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AUTHOR'S EPISTLE TO THE READER.
CANDID READER—The following discourse comes to thy hand in the native plainness in which it was preached. I was conscientiously unwilling to alter it, because I found by experience the Lord had blessed and prospered it in that dress, far beyond any other composures on which I had bestowed more pains. Let it not be censured as vanity or ostentation, that I here acknowledge the goodness of God in leading me to, and blessing my poor labors on this subject. Who and what am I, that I should be continued and again employed in the Lord's harvest, and that with success and encouragement, when so many of my brethren, with much richer gifts and graces, have in my time been called out of the vineyard, and are now silent in the grave. It is true, they enjoy what I do not; and it is as true, I am capable of doing some service for God which they are not. In preaching these sermons, I had many occasions to reflect upon the sense of that scripture, “ The ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed." Amos 9:13. Sowing and reaping times trod so close upon each other, that, in all humility I speak it to the praise of God, it was the busiest and most blessed time I ever saw since I first preached the gospel.
We have now a day of special mercy: there is a wide door of religious opportunity opened to us.
O that it may prove an effectual door. It is wonderful, that after all our sinful provocations this sweet voice is still heard, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Our mercies and liberties are obtained for us by our potent Advocate in the heavens: if we bring forth fruit, well; if not, the axe lieth at the root of the tree. Let us not feel
Jerusalem was the city of the great King; the seat of
his worship and the symbols of his presence were fixed there; it was the joy of the whole earth, the house of prayer for all nations; thither the tribes went up to worship, the tribes of the Lord unto the testimony of Israel. For there were set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Psa. 122:4, 5. These privileges she enjoyed through the succession of many ages, and she had remained the glory of all nations to this day, had she known and improved in that day the things that belonged to her peace; but her people neglected their season, rejected their mercies, and miserably perished in their sins: for there ever was and will be found to be an inseparable connection between the final rejection of Christ, and the destruction of the rejecters, Matt. 22:5–7, the contemplation of which drew compassionate tears from the Redeemer's eyes, when he beheld it in his descent from the mount of Olives. Luke 19:41, 42.
As to this treatise, thou wilt find it a persuasive to open thy heart to Christ. Thy soul, reader, is a magnificent structure built by Christ; such stately rooms as thy understanding, will, conscience, and affections, are too good for any other to inhabit. If thou art in thy unregenerate state, he solemnly demands in this treatise admission into the soul he made, by the consent of the will; which, if thou refuse to give him, then witness is taken that Christ once more demanded entrance into thy soul, which he made, and was denied it. If thou hast opened thy heart to him, thou wilt, I hope, meet somewhat in this treatise that will clear thy evidences and cheer thy heart. Pray, read, ponder, and apply. I am Thine and the church's servant,
From the Author's Epistle to the Reader,
FOR THE JUDGMENT-DAY.
the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
THE HEART BARRED AGAINST CHRIST.
CHRIST'S PATIENCE IN WAITING UPON OBSTINATE
THE SPIRIT A KNOCK FROM CHRIST.
MUNION WITH SINNERS.
ENING VOICE IS HEARD.
THE OPENING OF THE HEART TO CHRIST BY FAITH
THE GREAT DESIGN OF THE GOSPEL.
OPENS TO HIM.
righteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness." Rom.
righteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Rom.