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PREFACE BY A FORMER ENGLISH EDITOR.

If any inquire why the ensuing work is re-published, I would beg leave to lay before them the following intelligence.

At an association of the ministers and messengers of the Baptist Churches in the counties of Northampton, Leicester, &c. held at Nottingham, in the year 1784, a resolution was termed to establish through the association, a meeting of prayer for the general revival and spread of religion. This was to be observed the first Monday evening in every calendar month, by all the churches. It still continues.—In 1786, another Baptist association commonly called the Midland, held that year at Aulcester, in the county of Warwick, entered into the same resolution. Many other churches, particularly in Yorkshire, have adopted, and now follow, the above practice. We have the pleasure also to find, that several Pædobaptist churches statedly meet on those evenings for the same purpose.

The re-publication of the following work is with the avowed design of promoting the above agreement and practice. Those concerned in its first institution, never intended it should be confined to any peculiar connexion, or particular denomination. Rather they ardently wished it might become general among the real friends of truth and holiness. The advocates of error are indefatigable in their endeavours to overthrow the distinguishing and interesting doctrine of Christianity; those doctrine which are the grounds of our hope, and sources of our joy. Surely it becomes the followers of Christ, to use every effort, in order to strengthen the things which remain.

By re-publishing the following work, I do not consider myself as becoming answerable for every sentiment it contains. An author and an editor are very distinct characters. Should any entertain different views respecting some of the prophecies in the inspired page, from those that are here advanced, yet such may, and I hope will, approve of the general design.

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PREFACE

In the present imperfect state, we may reasonably expect a diversity of sentiments upon religious matters. Each ought to think for himself; and every one has a right, on proper occasions, to show his opinion. Yet all should remember, that there are but two parties in the world, each engaged in opposite causes; the cause of God and of Satan; of holiness and sin; of heaven and hell. The advancement of the one, and the downfall of the other, must appear exceedingly desirable to every real friend of God and man. If such in some respects entertain different sentiments, and practise distinguishing modes of worship, surely they may unite in the above business. O for thousands upon thousands, divided into small bands in their respective cities, towns, villages, and neighbourhood, all met at the same time, and in pursuit of one end, offering up their united prayers, like so many ascending clouds of incense before the Most High!—May he shower down blessings on all the scattered tribes of Zion! Grace, great grace be with all them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity! Amen!

Olney, May 4th, 1789.

JOHN SUTCLIFF.

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