. iv. 10. Jesus has thus died for all men without exception. John. iii. 16. 2 Cor. v, 15. 1 Joh. ii. 2. In Jesus dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead. In his perfon divinity and humanity are united. Col. ii. 9. 1 Tim. iii. 16. Matt. i. 23,. John. i. 1, 14. His salvation full, complete, and 'free.
free, to every sinner desirous to enjoy it, who comes to God by him. Isai. Iv. i. i Cor. i. 30. Col. i. 19. Heb. vii. 25. Rev. xxii. 17. This salvation is re. ceived and enjoyed by faith, not by works. Acts, xvi. 30, 31. Rom. iv. 5. Eph. ii. 8, 9. Yet faith, if real and genuine, will be productive of holiness in heart and lise. Acts. xv. 9. Gal. v. 6. Jam. ii. 18. Therefore whoever lives habitually in the practice of known sin, gives proof that whatever he may pretend to, he is not possessed of true faith, nor is a slate of salvation. 1 John. ii. 4. iii. 6, 7, 8, 9. It is both the duty and desire of a true believer to pursue holi.ness and purity. Heb. xii. 14. 1 John, iii. 3. Believers have many enemies both inward and outward, to obstruct their progress in the way of holiness. Rom. . V". 15, 19, zi, 23. Gal. v. 17; a Tim. iii. 12. 1 Pet. v. 8. But they may have all needful help from Christ here to surmount all their difficulties and obstructions, as they look unto him by faith, in prayer, and other ordinances; and a glorious eternal reward, and insinitely more than a recompense for all in heaven. Isa. xl. 31. Rom. vi. 14. 1 Cor. x. 13. 2 Cor. xii. 9. Heb. xiii. 5. 1 Cor. xv. 58. iThess. i. 7. Heb. vi. 10. Rev. iii. 21. Therefore such are both to be exhorted and encouraged to press forward in holiness, notwithstanding all opposition. Heb. xii. 1. Acts, xi. 23. Holiness is a conformity to the will of God in temper and conduct; and therefore all believers are to be labouring aster a conformity to the divine will, to be more and more transformed according to it,
ought to join with the people of Gbd, in church-sel-
other duty and appointment of Christ. Mat. xxviii. 20. Acts. ii. 42. especially the Lord's supper, 1 Cor. xi. 23, &c. and to practise, with diligence, watchfulness and care, every part of morality, to every person, in every relation, and every circumstance as they would have, or could reafonably wish, others to do to them in like circumstances and relations. Mat. vii. 12. Thus in the observance of every duty, and all the paths of holiness, ought all believers, to go forward to their end of lise, 'till they be released from the evils and forrows of this sinful world, and translated into the regions of uninterrupted selicity and consummatejoy.
2dly. As to the method we have taken in compiling these Hymns, it may be sufficient to observe, that the Title-Page intimates sew of them are new to the world. We have ventured with freedom to collect from any Author we conveniently couW, what appeared to be most valuable, and best to suit our design. With the like freedom we have not scrupled to alter words, lines, or whole stanza's, as we have thought proper, as other compilers have done before us; and have now and then retrenched or enlarged the Hymns we thought proper to make use of; though instances of this kind are not very frequent. And though we hope it will not be esteemed vanity to imagine that we have not in all cases altered for the worse; yet we freely own, we have fometimes suppressed or omitted a strong and lively sigure, and have placed a more easy and familiar phrase instead
of it, as thinking it more level with the capacities of the common people, and on that account preserable to mo're lofty and strong language. For we would have it to be observed,
3dly. That it has been our design t» publish a Hymn-Book for public worship, that might be as much as possible, suited to promote the advantage and edisication of the common people, who, we know, compose the chief part of our assemblies. To this end, we have endeavoured that the verse should, in general, where alterations or additions are made, be easy and smooth, the ideas clear and obvious, the language plain and samiliar, and as much agreeable to the language of scripture, as a work of this nature would conveniently admit. Tho' we are sensible a few of the following Hymns, which for their excellency, we have made choice of, and by reafon of their beauty, we have lest untouched, rise fomewhat above the reach of common capacities. Our design was alfo, that, if possible, no verse should convey any idea, but what what is derived from plain scripture: Hence wherever we observed a line the meaning of which we thought to be doubtful, or perhaps, in a sew places, scarcely justisiable, we thought our plan required that we should change it for one more near the sense of scripture, and which conveyed more sixed and certain ideas Nor do we imagine this practice at all culpable, since we stand accountable for whatever mistakes may be found in the whole collection.