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length to be 01.y the occasion of what is now tendred
Oxon. Ch. Ch. Coll.
A LPHONSUS, King of Spain, is said to
A have found food and phyfick in reading Livy: And Ferdinand King of Sicily, in reading Quintus Curtius. But thou hast here nobler entertainments, vastly richer dainties, incomparably more fovereign medicines; I had almost faid, the very highest of angels food is here set before thee. And, as Pliny speaks, permista deliciis auxilia: Things that minister unto.grace and comfort; to holy life and liveliness.
Such is this treatise. This which is the only one extant, upon its great and necessary fubject. This, whose praise hath been long in the churches; and hath gone enamelled with the honourable reproaches of more than one English Bolfec. This whose great author, like the sun, is well known to the world, by eminence of heavenly light and labours.. This which, as his many other works, can be no other than manna unto found Christians; tho' no better, than stone and serpent to Socinians and their fellow-commoners.
Importunity hach drawn me to say thùs much more, than I could think needful to be said," concerning auy work of Dr. Owen's. - Needful in our day.it felf; a day wherein påuci facras fçripturas, plures nomina rerum, plurimi nomina magistrorum : féquuntur. Few do cleave to the holy scriptures; many do rest in fcholastick senseless sounds :: And most men do hang their faith: upon their Rabbi's fleeves,
This only I add; of the swarms every day ris. ing, there are few books but do want their readers. Yet if I understand aright, there are not many readers but do want this book.
In which censure, I think, I am no tyrant, (which the Philosopher names the worst of wild beasts :) and I am sure, I am no flatterer, (which he calls as justly, the worst of tame beasts.)
Let the simple souls(the pauciffimæ lectionis manci- . pia) who take the doctrine of distinct communion with the divine persons, to be a new fangled one, and uncouth; obferve the words of the Reverend Mr. Sam. Clark (the annotator on the Bible) in his sermon on i John i. 7. It is to be noted, that there is a distinct fellowship with each of the persons of the bleffed Trinity. Let them attend what is said by Mr. Lewis Stucley, in his preface to Mr. Polwheil's book of quenching the Spirit; . It is a most
glorious truth, tho considered but by few, that believers have, or may have, distinct communion
with the three perfons, Father, Son and Spirit. • This is arrested by the finger of God, and folemn• ly owned by the first and best age of christianity.” To name no more; let them read heedfully but the second chapter of tliis treatife, and its hoped that then they shall no longer contra antidotum infanıre ; no longer rage against God's holy medicinal truth, as St. Austin faith he did, while he was a Manichee; testifying in so many words, his error was his very God. :
Reader, I am,
That the saints have communion with God, i John
1. 3. considered to that purpose. Somewhat of the nature of communion in general.
IN the first epistle of John, chap i. ver. z. the
1 apostle assures them to whom he wrote, that the Fellowship of belicver's is with the Father and with bis Son Jesus Chřist: and this he doth with such an unusual kind of expression as bears the force of in alleveration, whence we have rendered it, Truty our fellowship, C.
he outward appearance and condition of the in those days being very mean and contemptheir leaders being accounted as the filth of world, and as the offscouring of all things, the ::g others unto fellowship with them, and a
pation of the precious things which they did
tible, their leag this world, and
enjoy, seems to be exposed to many contrary reasonings, and objections: what benefit is there in coinmunion with them? Is it any thing else but to be sharers in troubles, reproaches, scorns, and all manner of evils ? To prevent, or remove these and the like exceptions, the apostle, gives them to whom he wrote to know, and that with some earnestnefsi. of expression, that notwithstanding all the disadvantages their fellowship lay under, unto a carnal view, yet in truth it was, and would be found to be, (in reference to some with whom they held it) very honourable, glorious and desireable: For truly, faith he, our fellowship is with the Fatver, and with his Son Jesus Christ..
This being so earnestly and directly asserted by the apostle, we may boldly follow him with our affirmation, viz. That the saints of God have communion with him, and an holy and spiritual .conmunion it: is, as shall be declared. How this is spoken distinct ly, in reference to the Father, and the Son; must: afterwards be fully opened, and carried on..
By nature, since the entrance of sin, no man: hach any communion with God. He is light, we are darkness, and what communion hath light with darkness? He is life, we are dead. He is love, we are enmity, and what agreement can there be between us? Men in such a condition, have neither Christ, nor hope, nor God in the world, Eph. ii. 12. Being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, Chap. iv. 18. Now, two cannot walk together unless they be agreed, Amos iïi. 3. Whilst there is this distance between God and man, there is no'walking together for them in any fellowship, or communion. Our first interest in God, was so loft by sin, as that there was left un