R. B. Unto the Friendly Reader wisheth Salvation.

FORASMUCH as that, which above all things I propose to myself, is to declare and defend the truth, for the service whereof I have given up and devoted myself, and all that is mine; therefore there is nothing which for its sake (by the help and assistance of God) I may not attempt. And in this confidence, I did some time ago publish certain propositions of divinity, comprehending briefly the chief principles and doctrines of truth; which appearing not unprofitable to some, and being beyond my expectation well received by many, though also opposed by some envious ones, did so far prevail, as in some part to remove that false and monstrous opinion, which lying fame, and the malice of our adversaries, had implanted in the minds of some, concerning us and our doctrines.

In this respect it seemed to me not fit to spare my pains and labour; and therefore, being actuated by the same Divine Spirit, and the like intention of propagating the truth, by which I published the propositions themselves, I judged it meet to explain them somewhat more largely at this time, and defend them by certain arguments.

Perhaps my method of writing may seem not only different, but even contrary, to that which is commonly used by the men called divines, with which I am not concerned: inasmuch as I confess myself to be not only no imitator and admirer of the school-men, but an opposer and despiser of them as such, by whose labour I judge the Christian religion to be so far from being bettered, that it is rather destroyed. Neither have I sought to accommodate this my work to itching ears, who desire rather to comprehend in their heads the sublime notions of truth, than to embrace it in their hearts: for what I have written comes more from my xiiheart than from my head; what I have heard with the ears of my soul, and seen with my inward eyes, and my hands have handled of the Word of Life, and what hath been inwardly manifested to me of the things of God, that do I declare; not so much regarding the eloquence and excellency of speech, as desiring to demonstrate the efficacy and operation of truth; and if I err sometimes in the former, it is no great matter; for I act not here the Grammarian, or the Orator, but the Christian; and therefore in this I have followed the certain rule of the Divine Light, and of the Holy Scriptures.

And to make an end; what I have written, is written not to feed the wisdom and knowledge, or rather vain pride of this world, but to starve and oppose it, as the little preface prefixed to the propositions doth show; which, with the title of them, is as followeth.

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