Imatges de pÓgina

than speculative Christians, but that to explain and enforce the doĉtrines of the gospel is a better way to produce an unshaken persuasion of their truth, than to collect and refute the cavils of adversaries, which, though they are often trifling, are notwithstanding innumerable. I hope this will excuse the introducing several. pojages of Scripture in the last-mentioned Treatise, and applying them on what appears to me to be their obvious meaning, without taking the least notice of the unwearied pains frequently taken by wire drawing critics to interpret them in a contrary sense.

I have only further to add, that the liberty which the publishers seem resolved to take of adding to this collettion two (nonymous Treatises, is what I could not prevent; and therefore if there be any thing in them improper or offensive, they alone are to answer for it.

June, 1764.

J. W.


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HOLINESS OF LIFE: With fome Reflections upon the Reception which

that Doctrine hath generally met with in the World.

To which is prefixed, A Letter to the Rev. Mr. JAMES HERVEY,

Rector of Weton-Favell, Northamptonshire, Author of THERON and ASPASIO,





4 . TO


Rev. Mr. JAMES HERVEY, &c.


WHEN Chrift

, our Saviour was about ta go to his Father, be told his disciples, If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own : but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. I am persuaded, that by this, be did not only intend to forewarn the twelve of the offence which that generation would take at the ignominy of the cross, but also to intimate, that the case would be the fome in all ages ; that his doctrine would meet with great resistance and opposition, and that the temper

. and character of bis real disciples would be very different from the spirit that would generally prevail in the world. This hath been continually verified in experience. For as many in the bighest stations, and of bighest repute for wisdom in the world, did set themselves against the gospel at its firf publication, so even cohere there is a nominal profefion of it, there is still an oppofition to its doétrines, in their fimplicity


B 2

and purity, by the world, that is to say, those, who have most fway in it, who are the most pajfionate admirers of its fashions, and the most affiduous prosecutors of its honours and pleasures.

It may be also observed, that there is sometimes, perhaps even generally, a sovereignty of divine providence in the choice of the instruments employed in spreading the gospel. As, at forft, twelve illiterate fishermen were chosen ; Jo, often since that time, itbe weakest and most unlikely have been pitobed upon, that our faith might not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Hence it fre. quently happens, that it is not anly difficult to make men believe the gospel, but even ito pero fuade them to hear it. They are apt spise and deride the message, because of the meanness of the messenger, cr the homeliness of the terms in which it is delivered. This is par. ticularly the case with the present age. From a certain love of ease, and luxury of mind, they despise and trample upon all instructions, which have not something pleafing and insinuating in their dress and form.

You, Sir, are one of those happy few, who have been willirg to confecrate the finest natural talents to the service of Christ in the gospel, and are not ashamed of his cross. You bare been able to procure attention upon some fulljects, from many who would kardly have giver

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