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FORCE OF TRUTH.
FIRST ABIERICAN FROM THE SEVENTH LONDON EDITION.
-Ut si qais asellum
Pain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's cole: Who teacheth like him?
JOB xi. 12. xxxvi. 22.
ALMOST twenty years have now elapsed, since the ensuing Narrative was published. During this time the Author has had abundant opportunities of examining, over and over again, the principles which he then intended to inculcate. If therefore, he had, ön further reflection, materially altered his sentiments, he should have thought himself bound, by the strongest obligations, to retract what he had erroneously advanced. But he is thankful that, on the contrary, he feels it incumbent on him to declare most solemnly, as in the presence of God, that every thing he has since experienced, observed, heard, and read, has concurred in establishing his most assured confidence, that the doctrines recommended in this publication, are the grand and distinguishing peculiarities of genuine Christianity.
Very many verbal corrections, with a few retrencharents and additions, will be found in this edition. In
improvements of this kind, the Author has bestowed considerable pains; but he has been scrupulously, and almost superstitiously, careful to admit no alterations, which can in the least degree change the meaning of any passage.
He feels thankful, that the leading desire of his heart, in publishing a work, which seems to relate almost exclusively to himself and his own little concerns, has not been wholly disappointed: but he would earnestly request the prayers of all, who favour the doctrines here inculcated, for a more abundant and extensive blessing on this, and all his other feeble endeavours, to “ contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.”
CHAPEL-STREET, Oct. 16, 1798.
N. B. The First Edition was dated Feb. 26, 1779, when the Author was Curate of Revenstone and WestonUnderwood, near Olney, Bucks.
FORCE OF TRUTH..
An account of the state of the Author's mind and con
science in the early part of his life; especially stating what his sentiments and conduct were, at the beginning of that change of which he proposes to give the history.
THOUGH I was not educated in what is commonly considered as ignorance of God and religion; yet, till the sixteenth year of my age, I do not remember that I ever was under any serious conviction of being a sinner, in danger of wrath or in need of mercy; nor did I ever during this part of my life, that I recollect, offer one hearty prayer to God in secret. “ Being alienated from God through the ignorance that was in me,” I lived without him in the world; and as utterly neglected to pay him any voluntary service, as if I had been an Atheist in principle.
But about my sixteenth year I began to see that I was a sinner. I was indeed a leper in every part, there being no health in me;' but out of many ex