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deeply important subject therein set forth; which is so especially necessary in the present “ dark and cloudy day," when the glory and simplicity of the “ Everlasting Gospel" is so greatly obscured; yea, when, in many instances, “ the foundations” are attempted to be destroyed.
The following treatise was sent by the late venerated Author at various times to a friend, who was then Editor of a religious periodical, for monthly insertion. It was considered, however, better to reserve the publication until the whole was completed, and publish it in a consolidated form. The Author was permitted by a gracious God to complete his part; but his Friend was removed from this earthly scene before his portion of the work was accomplished; and through a course of events, to which it is not necessary to allude, the manuscript was purchased from the family of the deceased, and upon me devolves the pleasing duty of introducing it to God's redeemed ones, convinced that, under the Lord's blessing, the publication cannot fail to minister both to His glory, and to His people's happiness.
The design and end of the Author were to display the riches of God's grace, in opening the glorious mystery of salvation in the communication of that Heavenly joy and Everlasting triumph of the believer, in ascribing to God alone all the glory. Indeed, his chief drift
throughout this precious work, is to encourage the humble disciple of the Lord Jesus to lift up his head, knowing that his “ redemption draweth nigh;" when he shall put off, not only the remains of sin, but every temptation to it, and “return and come to Zion with songs and Everlasting joy upon his head." The anticipation of the “glory that shall be revealed,” will cause him in the house of his pilgrimage to rejoice in his covenant-keeping God, and to eat “his meat with gladness and singleness of heart.”
My inclination would have led me to accompany this treatise with a short memoir of the Author. It would have been a gratification, however imperfectly I might have done it, to record the talents, the work of faith, and labour of love, of one whose memory I cherish with enduring veneration. But, as I believe, some particulars of his life have been already given to the public, I refrain from saying more, than just to allude to its happy termination. After having walked with the Church for nearly half a century, in all humility of mind, and with unwearied zeal fulfilling the part of a watchful and faithful Pastor; after a course visited and chequered with trials and temptations, yet abounding in the joy of the Holy Ghost, he threw off his earthly tabernacle, died in faith, and entered into the joy of his Lord, of whom he was a highly-favoured servant, on
the sixth day of April, in the year 1827. In concluding these few remarks, I can only add, that in conducting this work through the press, it has proved to me a sweet substantial spiritual repast, and, as I trust, lastingly instructive and edifying. My prayers will go before and follow it, that He whose office in the Covenant of Grace it is to glorify the Lord Jesus (and without whose operation, no heartfelt enjoyment of this or any other work can be profitable to the Church of God), will graciously be pleased to bless it to the souls of His people, and cause it to minister in His Church to “ the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Amen.
LONDON, May, 1848.
THE DYING PILLOW.
Introductory Remarks, being an affectionate Personal Address from the
Writer to the Reader.
UNDER deep humbling of soul, in the contemplation of Divine goodness for the preservation of my unworthy life to the present hour—and under the impression of warm affection to the people of God, whom the Lord hath also preserved alive to this day—I desire to congratulate the spiritual Church of the living and true God. Grace, mercy, and peace be with you, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, through the anointings of the Holy Ghost. In looking back on the events of seventy-four years now past—the days gone are to be numbered with the generations before the flood—I here see enough in all that relates to me, to lay low in the dust of self-abasement before God: I behold, no less, in all that relates to the Divine dealings of the Lord towards me, abundant cause to raise a voice of praise, and to say with one of old, “Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life."* I can, and do therefore, set to my seal that God is true. And amidst all the reproaches of my own faithless and unbelieving heart, I arise, by Sovereign grace, above all that I am the subject and the object of in myself, to live upon Him and his unchangeableness, who is the same faithful God,"yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” +
But, while calculating the revolutions of time, and beholding the beautiful order of things in the Divine government, I cannot but connect with the view, the dying state in which our nature stands. True, indeed, it is, the sun of this lower world occupies the same place in the heavens as it did when I was born; the regular return of seasons is the same; and the Lord hath said, “While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease." $ And the Lord hath further promised, that those ordinances of heaven and earth become the sure pledge of his Everlasting covenant in the higher department of grace with his people. But not so man in his present being of nature; his “LIFE IS BUT A VAPOUR, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”ş “ As a flower of the field so he flourisheth; for the wind passeth over it and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more."|| “Your fathers,” said one of old, "where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?"| Our lengthening shades lengthen as we go; and amidst the zenith of the great luminary of the day, as he is in himself to us, he becomes a setting sun, indicating
* Ps. xxiii. 6.
& James iv. 14.
| Heb. xiii. 8.
Gen. viii. 22.
(Zech. i. 5.