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HEN the following DISSER
TATIONS were composed, the author had not resolved whether he should submit them to the review of the public or not.
Several divines had already written on the subject of Covenanting, with distinguished success. Scarce any thing could be said, in the form of Sermons, but what they had observed. He did not choose to repeat to a Congregation what every one might read in the closet. These things determined him to confine his attention to what may be called the HistoRY OF FOEDERAL TRANSACTIONS, that he might illustrate the argument deduced, from the example of the Saints in every age. It immediately occurred to him, that this province had been less occupied than others; and that two advantages might accrue from this plan: It would appear, in the first place, That, though Covenanters have few, or none, who are deemed great and wise 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 most distinguished saints that ever existed in this world, Covenant-renovation having been the usual mean of Reformation in the Church, and of reviving to the fouls of the Godly, since 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 requisite for their arrange
on a publication. It is sincerely regretted, that some material parts of information could not be procured by the author, in his present circunstances; but, where information was a-wanting, he chose to be silent, rather than hazard conjectures. Some may cenfure him, perhaps, for producing too many vouchers, and others may still deinand more; but, as the former objection appears to be without foundation; so he thall endeavour to satisfy the latter, when the defect of evidence, as to particular facts, shall be pointed out. The formality of method, used in delivering the discourses at first, is still retained. It may appear insipid, perhaps, to the refined taste of fome readers; but it was deemed proper to prefer order and perspicuity to elegance; as divisions of difcourses render them more memorable and plain to some sorts of readers.
It will also be remembered, by those who heard the first part of these Disfer
tations, that some of the Reflections
THAT the Father of Mercies may
accompany these Dissertations, so