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Dedication

To the Honourable the Lady Diana Verny.

MADAM,

I Here present Your Honour with the Transcript of that Sermon which your Command, at first to Preach, and since to Write out, made a Duty. It is a great Interest which your noble Favours have purchased in all I call mine, and therefore Obedience to your Commands herein is but a just Debt; which I was the more willing to pay, that so your Honour might have a fit Opportunity for a more leisurely Contemplation of those things which your Attention and Affections were so concerned in at the hearing. My xDesign was, to call your Heart off from the Pleasantries of Sense, and to be (if God would do me so great an Honour) an instrumental Redeemer of your precious Soul out of the hand of present Contentments, which the best of us are too willingly, by the strength misguided Affections, captivated to.

The World is too little and too strait for our boundless Affections; the Soul is too much confined whilst Sense terminates its Respects, because this Bed is too short for a Man stretch himself upon it, Isa. xxviii. 20. Perishing Comforts to an immortal Soul are as unsuitable as a short Bed to a Man of a tall Stature, there is little Ease or Rest in one or xithe other. Love and Joy are never rightly placed but upon Things above: As the Strength of our Sorrows should be bestowed upon our Sins, so the Strength of our Joys should be bestowed upon Christ. I confess I know none who have a fairer Title to Satisfaction and Joy from an outward Condition than your Honour hath, to who God hath given so noble an Extract, so hopeful a Son, so fair an Estate. Job xxix. 3, 4, 6. The Candle of God shines upon your Head, and the Secret of God is upon your Tabernacle: Your steps are washed in Butter, and the Rocks pour you out Rivers of Oyl. Riches, Honour, Beauty, Parts, have all conspired to make xiiyou as happy as the short Arm of such finite Felicities can do: yet, Madam, the joy of a Name written in Heaven transcends all these as far as the Light of a Sun-beam doth that of a Glow-worm. How happy therefore is your Honour, who (I am fully perswaded) have as good a Title to this Joy as to the former; for surely that God who hath so fairly written his Law in your Heart, and his Name in your Forehead, had also written your Name in Heaven. Which that your Honour may, by the eye of Faith, be enabled to read in the fairest Character which divine Love can make, is the hearty Prayer of,

Madam, Your Honour´s most
humbly devoted Servant

Matthew Mead.

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