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be fuch an immediate connexion with what he was just reading, fo that he would lose the fight of what went before with looking after it, and would not fee the thing fo well in one view.
I have often thought that we wanted a Fust and entire Difcourfe of Repentance and all that relates to it, and have wondered that among all our Excellent Practical Treatifes we should hardly have one fuch fitted for common use; among other ReaSons of which I believe this may not be the least, That 'tis one of the most difficult things to write on an eafie Subject, as tis the hardest to paint Light.
When I drew the Model of this and had fome of the Materials lying by me and ready framed, I thought the perfecting and finishing it would not have cost me half the charge and pains and expence that I found it has, and moft Writers I believe like Builders find this, and even afterwards when they have done they fee many things they could mend and alter,though they care not for being at the coft of pulling down again and building up anew: It was only the Strength and Usefulness and Conveniency I had regard to, and it may have those, tho' like a House built by parts and not altogether, it want all that regular Order and Beauty that fhould fet it off. It is to be looked on only as a Popular Difcourfe to teach an useful Truth in Religion and raise the Affections and Imaginations up to it, without that care and exactness that is to be
ferved in clofer Writings: It will fully answer its end if it can but convey a cleare and lively an understanding and warm fence of Religion into Mens Minds and free their Thoughts from fuch Mistakes and their Lives from fuch Sins as are too prevailing in the World, and which like the Sea and its Rivers proceed from and maintain and run into one another; For Men's Lufts and Vices make them willing to take up with falfe and loofe Principles in Religion and those Principles feed and promote their Vice and Loole
The Sincerity and Zeal of ferving so good an end, as I have had my Eye all along upon, or at leaft of endeavouring heartily to do it, bath fuffici. ently armed me against all manner of Cenfures what foever, and hath given me more fatisfaction then if I had either had the ability, or could have vainly promised my self the Applause of writing the Wittieft or Learnedest Book in the World. This however mean and imperfect it is, as I here put into your Hands, So I prefume to Dedicate to the Great God and my Bleffed Redeemer, the best Patrons who will certainly reward those that serve them, heartily praying that it it may be Serviceable to their Honour and Glory, to the promoting Vertue and Religion, the bringing Mien off from Sin and Wickedness, the Converfion
and Salvation of Souls, and the Turning of Sinners from the Errors of their ways unto Righteousness, that fo both they and I may have the Rewards promifed to all fuch.