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The following treatise is a spiritual medley of heavenly things; an entertainment for the mind and conscience of gracious souls, who, for the want · of gospel light to discern the rich provision and
stability of God's covenant, are often sunk to live beneath the privileges thereof. I have frequently heard people, who I believe to be truly gracious, declare themselves to be bowed down, and continually dejected, under the apprehensions of a dreadful scrutiny which they suppose the Saviour will have with them in the day of judgment. In order to remove the believer's groundless fears, to shew him the privileges of the covenant, and to excite his gratitude to God, this little treatise is published.
The things that are considered, and attempted to be explained, are the spiritual resurrections of a sinner; his arraignment and justification; his spiritual birth, heirship, and inheritance; his evi
dences for heaven; the contlicts he hath with the devil; and the office of Christ as an Advocate.
And in order to convey my thoughts as intelligibly as possible it is written by way of dialogue; question and answer being an excellent way of conveying information, and with which the word of God is replete.
The persons made choice of to carry on the dialogue, are Cushi and Ahimaaz, two servants of David, both stiled in Scripture good men. Cushi is here represented as one wrought upon by grace while he observed the visible hand of God with David; which is intended to shew how a Christian's life, and the hand of God with him, impresses the mind and convicts the conscience of a sinner. Ahimaaz is represented as running with tidings before he was sent; which is introduced as a caution to the many in our days, both learned and illiterate, who take on them the office of the ministry, without any spiritual qualification for it, or divine call to it; who are encouraged and emboldened by nothing else but pride, insensibility, and ignorance. A thirst for human applause, and ignorance of the experience and wisdom of the Church; ignorance of the plague of the human heart; ignorance of the majesty of God, and the importance of the ministry, appear to be the basis and bulwark of too many.
The houses of Saul and David are introduced as prefiguring the family of the old Adam and the.
household of faith. Cushi's halting between the two is intended to exhibit the struggles that the weak believer feels between the flesh and the spirit. The revival of the work of grace on Cushi, at the death of David, is introduced to shew that many young converts, who are a scourge to the servants of God in their lives, are brought to lament their death, being ignorant of their worth till they feel their loss; as Israel of old, who was a perpetual burden to Moses for forty years; but when he was dead they bemoaned him for thirty days: or like Saul, who was so often a plague to pious Samuel in his life, yet would sell himself to the devil for a sight of his mantle when he was dead.
I have studied plainness in this work, and endeavoured to be as intelligible to my Reader as possible; not expecting that the consequence of the noble, the acquired knowledge of the scholar, the wisdom of the critic, the refined judgment of the polite and gay, will ever submit to a perusal of any performance of mine, unless it be to cavil at it. To be short, if any part of the revealed will of God be made plain to the seeker or to the believer; if his judgment be informed, his doubts and fears removed; if any blessing of the covenant be discovered; if his mind be entertained, his faith established, and his covenant God endeared to him, I trust my end is answered; and what the outside professor, or the open enemy to truth may