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that the Church all have the benefic of any labours, which be bath left for publike use, and in fpeciall of this subjeet (the Covenant of Grace) foneedfull and profitable. And tbat acquaintance which we bad with this faithfull servant of lefus Christ, doth incline us with all willingnese, to give our approbation of this piece, alebough our manifoldimployments bave not suffered us to peruse it, fo exactly, as otherwise we should have done.
We fball depre, that by thy faithful improvement bereof, thy knowledge of the fæderall transactions betwixtGod and his people through lesus Christ; may be much augmented unto his honour, and thine everlafting bappinesse in him,in »bome
, we are.ws
Thy faithfull Friends,
EDWARD REYNOLDS. OSTHOMAS. Hull;
To the Reader.
He worthy Authour of this Treatise
posing the enlargement of it, if the Lord had continued his life and health: and I am confident, it would have come abroad better polished; if he having compleared it, had then survayed the whole fa-.. brick, when set together. Although at the first I was unsatisfied in mine own thoughes, whether I should advencure the printing of it, because imperfect, yet upon the importunity of Friends, being incouraged by the judgement of some Reverend Divines, who had perused it, I have row niade it publike, without any addition, diminution, or alteracion. The subject of the book is excellent, profitable and necessary; even, the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to Col.lodó. the saints. That bleffed Apostle, who experimentally understood the utmost worth of humane learning, did yec conteinne it, in comparison of that knowledge which is taught in this Treatise. I determined not (faith he) to know COI.2.2) Any thing among you (among youknowing Corinthians,) , Save Jefus Christ. Yea,doubtlese, I count all things but lose, Phil.z.&
for the excellency of the knowledge of Chrift fefus my Lord. "Oh how incomparably sweet and satisfying is it unto a self-studying Christian soul, to be acquainted with the faithfull engagements of the Aknighcy Majestie, unto the poor penicent fi iner, through chat Son of his loves, in a Covenant of free,rich, everlasting grace! This
. Covenant being transacted betwixt Christ and God, here, here lyes the first and most firm foundation of a Christians com
fort. I will give thee for a Covenant of the people, and will Ifai.49.8.
establish the earth,&c. All the promises of God in him are Yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God. Therefore the Servants of the most High (notwithstanding their own changeablenesse and unworthineffe ) may hold up their hearts and hopes to enjoy all Gospell-Prerogatives through him, because God hath said, I will make ans everlasting Covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. The right understanding and the fruitfull improvement hereof, will be seasonably supporting and fólacing to Gods people in these dolefull distracted times. We have, through Gods mercy, a glorious work, the work of Church-Reformation under hand, now, though difficulties, delayes, and opposicions, doe cast discourage
ments upon our hearts, yet from hence, we have heartIlai.s4.10.
ning. The mountains (hal depart, and the hils be removed, but mykindnesse shall not depart from thee, neither shall the Covenant of my peacebe removed, saith the Lord, that bath mercy on thee. oh thou affliited, and tossed with tempests, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with faire colours, and lay the foundations with Saphires, &c. And when bloudy
oppreffours prevail and prosper, we may thus plead with Pfal. 74.10)
our God, Have respect unto the Covenant : for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. For the renour of the Covenant which God makes with Christ and
his spirituall seed, runs thus, if they break my statutes, and Pfal 89.31, keep not my commandments : Thenwill I visite iheir transgresfions with the rod, and their iniquities with
. NevertheLefs, my-loving kindnessa will I not utterly take from him: nor Suffer my faithfulnefle to fail. My Covenant will í not break, nor alter the thing that w gone out of my lips,&c. And, As for Zech 9.1r thee also, by the bloud of the Covenant I have feret forihetky priSoners out of the pit, wherein is no water. How precious bem yond all expressions are the treasures of Gods love in the Covenane of Promise ! These mines are digged up and discovered in this discourse, many obscure Scriptures, full of rich Gospell-Grace are here interpreted from the orix ginall fanguages, and by a judicious comparing of one place with another. The book (I believe) will commend it felt unco che considerate Reader : and because so many godly,learned, well-approved brethren, have been pleafed to honour it with their attestation, therefore my further testimony would be altogetherneedless and unseasonable. Ifthe phrase of speech seeme sometimes knotty and unusuall, I desire that serious attention may cake off that discouragement. A little diligence doch often conquer grearappearing difficulties and love of truth will make laborious in searching after the knowledge of it. The Lord direct and prosper thy perusall of this Treatise, that thereby chy soul may be edified in graceand comfort, through the accomplishment of his glorious Promises in the Lord our Saviour,in whom,and for whom, I will endeavour to approve my self,
Thy faithfull Friend and Servant, June 12, 1645.
SIME ON A SH
The Contents of the severall Chapters.
of the first part,
in the Covenant of nature presupposeth p.16.1 penult
. r.with Christ. P:37.