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the Members of the Honourable House of Commons, &c., E. F. wishes the true knowledge of God in Jesus Christ.


Although I do observe that new editions, accompanied with new additions, are sometimes published with new dedications; yet so long as he who formerly owned the subject does yet live, and has the same affections towards it, I conceive there is no need of a new patron, but of a new epistle.

Be pleased then, most honoured sir, to give me leave to tell you, that your eminency of place did somewhat induce me, both now and before, to make choice of you for its patron; but your endowments with grace did invite me to it, God having bestowed upon you special spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ: for it has been declared unto me, by them that knew you when you were but a youth, how Christ met with you then, and by sending his Spirit into your heart, first convinced you of sin, as was manifest by those conflicts which your soul then had both with Satan and itself, whilst you did not believe in Christ; secondly, of righteousness, as was manifest by the peace and comfort which you afterwards had, by believing that Christ was gone to the Father, and appeared in his presence as your advocate and surety that had undertaken for you; thirdly, of judgment, as has been manifest ever since, in that you have been careful with the true godly man, Psalm 112:5, to "guide your affairs with judgment," in walking according to the mind of Christ.

I have not forgotten what desires you have expressed to know the true difference between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace; and experimentally to be acquainted with the doctrine of free grace, the mysteries of Christ, and the life of faith. Witness not only your high approving of some heads of a sermon, which I once heard a godly minister preach, and repeated in your hearing, of the life of faith; but also your earnest request to me to write them out fair, and send them to you into the country; yea, witness your highly approving of this dialogue, when I first acquainted you with the contents thereof, encouraging me to expedite it to the press, and your kind acceptance, together with your cordial thanks for my love manifested in dedicating it to your honourable name.

Since then, worthy sire, it has pleased the Lord to enable me both to amend and enlarge it, I hope your affection will also be enlarged towards the matter therein contained, considering that it tends to the clearing of those forenamed truths, and, through the blessing of God, may be a means to root them more deeply in your heart. And truly, sir, I am confident the more they grown and flourish in any man's heart, the more will all heart-corruptions wither and decay. O sir, if the truths contained in this dialogue were but as much in my heart, as they are in my head, I were a happy man; for then should I be more free from pride, vain glory, wrath, anger, self-love, and love of the world, than I am; and then should I have more humility, meekness, and love, both to God and man, than I have. Oh! then should I be content with Christ alone, and live above all things in the world;—then should I experimentally know both how to abound and how to want;—and then should I be fit for any condition: nothing could come amiss to me. Oh, that the Lord would be pleased to write them in our hearts by his blessed Spirit!

Most humbly beseeching you still to pardon my boldness, and vouchsafe to take it into your patronage and protection, I humbly take my leave of you, and remain, your obliged servant to be commanded,


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