Page images





HERE are two Classes of Readers,

to whom the Writer of this Preface would address a few friendly Hints, before they enter upon the Perusal of this excellent little Manual.

1. To those, who have had the Advantages of what is called a liberal Education, he begs Leave to present the following Passage from the Works of an enlightened Philosopher, whose Name is reverenced by the literary World, and particularly dear to every Englishman :* " He that " would seriously set upon the Search of

“ Truth, “ Truth, ought in the first Place to pre**

* Mr. Locke. It is not here meant to recome nend Mr. Locke as a Discoverer, but only a sincere


pare his Mind with a Love of it. For " he that loves it not, will not take much " Pains to get it, nor be much concerned « when he misses it. There is no Body in “the Common-Wealth of Learning, who “ does not profess himself a Lover of " Truth; and there is not a rational Crea“ture, that would not take it amiss to be

thought otherwise of. And yet, for all this, one may truly fay, that there are very few Lovers of Truth for Truth's

Sake, even amongst those who persuade " theinselves that they are so."--Again, “ As Truth can receive no Evidence from “our Passions and Interests, so it should “ receive no Tincture from them."--And again, “ It is the Prerogative that belongs

" to

Seeker, of the Truth. His Opinions, touching fome of the fundamental Doctrines of Christianity, have been deemed erroneous and dangerous. But the Sentiments contained in the above Quotation are fo just and liberal, that they can neither be of fensive nor injurious to any Christian Reader.

" to Truth alone, to command Affent by

only it's own Authority.”

By these Principles, let the following Observations be examined.

The DECALOGUE is acknowledged by all Christians to contain the Words of ETERNAL TRUTH; and the Sum and Substance of it is declared by our Lord himself to consist in “the Love of God, and the Love of our NeighBOUR.” Hence it was, that when he was asked by a certain Person, “ what he should do, that he might inherit eternal Life?” he made no other than this short and plain Reply, “ If thou wilt enter into Life, keep the Commandments," Matt. xix. 17.

The Doctrine of Life, therefore, is clearly and fully revealed in the Ten COMMANDMENTS; and those, who “ love Truth for Truth's Sake,” need not be at a Lofs to discover the way that leadeth


unto Life. They need not consume their Time and Strength in speculative Investigations, or deep and unprofitable metaphysical Inquiries.

Let them begin with resisting their selfish and worldly Passions. Let all selfith and worldly Prejudices and Interests be set aside. In other Words, let them begin with close and serious Self-Examination of their Hearts and Lives, their Affections and their Thoughts, as well as their Words and Deeds, by the Precepts of the Decalogue: If they are honest and ingenuous in the Search, they will soon find, that in their Affections and Thoughts, if not in their Words and Deeds, they have greatly deviated from the Way of Life therein commanded: They will soon find, that in themselves they have no Strength to obey any one of the Precepts in Sincerity and Truth ; 'but that they stand every Moment in Need of that Holy and All-powerful INFLUENCE, which proceeds.


« PreviousContinue »