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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
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
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-
serve God with that which costs you little or nothing ; and take every
poverty, than the greatest in prosperity,....
- 27. Being acquainted with the deceitfulness of the heart, and the methods
of temptation, he liveth as among snares, and enemies, and dangers,
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
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,
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
57. Though he abhor ungodly, soul-destroying ministers, yet he reverenceth
the office as necessary to the church and world; and highly valueth
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.