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copious Defence of these momentous Do&trines, bad undertaken it, and thereby prevented a feebler one. The Author of which being fully persuaded of their' real Excellency and singular Weight, be cannot but wish to see them in the best Manner defended.
As I greatly desired this, I waited a confiderable Time, with Expectation of seeing so necefsary a Piece of Service perform’d; but have been disappointed herein. Thinking it big bly needful, that something should be offered in Vindication of that Faith which was once delivered to the Saints, in Answer to the Book above mentioned, and no Perfon, that I knew of, of superior Abilities undertaking this Task, I could not but interpret it, as a Call upon me in Providence, to set about a Labour, which I know, as it requires, it also deserves a much abler Hand..
If any thing I have advanced in Favour of what appears to me to be the Doctrine of Scripture, may in the least Measure, convince Opposers, settle wavering Minds, and establish thoje Truths of Cbriff, which have formerly been own'd and contended for, as fuch, by the Church of God, it will give me a peculiar Pleasure. To which I think, I may fub. join, that such is my religious Regard to the Principles, I undertake to defend, that it would be a Satisfačtion to me, to see this Work, which I prefent to the pious and impartial Reader link in his Esteem, by the Publication of a learned and judicious Defence of those Principles.
Till then, it may be this performance, such as it is, will not be wholly useless; but it may afford fome Alistance to the common Reader, at least, in
bis Enquiries about the fublime and gloriõus" Doc
trines of the Grace of God, of the Merit and Satis. ' fačtion of Christ, and concerning the work of the
boly Spirit on the Souls of Men in Regeneration. :
Perbaps some may think, that since Deism and Infidelity greatly Spread, in this unhappy Age, it is very unfeasonable to oppose a Writer, who'ap. pears.an Advocate for the Christian Religion, and endeavours to set any Scriptural Doctrines in an easy and unexceptionable Light, tho'be may be miftaken in some particular Things, especially, when it is bis professed Design to compose the Differences which fubfijt among the Friends of Revelation, to the great Disadvantage of that Revelation, may not this Cause its Enemies to sneer and triumph ? . In answer to which I observé, 1. We are under an indispensable Obligation, not only to vindicate the holy Scripture from those Objections, which bold and daring Men are pleased to frame against it ; but also to contend for ibe gloricus Truths therein express'd, by whom foever they are misrepresented, or corrupted, or oppos’d. It seems to me a Conduet not the muft consistent, to maintain the credibility of the Bible, and decline or censure an Attempt to defend and support its Doctrines. 2. If one Christian Writer takes the Liberty to oppose the Sentiments of other Christians, why may not they be al. lowed to offer to public View, the Reasons which induce them to embrace and adhere to those Principles? Surely this can't be thought in the least unreasonable. 3. As for i he Improvement, that Deifts and Infidels may make of the different Sentiments of Christians, to the Prejudice of the Christian Revelation or Religion, unless I am very much mif. taken, far greater Advantage is given them, by a
Connivance at the Errors and Mistakes of such