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us, and ought to engross the chiefest part of our Studies. But yet we are still obliged to examine the Opinions of our Popish Adverfaries, and to remember the Grounds of our diffenting from them. Otherwise we shall not fufficiently value the unspeakable bleffing of the Reformation: nor shall we prevent or frustrate the future attempts of Popifh Emiffaries. could y9,
Now if the Popish Controverfies ought to be look'd into, even when the danger of Popery is not apparent, and when Difputes of another kind do require the most confiderable fbare of our time: cer tainly that Book, which will make us well acquainted with the Popish Controverfies by beftowing only fome leifare hours upon them, is not only feasonable, but almost neceffary.
Secondly, How fecure foever we Proteftants are from the Popish Religion; yet certainly twill ever be a principal part of our Chriftian Duty to regard the Souls of others and we know there are mang Perfons in this Nation, who tho' living and converfing with Proteftants, do nevertheless adhere to the Church of Rome.
'Tis matter of just grief, that we have not as yet effected their Converfion. Would to God we could learn Zeal from our Enemies; and were as Induftrious in the propagation of pure Religion, as they are of that which is miferably corrupted. Certainly the Papifts are not proof against all our endeavors.
Let it shame a Christian to draw back, when Christ Leads him on. Confider that we fight the Caufe of God, that we labor for the gaining of Souls; and that whether we fucceed or no, we shall be eternally rewarded for fo great and glorious an Attempt. Let thefe Thoughts fill us with vigor, and force us to proceed.
Thofe who have juft Notions of Popery, ought not to reft fatisfy'd that they themselves do abhor it: but they ought alfo to open the Eyes of their Brethren, and excite the fame abhorrence in others; that those whom Satan has bound for fo many years, may now be loofed. Especially we ought to be dili gent at this juncture of Time, when the feverity of our Laws do's fecond our endeavors: and the con fideration of their Temporal Intereft. will prevail with our Adverfaries to lend an Ear to our Reasons, and examine the force of them. Now 'tis poffible that this Book may be in fome meafure useful for the Converfion of Papifts; and therefore it cannot be thought unfeasonable.
Thirdly, It may be added, that our Jealousies of Popery have been lately reviv'd. We know the reftlefs Spirit of the Romish Clergy; that they will lay hold of every opportunity of establishing their Superftition among us, and that they will spare no pains in endeavoring to extirpate what they call Herefy: and therefore we ought not to be over-confident of our Security.
God only knows what changes may happen, and what dangers do threaten our Religion. But without all doubt it becomes us Spiritual Mariners fo far at least to think of a Storm, as to make provifion against it. For fhould it fuddenly overtake us, 'tis to be doubted, that many would make Shipwreck of their Faith.
Now 'tis poffible, that what I have written in the following Papers, may confirm the refolution of feme one or other, and make him more stedfaft in what he believes. It may increase his knowledge, and strengthen him against the day of Tryal. And certainly, whatsoever may fave a Soul from Death, ought not to be thought unfeasonable.