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OF THE REVEREND AND LEARNED
. MR JOHN WILLISON,
LATE MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL AT DUNDEE.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
TORY : OR, A TREATISE
CONCERNING THE SANC-
TIFICATION OF A CON
PRINTED BY J. MOIR, PATERSON'S COURT.
THE subject of this book, however melancholy it
I may appear to some, yet it is necessary to all; seeing the word of God, and our own experience, do assure us, that “ Man, who is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble ;” and that he “ is born to troubles, as the sparks fly upwards.” Nay, God's dearest children are not exempted from this common fate. We see what is the character God giveth of his church, Isa. liv. 11. “ O thou afflicted, and toffed with tempests, and not comforted.”
If in this world, then, we must look for tribulation, it is highly necessary for every man to seek direction how to provide for it, and behave under it, so as he may glorify God, edify others, and attain to eternal happi ness at last. The tribulations we have to look for here are manifold; but, among those that are outward, I know none about which men ought to be more thoughtful and concerned, than bodily lickness, that usual harbinger of death, and which ushers the way to judgment,
This is a subject not much handled in public sermons, which are delivered only to them that are in health, the sick being incapable to attend them. Where. fore, it seems the more necessary to handle it in writing, that so the afflicted may have a book in their hou. fes, and at their bed-Gides, as a monitor to preach to them in private, when they are restrained from hearing fermons in public.
And though sometimes ministers sermons may be very suitable to the case of the sick and afflicted ; yet, alas ! the most part are careless and forgetful hearers of these things, while they are in health and prosperity, as reckoning the evil day at some distance from them, A book, then, such as the following Directory, being with them in time of sickness and affiliation, may, by the divine blelling, be useful to bring to their remem- A 2
brance thole counie's an admonitions which they rery much neglected in the time of their health.
Again, minuters of the cipele thought never fo much inclined to attend the tick, yet, by reason of dit ability and multiplieity of seher work, cannet be always with them, to directs reicive, and comfort them. But fuch a book as this, they may have it at han co confull with.
Anit, in regard the affi.cted for the mot part are out of cale to read for themfeites, it would be a molt charitable work for friends or neighbours that attend them, to lay hold on proper featjes for reading such a book as this in their hearing i and efpecially fuch chapters or directions as they judze pott fuiable for them. Thus you might be helped in fome meafure to exoner your consciences, and do your laft otices of kindness to your fick and dying friends, when you can ferve them no longer in this world.
I might have brought in and handled fome controverlies (had I been fond of them) in the ensuing treatife, about the administration of the Lord's fupper to the sick, and about extreme unction, which some also begin to plead for, and thence have taken occasion to touch at some other new usages, such as the middle fate, prayers for the dead, and other Popish errors, that fome (called Protestants) would have revived and intro. duced among us. But I have industriously thunned what is controverfial, and kept close to what is practical and owned by all true Christians.
Por preventing the growth of these and other errors, (from which this nation hath been much longer free than others) I wish all ranks among us would closely observe the sacred rale of faith, God's word, and remember the folemn and national engagements we of this land are under, to maintain the pure truths of God therein contained, in opposition to all sorts of errors, whether Popish, Pelagian, Arian, Antinomian, &c. And, may we ever abhor the doctrine that would teach us to break these bands asunder!
Have we not ground this day to suspect that Satan is carrying on a deep and subtle plot for shaking our