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exy And ought to engross the chiefest part of our Studies. But yet we are still obliged to examine the Opinions of our Popish Adverfaries, and to ren member the Grounds of our difsenting from them. Otherwise we fhall not fufficiently value the unspeakable blessing of the Reformation : nor fall we prewent on frustrate the future attempts of Popish Exiffaries.
Now if the Popish Controversies ought ta bz look'd into, even when the danger of Popery is not Apparent, and soben Disputes of another kind do re quire the molts confiderable fbare of our time : cera tainly that Boak, which will make us well acquainted with the Popish Controversies by beftowing only some deifare hours upon them, is not only seasonable, but almost neceffary.hr -019 C3 2. Secondly, How fecure foever we Protestants are from the Popish Religion ; yet certainly 'twill ever be a principal part of our Christian Duty to regard the Souls of others : and we know there are mang Persons in this Nation, who tho' living and comiverfing with Protestants, do nevertheless adhere to the Church of Rome. A 'Tis matter of just grief, that we have not as yet affected their Conversion. Would ta God we could Learn Zeal from our Enemies ; and were as Induftrions in the propagation of pure Religion, as they Art of that which is miserably corrupted. Certainly the Papists are not proof against all our endeavors.
Let it shame a Christian to draw back, when Christ leads him on. Consider that we fight the Cause of God, that we. labor for the gaining of Souls; and that whether we fucceed or no, we faall be eternally rewarded for so great and glorious an Attempt. Let these Thoughts fill sis with vigor, and forces to proceed.
Those who have just Notions of Popery, ought not to rest Satisfyed that they themselves do abbor it : but they ought also to open the Eyes of their Brethren, and excite the fame abhorrence in others; that those whom Satan has bound for fo many years, may now be loofed. Especially we ought to be diligent af this juncture of Time, when the severity of our Laws do's second our endeavors: and the con. sideration of their Temporal Interest. will prevail with our Adversaries to lend an Ear to our Reasons, and examine the force of them. Now 'tis possible that this Book may be in some meafure useful for the Conversion of Papists ; and therefore it cannot be thought unseasonable.
Thirdly, It may be added, that our Jealousies of Popery have been lately reviv’d. We know the restless Spirit of the Romish Clergy; that they will lay hold of every opportunity of establishing their Superstition among us, and that they will spare no pains in endeavoring to extirpate what they call Heresy: and therefore we ought not to be over-confident of our Security.
God only knows what changes may happen, and what dangers do threaten our Religion. But without all doubt it becomes us Spiritual Mariner's so far. at least to think of a Storm, as to make provifron against it. For should it suddenly overtake us, 'tis to be doubted, that many would make Shipwreck of their Faith.
Nom 'tis possible, that what I have written in the following Papers, may confirm the resolution of fome one or other, and make him more stedfast in what he believes. It may increase his knowledge, and strengthen him against the day of Tryal. And certainly, whatsoever may save a Soul from Death, ought not to be thought unseasonable
Feb. 13. 1700.
chap. v. Objections against the former Chapter An-