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CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
THE RIGHT METHOD FOR A SETTLED PEACE OF CON.
SCIENCE AND SPIRITUAL COMFORT.
To the Poor in Spirit,..
The Case to be Resolved,
Direct. I. Discover the cause of your trouble,..
Direct. II. Discover well how much of your trouble is from melancholy or
from outward crosses, and apply the remedy accordingly,...
Direct. III. Lay first in your understanding sound and deep apprehensions
of God's nature,..
Direct. IV. Get deep apprehensions of the gracious nature and office of
Direct. V. Believe and consider the full sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice and
ransom for all,...
Direct. VI. Apprehend the freeness, fullness and universality of the law of
grace, or conditional grant of pardon and salvation to all men,.
DIRECT. VII. Understand the difference between general grace and special;
and between the possibility, probability, conditional certainty, and abso-
lute certainty of your salvation ; and so between the several degrees of
comfort, that these may afford,..
Direct. VIII. Understand the nature of saving faith,.
Direct. IX. Next, perform the condition, by actual believing,. ;
Direct. X. Next, review your own believing, and thence gather farther
DIRECT. XI. Make use, in trial, of none but infallible signs,..
Direct. XII. Know that assurance of justification cannot be gathered from
the least degree of saving grace,...
Direct. XIII. The first time of our receiving or acting saving grace, can-
not ordinarily be known,..
Direct. XIV. Know that assurance is not the ordinary lot of true Christians,
but only of a few of the strongest, most active, watchful and obedient,... 304
DIRECT. XV. Know that even many of the stronger and more obedient,
are yet unassured of salvation for want of assurance to persevere,. 310
Direct. XVI. There are many grounds to discover a probability of saving
grace, when we cannot yet discover a certainty; and you must learn, next
to the comforts of general grace, to receive the comforts of the probability
of special grace, before you expect or are ripe for the comforts of assurance, 312
DIRECT. XVII. Improve your own and others' experiences to strengthen
Direct. XVIII. Know that God hath not cominanded you to believe that
you do believe, nor that you are justified, or shall be saved (but only con-
ditionally,) and therefore your assurance hot a certainty properly of Di.
DIRECT. XIX. Know that those few that do attain to assurance, have it not
Direct. XX. Never expect so much assurance on earth, as shall set you
above all possibility of the loss of heaven, and above all apprehensions of
Direct. XXI. Be glad of a settled peace, and look not too much after rap-
tures and strong feelings of comfort; and if you have such, expect not a
constancy of them,..
Direct. XXII. Spend more time and care about your duty than your com-
forts, and to get, and exercise and increase grace than to discern the cer-
tainty of it,
Direct. XXIII Think not that those doubts and troubles which are caused
by disobedience will be ever well healed but by the healing of that diso-
DIRECT. XXIV. Content not yourself with a cheap religiousness, and to
serve God with that which costs you little or nothing ; and take every
call to costly duty or suffering for Christ, as a price put into your hand
for advancing your comforts,..
Direct. XXV. Study the great art of doing good; and let it be your every
day's contrivance, care and business, how to lay out all your talents to the
greatest advantage,. .
DIRECT. XXVI. Trouble not your soul with needless scruples, nor make
yourself more work than God has made you,.
Direct. XXVII. When God hath discovered your sincerity to you, fix it
in your memory; and leave not your soul open to new apprehensions,
except in case of notable declininys or gross sinning,..
Direct XXVIII. Beware of perplexing misinterpretations of scriptures,
providences, or sermons,
Direct. XXIX. Distinguish carefully between causes of doubting, and
causes of mere humiliation and amendment,..
Direct. XXX. Discern whether your doubts are such as must be cured by
the consideration of general or of special grace; and be sure that, when
you lose the sight of certain evidences, you let not go probabilities; or at
ihe worst, when you are beaten from both, and judge yourself graceless,
yet lose not the comforts of general grace,.....
Direct. XXXI. In all pressing necessities take advice from your pastors, 448
DIRECT. XXXII. Understand that the height of a Christian life, and the
greatest part of your duty, lieth in a loving delight in God, and a thank-
ful and cheerful obedience to his will...
THE CHARACTER OF A SOUND, CONFIRMED CHRISTIAN.
