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spiritual taste, is rarely allowed to yawn or to fag in the perusal of them. The author was broadly awake and feelingly alive to what he wrote; and seems ever eager to arouse in the inquirer a similar awakened state of the mind. It is scarcely possible for a person to read many of his pages without feeling correction, instruction, and reproof, and catching a portion of his spirit. If he does not in every paragraph surprise his readers with something dazzling, he presents them always with something that is true. If he does not always charm them with what is novel and original, he furnishes them with what is solemn, and sometimes sublime. When he warns, he melts; when he thunders, he weeps; when he exposes the disease, it is to heal the wound; when he amputates the mortified member, he pours into the patient the balm of mercy. To the sinner he leaves no place to find rest to the sole of his foot, till he return and take shelter in the ark, or under the shade of the cross.
While, however, these writings bear, by unanimous consent of the Christian public, this high character, they are so voluminous as to be inaccessible to the greater part of purchasers from the necessary expense,—or if that could be overcome,—too numerous to allow of people, in the ordinary circumstances of life, fully perusing them; it soon therefore became obvious, that it was only by abridgement or selection that these valuable writings could be made available to the general class of readers; and hence, since Baxter's time, successive editions of many of his treatises, in a separate form, have been called for by the Public.
In the present selection, the Publishers have endeavoured to embody those treatises that have been found most useful, and have been most approved by the Christian public. The whole of them have undergone a careful revision, and the Latin quotations with which they abound, have been translated into English. If these improvements shall in any way lead to an extended perusal of these invaluable writings, the projectors of this edition will consider themselves fully repaid for the labour bestowed in preparing it for the public.
CHAP. I. The introduction to the work, with some account of the nature of the saints' rest, 3
II. The great preparatives to the saints' rest,.....
III. The excellencies of the saints' rest,.......
IV. The character of the persons for whom this rest is designed,
V. The great misery of those who lose the saints' rest,....
VI. The misery of those who, besides losing the saints' rest, lose the enjoyments of
time, and suffer the torments of hell,.........
VII. The necessity of diligently seeking the saints' rest,...
VIII. How to discern our title to the saints' rest,..........
IX. The duty of the people of God to excite others to seek the rest,..
X. The saints' rest is not to be expected on earth,.......
XI. The importance of leading a heavenly life upon earth,
XII. Directions how to lead a heavenly life upon eartlı,
XIII. The nature of heavenly contemplation, with the time, place, and temper fittest
XIV. What use heavenly contemplation makes of consideration, affections, soliloquy,
XV. Heavenly contemplation assisted by sensible objects, and guarded against a
XVI. Heavenly contemplation exemplified, and the whole work concluded..........
Part. I. OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF God, introductory remarks, ...
CHAP. I. Of the knowledge of the only true God, and of Jesus Christ the Mediator........
II. Of the knowledge of God's being,
III. Of the unity of God,......
IV. Of the immensity of God..........
V. Of the eternity of God,
VI. God is a Spirit,
VII. Of the effects of God's three great attributes Omnipotency, Understanding,
CHAP. VIII. Of the infinite wisdom of God,........
IX. Of the infinite goodness of God,
X. Of the three great relations of God to man, 1. our Creator,......
XI. 2. God's relation to man, as our Redeemer,...
XII. 3. God's third relation to man, as our Sanctifier and Comforter,........... 45
XIII. God is our absolute Lord or owner, our most righteous Governor, and our
most bountiful or gracious Father or benefactor,
XIV. Of the sovereignty of God, ..........
XV. God is our most loving Father, or bountiful benefactor,
XVI. Of the freedom of God, .....
XVII. Of the justice of God,...
XVIII. Of the holiness of God,......
XIX. Of the veracity of God,
XX. Of the mercifulness of God,
XXI. Of the terribleness of God,
Part II. OF WALKING WITH GOD-
CHAP. I. The text (Gen. v. 24.) expounded, and the duty defined,
II. The practical influence of the doctrine upon man's heart and life, ......
III. Objections stated and answered,
IV. Expostulation with objectors, ....
V. Of the proper direction of the thoughts, .......
VI. Obligations and advantages of walking with God,...
VII. Duty of walking with God, and the danger of neglecting it,..
Part III. OF CONVERSING WITH GOD IN SOLITUDE-
Definition of the text (John xvi. 32.) and application of the principle.......... 124
Partic. I. Christians are subject to the desertion of friends,......
II. The cause of this desertion, selfishness,.......
III. How the loss is supplemented, ... ... ... ...
IV. The advantages of solitude, .......
V. Directions to improve solitude,....
CHAP. I. Exposition of the text, and basis of the treatise,....
II. The hope, the certainty, and bliss of being with Christ, ..
III. To be with Christ, it is needful to depart,
IV. The inconceivable advantages of being with Christ—it is far better - ....... 46
General reasons for departure,
Special reasons arising out of the intellectual character of the mind,
Reason from the constitution of the will—that it is far better to be with Christ, 60
Constitutive reasons from the heavenly life or practice,
Application of the general subject,.......
Doct. I. It is the unchangeable law of God that wicked men must turn or die......... 13
II. It is the promise of God, that the wicked shall live, if they will but turn, ......... 22
III. God takes pleasure in men's conversion and salvation, but not in their death or
damnation :--he had rather they would return and live, than go on and die,.. 24
IV. This is a most certain truth, which, because God would not have men to ques-
tion, he hath confirmed it to them solemnly by his oath,.....
V. The Lord redoubles his commands and persuasions to the wicked to turn,.......
VI. The Lord condescends to reason the case with the wicked, and asks them why
they will die,
VII. If after all this, the wicked will not return, it is not the will of God that they
perish, but of themselves :—their own wilfulness is the cause of their damna-
tion:--they therefore die because they will die, ..
Directions to conversion......
OR, THE BELIEVER JUSTIFIED AND THE DISBELIEVER CONVINCED.
(In this Treatise are described, both as to the principles, the matter, and the manner, what that religion and service
of God is, in which men must labour with all their might.]
The text (Eccles. ix. 10) given and expounded.....
Doct. I. The work of this life cannot be done, when this life is ended; or, there is no
working in the grave, to which we are all making haste, ......
II. Therefore while we have time, we must do our best; or, do the work of this pre-
sent life with vigour and diligence, ..
The enemies of holiness described,
The character and duty of a preacher of godliness....
Two messages delivered, the one of encouragement, the other of direction.......
Directions for serving the Lord,.....
Duties of a Christian,
How the work of God must be done,...
The ungodly sensualist's objections answered,...
Observation of the Lord's day,......