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men are alienated from, and grow up, while in this their natural ftate, averle to, the life and power of true godlinefs, as injoined in the divine law, which is explained by our bleffed Lord, Mat. xxii. 37, 38, 39. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy foul, and with all thy mind, &c. See Pfal. li. 5, and many other places. From this corrupt difpofition of mind, proceed evils of various kinds, to the difhonour of God our Maker; fuch as evil thoughts, adulteries, &c. See Mark. vii. 21, 22. -Now as the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteoufnefs of men, Rom. i. 18. therefore, every man by nature, is liable to, and a child of the wrath of God. Eph. ii. 3.-All men by nature are without ftrength or power to perform works to recommend themselves to God. Rom. v. 6. Hence it is expreffly declared that falvation is not of works. Eph. ii. 8, 9. Tit. iii 5. Man being thús ruined, and helpless, if the bleffed God had not looked upon us in mercy, we had been for ever without hope. But God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we fee fuch miferable, helpless finners, he gave his Son Jefus to die for us. Rom. v. 8. Jefus in dying for us is the propitiation or atonement for our fins. 1 Joh. ii. 2. iv. 10. Jefus has thus died for all men without exception. John. iii. 16. 2 Cor. 15. 1 Joh. ii. 2. In Jefus dwelleth all the fulness of In his perfon divinity and humanity are united. Col. ii. 9. 1 Tim. iii. 16. Matt. i. 23. John. i. 1, 14. His falvation full, complete, and
free, to every finner defirous to enjoy it, who comes to God by him. Ifai. lv. i. 1 Cor. i. 30. Col. i. 19. Heb. vii. 25. Rev. xxii. 17. This falvation is re ceived and enjoyed by faith, not by works. Ac&ts. xvi. 30, 31. Rom. iv. 5. Eph. ii. 8, 9. Yet faith, if real and genuine, will be productive of holiness in heart and life. Acts. xv. 9. Gal. v. 6. Jam. ii. 18. Therefore whoever lives habitually in the practice of known fin, gives proof that whatever he may pretend to, he is not poffeffed of true faith, nor is a state of falvation. John. ii. 4. iii. 6, 7, 8, 9. It is both the duty and defire of a true believer to puríue holinefs and purity. Heb. xii. 14. 1 John. iii. 3. Believers have many enemies both inward and outward, to obftruct their progress in the way of holiness. Rom.. vii. 15, 19, 21, 23. Gal. v. 17. 2 Tim. iii. 12. 1 Pet. v. 8. But they may have all needful help from Chrift here to furmount all their difficulties and obftructions, as they look unto him by faith, in prayer, and other ordinances; and a glorious eternal reward, and infinitely more than a recompenfe for all in heaven. Ifa. xl. Rom. vi. 14. 31. 1 Cor. x. 13. 2 Cor. xii. 9. Heb. xiii. 5. 1 Cor. xv. 58. 2 Theff. i. 7. Heb. vi. 10. Rev. iii. 21. Therefore fuch are both to be exhorted and encouraged to press forward in holiness, notwithstanding all oppofition. 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 after a conformity to the divine will, to be more and more transformed according to it,
by the renewing of their mind, Rom. xii. 2. And to
be continually cultivating every divine temper, and
increasing in virtue or facred courage. † Spiritual
knowledge and understanding; temperance, in the en-
joyment of all God's good creatures; patience in all
afflicting and diftreffing circumstances; every kind
and part of godliness; or every pious affection, and ex-
ercife of mind with, for, and towards God, as a holy,
kind, and gracious father; and brotherly kindness to-
wards all God's people; with undissembled and disin-
terested charity, or love towards all men in all circum-
ftances. 2 Pet. i. 5, 6, 7. Thefe divine tempers are
a happy foundation for every duty; and to all duties,
believers ought to be urged and encouraged. They
ought to attend to every ordinance; private and pub-
lic prayer, on all proper occafions; Eph. iv. 19, 20.
Reading and hearing the word John. v. 39. Heb. ii.
Pfal. i. 2. felf-examination by it. 2 Cor. xiii. 5. They
ought to attend to the facred ordinance of baptism,
Mat. xxviii. 19. Acts. ii. 38, 39. xxii. 16. which in
our judgment, the scriptures plainly teach us to ad-
minifter to believers only, or those who profefs to be-
lieve; and only by immerfion. Mat. xxviii. 19. Acts.
viii. 12, 36, 38. When a perfon is baptized, he
ought to join with the people of God, in church-fel-
other duty and appointment of Christ. Mat. xxviii. 20. Acts. ii. 42. especially the Lord's fupper, 1 Cor. xi. 23, &c. and to practise, with diligence, watchful. nefs and care, every part of morality, to every perfon, in every relation, and every circumftance as they would have, or could reasonably wifh, others to do to them in like circumftances 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 life, 'till they be releafed from the evils and forrows of this finful world, and tranflated into the regions of uninterrupted felicity and Confummate joy.
2dly. As to the method we have taken in compiling these Hymns, it may be fufficient to obferve, that the Title-Page intimates few of them are new to the world. We have ventured with freedom to collect from any Author we conveniently could, what appeared to be most valuable, and beft to fuit our defign. With the like freedom we have not fcrupled to alter words, lines, or whole ftanza'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 inftances of this kind are not very frequent. And though we hope it will not be efteemed vanity to imagine that we have not in all cases altered for the worfe; yet we freely own, we have fometimes fuppreffed or omitted a ftrong and lively figure, and have placed a more eafy and familiar phrase inftead
of it, as thinking it more level with the capacities of the common people, and on that account preferable to more lofty and ftrong language. For we would have it to be observed,
3dly. That it has been our defign to publish a Hymn-Book for public worship, that might be as much as poffible, fuited to promote the advantage and edification of the common people, who, we know, compofe the chief part of our affemblies. To this end, we have endeavoured that the verse should, in general, where alterations or additions are made, be eafy and smooth, the ideas clear and obvious, the language plain and familiar, and as much agreeable to the language of fcripture, 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 left untouched, rife fomewhat above the reach of common capacities. Our defign was alfo, that, if poffible, no verfe fhould convey any idea, but what what is derived from plain fcripture: Hence wherever we obferved a line the meaning of which we thought to be doubtful, or perhaps, in a few places, fcarcely justifiable, we thought our plan required that we should change it for one more near the fenfe of fcripture, and which conveyed more fixed and certain ideas Nor do we imagine this practice at all culpable, fince we ftand accountable for whatever mistakes may be found in the whole collection.