Contemplations moral and divine / by a person of great learning and judgment.

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The Preface.

in the search and the discovery of the truth of matters in question, and hath (though that be not so generally known) with much care and diligence, considered and examined the Reasons and Evidences, both Natural and Moral, of Religion; these Writings, which so plainly manifest, though upon another occasion, his Sense and Judgment of the Christian Religion, might be of good use to ease many of the doubts and scruples of some persons, and to check the vain and inconsiderate presumption of others, about Religion. And his Judgment in the case is the more considerable, as in respect of his great ability, and the care and diligence which he hath used in the examination of it; so in respect of his freedom from all those things, whether of Natural constitution, or of profession, or wordly interest, which may be by some suspected to prejudice or byass the Judgments of others. And therefore I doubt not but some, who have a great respect for his person, and may perhaps not have the same thoughts of Religion which he hath, when they should see his Judgment in the case, might by the Authority thereof be moved to a further and better consideration of it. 'Tis true, the life of Religion is very visible in his Life and Actions, which are all the genuine product of a sound and well-grounded perwasion of the Truth of that Faith, which overcometh the World, and hath

Last edit 6 months ago by LaurenD13
p. 17
Complete

p. 17

The Preface.

hath indeed set him up much above it, yet because common Prudence may move a sober and considerate man to an external conformity to so reasonable a Religion, and to the practice of those excellent Virtues which it requires, these Writings may possibly give more satisfaction to some concerning his Judgment in the case, than his Life and Actions. And in that respect they may possibly come forth with some advantage, being written and published in this manner; for here we may read his most intimate and retired Thoughts.

And for these reasons I much desired to have prefixed his Name, or at least to have let the Reader know who he is; but I know that that would certainly have been displeasing to him; and therefore having made so bold with him in the Publication of these his Writings, I would not presume further to discover who he is, though for so just and honest ends; but have purposely left out some passages which would too plainly have made him known.

Being far distant from the Press, there may possibly be some few Typographical Errata, more than otherwise there should have been; but I hope that care hath been taken, that they are not many, nor very considerable; the sense with enable the Reader to amend them.

The

Last edit 6 months ago by LaurenD13
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The several Treatises now published are these, which should have been printed in this Order:

Of the Consideration of our Latter End. Of Wisdom, and the Fear of God. Of the Knowledge of Christ Crucified. The Victory of Faith over the World. Of Humility. Jacob's Vow. Of Contentation. Of Afflictions. A good method to entertain unstable and troublesom times. Changes and Troubles: A Poem. Of the Redemption of Time. The Great Audit. Directions touching the Keeping of the Lord's Day, in a Letter to his Children. Poems upon Christmas Day.

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Ut Nox longa quibus mentitur amica, Diesque Longa videtur opus debentibus, ut piger Annus Pupillis, quos dura premit custodia matrum: Sic mihi tarda fluunt ingrataque tempora, quæ spem Consiliumque morantur agendi graviter id quod Æquè pauperibus prodest, locupletibus æquè, Æquè neglectum pueris, senibusque nocebit.

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OF

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OF THE CONSIDERATION Of our LATTER END, AND The BENEFITS of It.

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DEUT. XXXII[32]. 29. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!

IT may be probably thought that the principal intention of this wish of Moses was, That the People of Israel had a due consideration of their final rejection; the ten Tribes for their Idolatry, and the two Tribes for their Crucifying of the Messias; and B not

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2 Of the Consideration

not only of that state of rejection, but of the causes of it, namely, Idolatry and rejection of the Messias; which consideration would have made them wise and prudent to avoid those great Apostasies which should occasion so terrible a desertion and rejection by God.

But certainly the words contain an evident truth, with relation to every particular person, and to that latter end that is common to all man-kind, namely, their latter end by death, and separation of the Soul and Body; the due consideration whereof is a great part of Wisdom, and a great means to attain and improve it; and very many of the sins and follies of man-kind, as they do in a great measure proceed from the want of an attentive and serious consideration of it, so would be in a great measure cured by it. It is the most certain, known, experienced truth in the World that all men must die, that the time of that death is uncertain, that yet most certainly it will come, and that within the compass of no long time: Though the time of our Life might be protracted to its longest period, yet it is ten thousand to one that it will not exceed fourscore years; where one man attains to that age, then thousand die before it; and this

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