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PRE FACE.

In making the following selections, I have, for obvious reasons, omitted those works of this venerated author which are familiar to the Christian public ; and have been guided by a desire to provide a book suited to the wants of private Christians, and of Christian families. Had it been my object to afford the theological scholar the means of judging respecting Baxter's opinions and his modes of reasoning on disputed subjects in divinity, these two volumes would have been made up of very different materials.

The writings of Baxter are distinguished, even above those of his cotemporaries, by the peculiarities of the man and of the age in which he lived. Those only who know what the author was, what were the vicissitudes through which he passed, what were the changes and commotions of the times in which he lived, and what were the men with whom he had to do, can enter fully into the spirit of his writings. It is simply with a view of helping the unlearned reader to a knowledge of the man and of the age, that the Life of Baxter has been prefixed to this selection from his works. Literary men and theologians will find the

more extensive and labored work of the late Mr. Orme on the same subject, much better adapted to

their use.

When I began the preparation of these volumes, I expected to see the end of them much earlier. But I thank God that while I was studying the writings and the history of this eminent saint, and was seeking to imbibe that spirit which made him so successful a pastor, my studies were interrupted by a signal revival of the work of God among the people of my charge. Whatever delay has attended the publication, has been caused by this happy interruption.

Now reader, let these devout and searching treatises have that attention which they deserve. Read to learn what truth is, and to receive the truth in love ; to learn what duty is, and to do it.

New Haven, Oct. 28, 1831.

CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

PAGE.

AND SPIRITUAL COMFORT.

Epistle Dedicatory,

267

To the Poor in Spirit,

272

The Case to be Resolved,

283

Direct. I. Discover the cause of your trouble,

284

Direct. II. Discover well how much of your trouble is from melancholy or

from outward crosses, and apply the remedy accordingly, .

286

Direct. III. Lay first in your understanding sound and deep apprehensions

of God's nature,

291

DIRECT. IV. Get deep apprehensions of the gracious nature and office of the

Mediator,

297

Direct. V. Believe and consider the full sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice and

ransom for all,

299

DIRECT. VI. Apprehend the freeness, fullness and universality of the law of

grace, or conditional grant of pardon and salvation to all men,

299

Direct. VII. Understand the difference between general grace and special ;

and between the posssibility, probability, conditional certainty, and abso-

solute certainty of your salvation ; and so between the several degrees of

comfort that these may afford,

300

DIRECT. VIII. Understand the nature of saving faith,

307

Direct. IX. Next, perform the condition, by actual believing,

310

Direct. X. Next, review your own believing, and thence gather farther

assurance,

316

Direct. XI. Make use, in trial, of none but infallible signs,

326

DIRECT. XII. Know that assurance of justification cannot be gathered from

the least degree of saving grace,

345

DIRECT. XIII. The first time of our receiving or acting saving grace, cannot

ordinarily be known,

354

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, 358

Direct. XV. Know that even many of the stronger and more obedient, are

366

get unassured of their salvation for want of assurance to persevere, ·

PAQE

Direct. XVI. Thəre 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, 368

Direct. XVII. Improve your own and others experiences to strengthen your

probabilities,

372

Direct. XVIII. Know that God hath not commanded you to believe that you

do believe, nor that you are justified, or shall be saved (butonly conditionally,)

and therefore your assurance is not a certainty properly of Divine faith, 377

Direct. XIX. Know that those few that do attain to assurance, have it not

constantly,

386

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 danger, 387

Direct. XXI. Be glad of a settled peace, and look not too much after raptures

and strong feelings of comfort; and if you have such, expect not a constancy

of them,

395

Direct. XXII. Spend more time and care about your duty than your comforts,

and to get, and exercise, and increase grace, than to discern the certainty of it, 398

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 disobedience, 404

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 prize put into your hand for advan.

cing your comforts,

437

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,

448

Direct. XXVI. Trouble not your soul with needless scruples, nor make

yourself more work than God has made you,

455

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 declinings or gross sinning,

471

Direct. XXVIII. Beware of perplexing misinterpretations of scriptures, pro-

vidences, or sermons,

477

DIRECT. XXIX. Distinguish carefully between causes of doubting, and causes

of mere humiliation and amendment,

485

Direct. XXX. Discern whether your doubts are such as must be cured by the

consideration of generalor of special grace; and be sure that, when you lose

the sight of certain evidences, you let not go probabilities; or at the worst,

when you are beaten from both, and judge yourself graceless, yet lose not

the comforts of general grace,

528

Direct. XXXI. In all pressing necessities take advice from your pastors, 533

Direct. XXXII. Understand that the height of a christian life, and the great.

est part of your duty, lieth in a loving delight in God and a thankful and

cheerful obedience to his will,

545

MAKING LIGHT OF CHRIST; A Sermon,

557

PASSAGES OF THE LIFE OF MRS. BAKER,

591

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