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TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

AND TRULY NOBLE

RICHARD LORD VAUGHAN,

EARL OF CARBERY, KNIGHT OF THE HONOURABLE
ORDER OF THE BATH.

MY LORD,

I Have lived to see religion painted upon banners, and thrust out of churches, and the temple turned into a tabernacle, and that tabernacle made ambulatory, and covered with skins of beasts and torn curtains, and God to be worshipped, not as he is, " the father of our Lord Jesus" (an afflicted Prince, the King of sufferings), nor as the "God of peace," (which two appellatives God newly took upon him in the New Testament, and glories in for ever:) but he is owned now rather as "the Lord of Hosts," which title he was pleased to lay aside, when the kingdom of the gospel was preached by the Prince of peace. But when religion puts on armour, and God is not acknowledged by his New Testament titles, religion may have in it the power of the sword, but not the

VOL. IV. 11

power of godliness; and we may complain of this to God, and amongst them that are afflicted, but we have no remedy but what we must expect from the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, and the returns of the God of peace. In the mean time, and now that religion pretends to stranger actions upon new principles, and men are apt to prefer a prosperous error before an afflicted truth, and some will think they are religious enough, if their worshippings have in them the prevailing ingredient; and the ministers of religion are so scattered, that they cannot unite to stop the inundation, and from chairs or pulpits, from their synods or tribunals, chastise the iniquity of the error, and the ambition of evil guides, and the infidelity of the willingly-seduced multitude, and that those few good people, who have no other plot in their religion but to serve God and save their souls, do want such assistances of ghostly counsel, as may serve their emergent needs, and assist their endeavours in the acquist of virtues, and relieve their dangers when they are tempted to sin and death; I thought I had reasons enough inviting me to draw into one body those advices, which the several necessities of many men must use at some time or other, and many of them daily: that by a collection of holy precepts they might less feel the want of personal and attending guides, and that the rules for conduct of souls might be committed to a book, which they might always have; since they could not always

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