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To the right honourable, the Commons of England, in Parliament assembled.


All that I shall preface to the ensuing discourse is, that seeing the nation’s welfare and your own actings are therein concerned (the welfare of the nation and your own prosperity in your present actings being so nearly related, as they are, to the things of the ensuing discourse), I should be bold to press you to a serious consideration of them as now presented unto you, were I not assured — by your ready attention unto, and favourable acceptation of, their delivery — that, being now published by your command, such a request would be altogether needless. The subject-matter of this sermon being of so great weight and importance as it is, it had been very desirable that it had fallen on an abler hand; as also that more space and leisure had been allotted to the preparing of it — first, for so great, judicious, and honourable an audience; and, secondly, for public view — than possibly I could beg from my daily troubles, pressures, and temptations, in the midst of a poor, numerous, provoking people. As the Lord hath brought it forth, that it may be useful to your Honourable Assembly, and the residue of men that wait for the appearance of the Lord Jesus, shall be the sincere endeavour at the throne of grace of

Your most unworthy Servant

In the work of the Lord,

J. Owen.

Coggeshall, May 1, 1649

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