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Epistle Dedicatory,..


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

the Mediator,


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

your probabilities,.


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.

vine faith,


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

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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...




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,..

... 540

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,.







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.


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