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Prefatory note.

It appears that the following treatise was published by the widow of Owen, five years after his death; and we learn, from the preface which Isaac Chauncy prefixed to it, that the author had left it ready for the press. The most important part of it relates to the evidence by which we ascertain whether or not sin holds dominion over the heart. In the description and sifting of this evidence, the author manifests all his singular powers of spiritual analysis and discrimination.

We have had access to a manuscript which belonged to Dr Owen’s friend, Sir John Hartopp, and which contains a large portion of this treatise. It serves to show how many obscure passages in the writings of Owen might have been elucidated and rendered perfectly clear, if the same advantage had been enjoyed in the preparation of his other works for this edition. The following are some instances of important corrections made on the text, as it stood in all previous editions, by the aid of this manuscript. On its authority we have altered “disavow” into “avow;” “it is that act by which the mind loads itself,” into “it is that art by which the mind leads itself;” “mind” into “wind;” “sin hath not the dominion,” into “sin hath the dominion,” the sense of the passage, as is evident from the context, having been spoiled by the insertion of the negative; “invisible” into “irresistible;” “affairs” into “affections,” etc.

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