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HEN the following DISSERTATIONS were compofed, the author had not refolved whether he fhould fubmit them to the review of the public or not. Several divines had already written on the fubject of Covenanting, with diftinguifhed fuccefs. Scarce any thing could be faid, in the form of Sermons, but what they had obferved. He did not choofe to repeat to a Congregation what every one might read in the clofet. These things determined him to confine his attention to what may be called the HISTORY OF FOEDERAL TRANSACTIONS, that he might illuftrate the argument deduced, from the example of the Saints


every age. It immediately occurred to him, that this province had been lefs occupied than others; and that two advantages might accrue from this plan: It would appear, in the first place, That, though Covenanters have few,


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or none, who are deemed great and wife in this age, to bear them company; yet they are kept in countenance by the practice of the best and greatest of men,-and the moft diftinguished faints that ever exifted in this world. Covenant-renovation having been the ufual mean of Reformation in the Church, and of reviving to the fouls of the Godly, fince the world began. In the next place, The argument taken from the approved example of the Saints appeared, by much, the easiest to be handled by the author, and understood by the reader. Examples are more readily comprehended than precepts and doctrines, or prophecies. The greater part of mankind are better able to judge of what is done, than what ought to be done. And, Providence having laid the materials to hand, honesty and diligence, more than capacity, were requifite for their arrangement. Thefe were fome of the reafons which induced him to adventure


on a publication. It is fincerely regretted, that fome material parts of information could not be procured by the author, in his prefent circumstances; but, where information was a-wanting, he chofe to be filent, rather than hazard conjectures. Some may cenfure him, perhaps, for producing too many vouchers, and others may ftill deinand more; but, as the former objection appears to be without foundation; fò he fhall endeavour to fatisfy the latter, when the defect of evidence, as to particular facts, fhall be pointed out. The formality of method, ufed in delivering the difIt may courfes at first, is still retained. appear insipid, perhaps, to the refined tafte of fome readers; but it was deem ́ed proper to prefer order and perfpicuity to elegance; as divifions of difcourfes render them more memorable and plain to fome forts of readers.

It will alfo be remembered, by those who heard the first part of these Disser


tations, that fome of the Reflections are omitted, and others of them tranfplanted to a different place from that which they originally held. The fame Reflection, having occurred oftener than once, is retained only in the place in which it appeared to be most proper.

THAT the Father of Mercies may accompany thefe Differtations, fo far as agreeable to his will, with his bleffing, is the earnest wish of


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