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ON THE FREE MERCY OF THE GOD OF LOVE AND PEACE' TO POOR SINNERS
IN THE SON OF HIS LOVE,' AS SET FORTH FIGURATIVELY IN
THE VISION OF THE DRY BONES
AND RELATED IN CHAPTER XXXVII, WITH SOME FAINT VIEWS OF ITS
BY JOHN WADE.
This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise;'
(Printed for the Author,)
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
To them that are written among the living in Jerusalem,'
• Beloved of God, called to be saints; grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.' (Isaiah iv. 3 ; Romans i. 7.)
If the reason be asked (as well it may) why such a poor ignorant mortal should presume to appear in public, I will endeavour simply to state the circumstance by which the Lord was pleased to open and draw forth those testimonies contained in the following pages.
It came to pass on a certain day, that a certain person in the ministry called upon me, and wished to read some letters I had received from Dr. HAWKER ; after reading, he requested to copy them for the Gospel Magazine, to which I consented.* And as the Lord has endeared the glory of his grace to my heart, I said, if ever those letters went from me, I intended, if it were the Lord's pleasure, to give a testimony before his people of the truth and reality of his own word, revealed, confirmed, and sealed, by his own power, and in his own time and way, freely of his own good will and pleasure to me, as a poor, helpless, and guilty sinner; his forbearance and long-suffering mercy, wisdom, power, everlasting love, and faithfulness, through all my path, as a dear covenant God in Christ Jesus ; and also the glorious and precious person and love of God the Holy Ghost, in breaking forth upon my soul, and loosing my bonds; taking of the things of Christ and showing them to me, leading me to know and enjoy my eternal union with Christ, and my completeness and blessedness in him.
I was then led to enquire of the Lord, if it were his will to bring to my remembrance those things which he had wrought and taught in my soul during those many years he had led me in the wilderness ? After some time had passed in waiting upon, and for the Lord, those scriptures in the title page were laid upon my mind ; and as circumstances were brought to my mind, the sheets soon became too bulky to accompany the letters in the Magazine, although I endeavoured as much as possible to cut it short; it was then thought most advisable to make them into a small tract and send them forth under the Lord's providence.
I have thus far thought proper to state the circumstances by which I was led into the subject, and to show that it came not from my wisdom, or the teaching of man, but was freely given by the Lord. But however pure these things were received from the fountain, yet in passing through my poor polluted nature, there are the sad discoveries of creature weakness and defilement ; and no wonder, while my whole nature is one complete mass of sin and corruption, in every thought, every desire, and every affection, which appears to pollute every thing that passes through it. So that, instead of glorying in the flesh, I am led down into the secret mysteries of iniquity within, in the deep and subtle workings of which I cannot fathom or define, and which are daily and hourly brought up to view, under which I groan and cry~
* Behold I am vile.' Yea, so very poor in spiritual things, that I cannot raise up one single longing or spiritual desire or affection, or command one ray of light or opening into the word, the mysteries of the kingdom, or the covenant of grace. Yea, the Lord has so ordered the whole of my path in every particular, as to have the whole glory to himself; not only in giving every spiritual blessing in Christ from everlasting, but also the amazing depths of wisdom and sovereignty displayed in the opening and giving out of those blessings, as to baffle and confound my wisdom and pride, and leave me nothing to glory in but Him, who is the glory of his people Israel. (Luke ii. 32.) And in closing this preface, I desire to bear my testimony to the sweet fruits produced by the Spirit, as 'love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,' (Gal. v. 22, 23); and to induce the tenderest affection and regard to His dear name, His honour and glory.
I now desire to commit the whole to the sovereign will and pleasure of the Lord, humbly praying him to pardon every error ; and that, so far as His purpose, His word and work are found in it, His blessing may be upon it, to prosper it in the thing whereunto He hath sent it; well knowing: that the whole government of His kingdom is upon His shoulders, to order it; and by His own power, teaching, and witnessing, to confirm and establish that kingdom in the souls of His own people : and the sure effects will flow, to the eternal praise and glory of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, now and for ever. Amen. (Isaiah ix. 6, 7: Matt. vi. 13; Luke xvii. 21; Romans xiv. 17.)
JOHN WADE. July, 1831.