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This pious Manual, which contains several of the works enumerated by Wood in his Athenæ Oxonienses, has been several times published under the titles of The “Saint's Pocket-Book," and “God speaking from Mount Gerizim, or the Gospel in a Map.” But the first publication of it in a separate form, was undertaken, in the year 1766, by the Rev. John Ryland, when it was entitled “The voice of God in his promises, or strong consolations for true Christians, &c." and comprised but the three first chapters of this work. He gives the following account of it:
“But, above all, in that gaol he (Mr. Alleine) wrote this glorious Synopsis of the Covenant of Grace, or The Voice of the Lord in his Promises, to which he prefixed the Voioe of the Herald, and to which he subjoined the Voice of the Redeemed ; all which you have now in your hands.
“He also added a most rich and copious meditation, entitled, A Soliloquy, representing the Believer's Triumph in God's Covenant, and the vario
ous Conflicts and glorious Conquests of Faith over Unbelief.
“These precious and most comfortable pieces were sent from gaol to his beloved flock at Taunton, and were both printed in the year 1666, and inserted in a book written by his father-in-law, Mr. Richard Alleine, entitled, Heaven opened; or A brief and plain Discovery of the Riches of God's Covenant of Grace, being the third part of Vindiciæ Pietatis, by R. A. London, printed Anno 1666.
“ From this book a worthy and pious lady transcribed that part styled, The Voice of the Lord in his Promises.
“Mr. Hervey, before he died, saw this book in the original, and said it was the richest piece he ever read in his life.”
This little book was enriched with many new and appropriate scriptural references by the late Rev. David Simpson, of Macclesfield,* who evinced the high estimation in which he held it by causing it to be reprinted, and circulated in that populous town and neighbourhood. In this edition, these references have been corrected and verified, and greatly augmented by several ad
*The esteemed author of “Simpson's plea," &c.
The obsolete words have also been explained, and many notes introduced. In other respects the editions of Mr. Ryland, and that of 1793, have been followed.
The greater portion of this small work relates to that solemn covenant, which is virtually made, between every righteous man and his Maker, and which is adverted to and renewed in every solemn act of devotion. No author has written on it with greater clearness and ability than Mr. Joseph Alleine.
It is mentioned by his friend Mr. Baxter, as one of his greatest excellences, that in all his ministry he was extraordinarily addicted to open to the hearers the covenant of grace, and to explain religion in the true notion of covenanting with God, and covenant-keeping, and greatly to urge men to deliberate well-grounded resolutions in this holy covenant. So God was pleased to give him a certainty and sense of his divine faithfulness, in fulfilling the promises of his covenant, and a lively sense of all the benefits of it. And his faith in God, for the performance of his part, was as strong and fixed, as was his own resolution in the strength of grace to be true to God. And as he was resolved, through grace, never to forsake Christ, so Christ did never fail or forsake