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to the great admiration both of myself and thofe godly fouls who know my present circumstances, and God's dealing with me. I have been, for several years paft, more than ordinarily importuned, both by godly divines and fuch zealous working chriftians as yourself, to publiifh what now I have prefumed to dedicate to so dear and well-deferving a friend as you are well known to be, both to God's truth and fuch as, in any measure, bear the bleffed image of his Son. The principal motive of their importuning me to publish this, was the strange influence the relation hereof from my own mouth had upon their own fpirits, the effects whereof they were not able to hide; the tears of joy gufhing out furprisingly from their eyes, with both eyes and hands lifted up to heaven, wondering at, and adoring the wonders of God in my cafe; profeffing and declaring, that, in all their time, they had neither heard nor known fo much of the goodness and grace of God vouchfafed to a poor loft and undone finner, as was fhewn and vouchfafed to unworthy me; which occafioned feveral of the godly Ministers, especially Mr. Noah Bryan, Mr. Timothy Taylor, Mr. Samuel Mather, and the dear Mr. Nathaniel Mather, all now with Chrift, to profefs, that they never heard of, or knew, any finner come fo near to Paul, as touching God's method and way of working upon and dealing with him in, and after, his converfion, as I did; and therefore they unanimously agreed in judging,
that to publish the fame was my duty; the which, they doubted not, would be greatly useful, and that both to faints and finners on fundry accounts. The fincere and upright-hearted Nathaniel Mather, late of Pinner's-Hall, hath several times chid me for my backwardness to fo neceffary and useful a work; and a little before his death he at me again about it, examining into the grounds of my backwardness herein. To whom I replied, Sir, there are two things which hitherto have kept me back from publishing this my experience, and how much of Satan there may be in it, I cannot determine.
The first is, The difficulty which attends my fetting down in writing the working of the Spirit of adoption, in discovering and applying Chrift unto me, the remembrance whereof doth fo fwallow me up and melt me, that I am not able to see my paper for the tears of joy which obstruct my vifive faculty. To which he replied, That it was pity any thing fhould hinder me in fo good and useful a work.
The fecond is, The fear lodged within me of people's not crediting the relation I shall give hereof, in cafe it were printed; for, faid I, the greatest part of the profeffors are fo great strangers to the nature of true regeneration, especially when wrought in a finner in the way and method God took with me, that they will rather fufpect and question the truth of what I relate, than praise God, or improve the fame for their own good or fpiri
tual advantage. To which reply was made, That Satan was always ready to obftruct any good work which hath the leaft tendency to God's praife or the good of fouls.
Since his departure, the fresh remembrance of the importunities of the worthies above named, together with the repeated folicitations of several godly zealous chriftians yet living, have prevailed with me to beat my way through those difficulties which lay before me, leaving the iffue of my prefent undertaking to the powerful providence of God, to make the fame fuccefsful in what it is defigned for; and begging moft heartily your pardon for the method I have taken in acknowledging the great kindness and respect fhewn by your religious and truly generous felf, to the meaneft and most unworthy of Chrift's despised ambaffadors; the which, I doubt not, you will find recorded in heaven by my Lord and Master, as an evident proof of your faith in, and unfeigned love to, him and his caufe and interest here on earth. Let not, dear Sir, the difadvantages under which I lie, on account of the flanderous reproaches heaped on me by malicious fpirits, leffen your hope of the glorious recompence of reward, promifed by him that cannot lie, to all your works and labours of love expreffed to me and others of God's children for the fake of Chrift. He that will take notice of a cup of cold water given to a difciple, in the name of his difciple, will, I queftion not, record in heaven the refreshing
refreshing wine I have drank at your table more than once, and the filver and gold fent me, and given me by yourself, whereby both I and my diftreffed family have been kept from finking into the duft.
And albeit, I fhould at the great day of judgment appear to be a caft-away from Chrift, of which, through infinite grace, I am no more afraid than I am afraid that God can cease to be what he is; yet your integrity and uprightness in what you have done to me, for Chrift's fake, will be not only made known, but graciously and abundantly rewarded; and, if I mistake not, the design of Providence, which hath put me upon fixing my thoughts on yourself, as the fittest and most deferying perfon to whom to dedicate this small extract of the 'large experience I have had of God's incomprehenfible goodness and infinite all-fufficiency in faving a loft finner. I look on this Dedication to be, as it were, a Пgodgouos, or fore-runner of Christ's openly acknowledging and rewarding those your acts of love and pity fo fecretly done to him in the person of me, the poorest and unworthiest of his reprefentatives here on earth, according to Prov. xix. 17. Matt. vi. 4. xxv. 45. Heb. vi. 10.
The Searcher of hearts knows I am far from flattering you, in what I fay of you in this Dedication. He who hath so abundantly bleft you with a comfortable eftate here, and hath enriched your B brave
brave and generous foul with fuch a ftock of heavenly wisdom and faving grace, as keeps you from fwelling with pride and conceit of what he hath made you-perfect his own bleffed work began in you to the day of Christ. And that the fame may be the portion of your virtuous and religious confort and your dear offspring, is the cordial wish, and shall be the hearty prayer of,
Dear and honoured Sir,
Your dearly loving, and highly obliged Friend and Servant, in the best and strongest of Bonds, (viz. Gospel Love,)