« הקודםהמשך »
In the Life of the Rev. Mr, Matthew Henry, we have the following Character given us of Robert War burton, Esq; of Grange, the Son of the eminently religious Judge Warburton, and the Father of Mr. Matthew Henry's second Wife, “ He was a Gentle“ man that greatly affected Retirement and Privacy, « especially in the latter Part of his Life; the Bible, « and Mri Baxter's Saints everlasting Refl, used to “ lie daily before him on the Table in his Parlour; " he spent the greatest Part of his Time in reading
In the Life of that honourable and most religious Knight, Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston, we are told, a that he was constant in secret Prayer and “ reading the Scriptures; afterwards he read other “ choice Authors: But not long before his Death he. “ took fingular Delight to read Mr. Baxter's Saints “ everlasting Reft, and Preparation thereunto; which
was esteemed a gracious Event of divine Provi6 dence, sending it as a Guide to bring him more * fpeed:ly and directly to that Reft.”
BESIDES Pcrfons of Eminence, to whom this Book has been precious and profitable, we have an Instance, in the Rev. Mr. James Janeway's Token for Children, of a little Boy, whose Piety was fo discovered and promoted by reading it, as the most delightful Book to him next the Bible, that the Thoughts of everlasting Rest seemed, even while he continued in Health, to swallow up all other Thoughts; and he lived in a constant Preparation for it, and looked more like one that was ripe for Glory, than an Inhabitant of this lower World. And when he was in the Sickness of which he died, before he was twelve Years old, he faid, “ I pray, let me have Mr. Baxter's Book, that “ I may read a little more of Eternity, before I go « into it.”.
Nor is it lefs observable, that Mr. Baxter himself, taking Notice, in a Paper found in his Study after his Death, what Numbers of Perfons were converted by reading his Call to the Unconverted, Accounts of which he had received by Letter every Week, exprefsly adds, “ This little Book (the Call to the Un“s conderted] God hath blessed with unexpected Suc“ cess, beyond all that I have written, except the “ Saints Reft." With an evident Reference to this Book, and even during the Life of the Author, the pious Mr. Flavell affectionately says, " Mr. Baxter is “ almost in Heaven; living in the daily Views, and “chearful Expectation of the Saints everlasting Rest " with God; and is left for a little while among us,
as a great Example of the Life of Faith.” And Mr. Baxter himself fays, in his Preface to his Treatise of Self-Denial, “ I must say, that of all the Books 6 which h have written, I peruse none so often for '" the Use of my own Soul in its daily Work, as my “ Life of Faith, this of Self-Denial, and the last Part * of the Saint's Reft." On the whole, it is not without good Reason that Dr. Calamy remarks conteming it, “ This is a Book, for which Multitudes
will have Cause to bless God for ever.” This excellent and ufeful Book now appears in the Form of an Abridgement; and therefore, it is prefumed, will be the more likely, under a divine Blessing, to diffuse its falutary Infuence among those that would otherwise have wanted Opportunity or Inelination to read over the larger Volume. In redacing it to this smaller Siz?, I have been very defirous to do Justice to the Author, and at the same Time pro note the Pleasure and Profit of the serious Reader. And, I hope, those Ends are, in fome Measure, answered; chiefly by dropping Things of a
digreflive, controversial, or metaphysical Nature; 'together with Prefaces, Dedications, and various Allufions to some peculiar Circumstances of the laft Age; and particularly, by throwing feveral Chapters into one, that the Number of them may better correspond. with the Size of the Volume; and sometimes by altering the Form, but not the Sense, of a Period, for the sake of Brevity; and when an obfolete Phrase occurred, changing it for one more common and intelligible. I should never have thought of attempt. ing, this Work, if it had not been fuggested and urged by others; and by some very respectable Names, of whole Learning, Judgment, and Piety, I forbear to avail myself. However defedive this Performance may appear, the Labour of it (if it may be called a Labourhas been, I bless God, one of the most de lightful Labours of my Life.
CERTAINLY the Thoughts of everlasting Ref may be as delightful to Souls in the present Day, as they have ever been to those of past Generations. I am fure fuch Thoughts are as absolutely neceffary now; nor are Temptations to neglect them, either fewer, or weaker, now than formerly. The Worth of everJasting Rest is not felt, because it is not considered ; it is forgotten, because a thousand Trifies are preferred before it. But were the divine Reasonings of this Book duly attended to, (and oh that the Spirit and Grace of a Redeemer may make them fo!) then an Age of Vanity would become serious; Minds, enervated by Sensuality, would foon resume the Strength of Reason, and display the Excellence of Christianity; the delufive Names of Pleasure would be blotted out, by the glorious Reality of heavenly Joy upon Earth; every Station and Relation in Life would be filled up with the Propriety and Dignity of
ferious Religion;, every Member of Society would then effectually contribute to the Beauty and Happiness of the whole; and every Soul would be ready for Life or Death, for one World or another, in a well-grounded and chearful Persuasion of baving secured a Title to that Res which remaincth to the People
CHAP. I. The Introduction to the Work, with some Account
of the Nature of the Saints Reft, THE Apople's Design in the Texto Page 1 The Saints Rest defined.
3 What this Rel presupposes.
4 What this Reft contains.
6 1. A ceasing from Means of Grace.
ib. 2. A perfect Freedom from all Evils. 3. The Saints personal Perfection in Body and Soul. 8 4. The neares Enjęyment of God the chief God.
ib. 5. All the Powers of the Body active in this Enjsyment, and
12 All the Powers of the Saul; as, Knowledge,
13 Memory, Love, and. Joy.
15-20 CH A P. II. The great Preparatives to the Saints Rest. The Happiness of having a Way into Paradise open,
23 The glorious Appearing of Christ opens the IVay. 24 2. The general Resurrection.
27 3. The laf Judgment.
28 4. The Saint's Coronation.