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What should hinder me from doing the same?
OPPORTUNITIES for such exercises are continually afforded by the return of those days, whereon we conmemorate the heroic piety of ancient worthies, distinguished in the annals of religion; whose story presenteth us with occurrences, not, like those related in secular hiftories, of use only to politicians and generals, but universally interesting; instructing us in the art of governing the little kingdom within ; of atchieving the greatest conquests, and gaining the most glorious victories; since
" Better is he that ruleth his
spirit, than he that taketh a “ city;" teaching us how to live the life, and die the death of the righteous; a twofold task, which every man hath upon his hands, and in the performance of which he cannot fail, but at the hazard of fomething more valuable than crowns and sceptres.
The author of the following Confiderations was directed, in the choice of his subject, by the circumstances of his situation, some parts of them having been delivered from the pulpit, as occasion called for them, in the
shapel of St. Mary Magdalen College, upon the anniversary of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, before a learned and most respectable audience. The favourable manner, in which they were then heard, hath encouraged him to revise, enlarge, and digeft them into their present form, The reader hath now before him a compleat history of the Baptist, extracted from the Evangelists, and methodized according to the order of time, in which the events appear to have happened; with such observations and reflections, as the several parts of it
seemed to suggest, for the confirmation of faith, and the advancement of holinefs.
An attentive perufal of the subsequent pages may, it is hoped, be of service to the younger fiudents in theology, with a view to whom, and to those more particularly of the Society, whose welfare and profperity the author is bound by every tie to consult and promote, as they were at first composed, so they are now published; that, beholding the glories which display themselves in the exalted character here offered to their inspection, they may