To the Reader,....
The Characters of a strong, confirmed Christian.
1. He liveth by such a faith of unseen things that governeth his soul in.
stead of sight,....
2. He hath cogent reasons for his religion,..
3. He seeth the well-ordered frame of sacred verities, and the integral parts
in their harmony or concert; and setteth not up one truth against
4. He adhereth to them, and practiceth them, from an inward con-natu-
ral principle, called" the Divine nature," and “the Spirit of Christ,” 481
5. He serveth not God for fear only, but for love,..
6. He loveth God, 1. Much for his goodness to himself. 2. And more for
his goodness to the church. 3. And most of all for his essential good-
ness and perfection,.....
7. He taketh this love and its expressions, for the heart and height of all his
8. He hath absolutely put his soul, and all his hopes, into the hand of Christ,
and liveth by faith upon him as his Saviour,...
- 9. He taketh Christ as the Teacher sent from God, and his doctrine for the
truest wisdom, and learneth of none but in subordination to him..... 488
LO. His repentance is universal and effectual, and hath gone to the root of
11. He loveth the light, as it showeth him his sin and duty, and is willing to
know the worst of sin, and the most of duty,...
12. He desireth the highest degree of holiness, and hath no sin which he
had not rather leave than keep, and had rather be the best, though in
poverty, than the greatest in prosperity,....
13. He liveth upon God and heaven as the end, reward, and motive of his life, 493
14. He counteth no cost or pains too great for the obtaining it, and hath
nothing so dear which he cannot part with for it,.
15. He is daily exercised in the practice of self-denial, as (next to the love
of God) the second half of his religion,...
16. He hath mortified his fleshly desires, and so far mastereth his senses
and appetite, that they make not his obedience very uneasy or uneven, 499
17. He preferreth the means of his holiness and happiness, incomparably be-
fore all provisions and pleasures of the flesh,
18. He is crucified to the world, and the world to him, by the cross of Christ,
and contemneth it through the belief of the greater things of the life to
19. He foreseeth the end in all his ways, and judgeth of all things as they
will appear at last,.
20. He liveth upon God alone, and is content with his favor and approba-
tion, without the approbation and favor of men,...
21. He hath absolutely devoted himself, and all that he hath, to God, to be
used according to his will,...
22. He hath a readiness to obey, and a quick and pleasant compliance of his
will to the will of God,..
23. He delighteth himself more in God, and heaven, and Christ, and holiness,
than in all the world ; religion is not tedious and grievous to him,..., 509
24. He is conscious of his own sincerity, and assured of his justification, and
title to everlasting joys,...
25. This assurance doth not make him more careless and remiss, but increas-
eth his love and holy diligence,....
26. Yet he abhorreth pride as the first-born of the devil, and is very low and
vile in his own eyes, and can easily endure to be low and vile in the
eyes of others,..
- 27. Being acquainted with the deceitfulness of the heart, and the methods
of temptation, he liveth as among snares, and enemies, and dangers,
in a constant watch; and can conquer many, and subtle, and great
temptations (through grace),.....
28. He hath counted what it may cost him to be saved, and hath resolved
not to stick at suffering, but to bear the cross and be conformed to his
crucified Lord, and hath already in heart forsaken all for him,....... 517
29. He is not a Christian only for company or carnal ends, or upon trust of
other men's opinions, and therefore would be true to Christ, if his rulers,
his teachers, his company, and all that he knoweth should forsake him, 520
30. He can digest the hardest truths of Scripture, and the hardest passages
of God's providence,
31. He can exercise all his graces in harmony, without neglecting one to use
another, or setting one against another,
32. He is more in getting and using grace, than in inquiring whether he
have it (though he do that also in its place),..
33. He studieth duty more than events, and is more careful what he should
be towards God, than how he shall here be used by him,.
34. He is more regardful of his duty to others, than of theirs to him, and
had much rather suffer wrong than do it,.
35. He keepeth up a constant government of his thoughts, restraining them
from evil, and using them upon God, and for him,
36. He keepeth a constant government over his passions, so far as that they
pervert not his judgment, his heart, his tongue or actions,..... 526
37. He governeth his tongue, employing it for God, and restraining it from
38. Heart-work and heaven-work are the principal matters of his religious
discourse, and not barren controversies or impertinences,....
39. He liveth upon the common great substantials of religion, and yet will
not deny the smallest truth, or commit the smallest sin, for any price
that man can offer him,..
40. He is a high esteemer, and careful redeemer of time, and abhorreth idle-
ness and diversions which would rob him of it,..
41. His heart is set upon doing all the good in the world that he is able : it is
his daily business and delight,...
42. He truly loveth his neighbor as himself,.
43. He hath a special love to all godly Christians as such, and such as will
not stick at cost in its due expressions ; nor be turned into bitterness
by tolerable differences,..
44. He forgiveth injuries, and loveth his enemies, and doth them all the good
he can; from the sense of the love of Christ to him,....
45. He doth as he would be done by; and is as precise in the justice of his
dealings with men, as in acts of piety to God,....
46. He is faithful and laborious in his outward trade or calling, not out of
covetousness, but obedience to God,...
47. He is very conscionable in the duties of his several relations, in his
family or other society, as a superior, inferior, or equal,.
48. He is the best subject, whether his rulers be good or bad, though infidel
and ungodly rulers may mistake, and use him as the worst,..
49. His trust in God doth overcome the fear of man, and settle him in a
constant fortitude for God,....
50. Judgment and zeal conjunct are his constitution; his judgment kindleth
zeal, and his zeal is still judicial,..
51. He can bear the infirmities of the weak, and their censures and abuses of
himself; and requiteth them not with uncharitable censure or reproach, 548
52. He is a high esteemer of the unity of Christians, and abhorreth the prin-
ciples, spirit, and practices of division,...
53. He seeketh the church's unity and concord, not upon partial, unrighteous,
or impossible, but upon the possible, righteous terms here mentioned, 556
54. He is of a mellow, peaceable spirit; not masterly, domineering, hurtful,
unquiet, or contentious,....
55. He most highly regardeth the interest of God, and men's salvation in the
world ; and regardeth no secular interest of his own, or any man's,
but in subserviency thereto,.....
56. He is usually hated for his holiness by the wicked, and censured for
his charity and peaceableness by the factious and the weak; and is
moved by neither from the way of truth,.
57. Though he abhor ungodly, soul-destroying ministers, yet he reverenceth
the office as necessary to the church and world; and highly valueth
the holy, faithful laborers,....
58. He hath great experience of the providence, truth, and justice of God,
to fortity him against temptations to unbelief,...
59. Though he greatly desireth lively affections and gifts, yet he much more
valueth the three essential parts of holiness, 1. A high estimation in
the understanding, of God, Christ, holiness, and heaven, above all
that be set in any competition. 2. A resolved choice and adhesion of
the will, to these above and against all competitors. 3. The seeking,
them first, in the endeavors of the life. And by these he judgeth of
the sincerity of his heart.....
60. He is all his life seriously preparing for his death, as if it were at hand;
and is ready to receive the sentence with joy; but especially he
longeth for the blessed day of Christ's appearing, as the answer of all
his desires and hopes,..
Six uses of these characters,.
FROM HIS BIRTH TO THE BEGINNING OF THE CIVIL WAR IN 1641.
The life of Richard Baxter extends over a little more than three quarters of a century. And perhaps in all the history of England, no period of the same length can be selected more abundant in memorable events, or more critical in its bearings on the cause of true liberty and of pure Christianity, than the seventysix years between the birth of Baxter and his death.
The Reformation of the English Church had been begun about the middle of the preceding century, by a wayward and arbitrary monarch, to gratify his own passions. Henry VIII. renounced the supremacy of the pope, only that he might be pope himself within the limits of his own dominions. He dissolved the monasteries, because their immense possessions made them worth plundering. He made the hierarchy independent of Rome, and dependent on himself, because he would admit no power co-ordinate with that of the crown. And though, in effecting these changes, he was under the necessity of employing the agency of some true reformers, who shared in the spirit of Wickliffe, and Luther, and Calvin, nothing was farther from his design than the intellectual or moral renovation of the people.
On his death, in 1547, an amiable prince, a boy in his tenth year, became nominally king of England and head of the English church. During the short reign of Edward VI. the reformation was carried on with a hearty good will, by Cranmer and his assoVOL. I.