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PREFACE. V

attention of erring and wretched mortals to the gospel of peace. He is justified, not only by the general principles of humanity, but by the particular command of the religion of which he is a minister. Thus saith the apostle:

"Feed the flock of God, as much as lieth "in you, taking the oversight, thereof, not by "constraint, but willingness; not for Filthy "Lucre, but of a ready mind.* Take heed "to all the flock, over the which the Holy "Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed "the Church of God, which he hath purcha"sed with his own blood."f

This I have humbly attempted; and, in imitation of a most excellent prelate,J I have adapted my book to all; yet various parts of it more particularly to various descriptions of men; some to the great, some to the learned, but the greater part to the people: remembering the Apostle's example, who says, V To "the weak became I as weak, that I might "gain the weak: I am made all things to all "men, that I might by ali means save some; "and this I do for the Gospel's Sake, that "I might be a partaker thereof with you."||

* 1 Pet. v. 2. t Acts, xx. 28.

\ Bishop Saunderson, who preached in an appropriate manner, ad aulam, ad clerum, ad populum. See the titles of his Sermoifc. II 1 Cor. xi. 22.

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And now, readers, before you proceed any farther, let me be permitted to say to you, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and "the love of God, and the fellowship of the "Holy Ghost, be with you," in your progress through this book, and also through life, even to its close.

CONTENTS.

Section

I. Introductory. .... Page 13

II- On the Sort of evidence chiefly recommended and at-

tempted to be displayed in this Treatise. - 24

III. On the Prejudices entertained against this Sort of evi-

dence, and against all divine and supernatural Influ-

ence on the Mind of Man. 28

IV. The proper evidence of the Christian Religion is the

Illumination of the Holy Ghost, shining into the Hearts

of those who do not close them against its entrance.

The opinion of Dr. Gloucester Ridley cited. - 33

V. The true and only convincing evidence of the Religion

of Christ, or the Illumination of the Holy Ghost is .

offered to ALL. - - - 36

VI. Opinions of Bishop Taylor respecting the evidence of

the Holy Spirit; "shewing" (as he expresses it) how

<' the Scholars of the University shall become most

*' Learned and most Useful." 40

VII. Passages from the celebrated Mr. John Smith, Fellow

of Queen's College, Cambridge, corroborative of the

Opinion that the best evidence of the Christian Reli-

gion arises from the energy of the Holy Spirit. 48

VIII. Dr. Isaac Barrow's Opinion of the evidence of Chris-

tianity, afforded by the illuminating Operation of the

Holy Spirit;, and on the Holy Spirit in genera!. 51

IX. Bishop Bull's Opinion on the evidence of the Spirit of

God on the Mind of Man, and its Union with it; the

Loss of that Spirit by Adam's Fall, and the Recove-

ry of it by Christ. 57

X. The Opinions of Bishop Pearson and Doctor Scott, Author

of the Christian Life, and" an Advocate for natural

Religion, against spiritual Pretensions, . 62

Section Page

XI. Opinion of Bishop Saunderson on the Impossibility of be-

coming a Christian without supernatural Assistance. 64

XII. Bishop Smalridge on the absolute Necessity of Grace. 68

XIII. Human Learning highly useful, and to be pursued

with all Diligence, but cannot, of itself, furnish Evi-

Dences of Christianity completely satisfactory, like

those which the heart of the good Christian feels from

divine Influence: with the opinion of Doctor Isaac

Watts. - - - - . 73

XIV. The Opinion of Doctor Lucas, the celebrated Author

of a Treatise on Happiness, concerning the evidence

of Christianity arising from divine Communication. 81

XV. Passages from a well-known Book of an anonymous

Author, intitled, Inward Testimony. - - 86

XVI. Dr. Tovmson's Opinions on the evidence which is in

this Book recommended as superior to all others. 87

XVII. Dr. Doddridge on the Doctrine of Divine Influence. 90

XVIII. The Opinions of Mr. Locke and Mr. Addison. 93

XIX The Opinion of Soame Jenyns on the fundamental

Principles of Christianity. 97

XX. The Opinion of Bishop Horsley on the prevalent Ne-

glect of teaching the peculiar Doctrines of Christi-

anity, under the Idea that Moral Duties constitute the

Whole or the better Part of it. Among the peculiar

Doctrines Is evidently included that of Grace, which

the Methodists inculcate, (as the Bishop intimates,)

not erroneously. .... gg

XXI. The Church of England teaches the true Doctrine of

Grace. - - - 104

XXII. On the Means of obtaining the Evidence of Christi-

anity, afforded by the Holy Spirit. - - 108

XXIII. Temperance necessary to the Reception and Conti-

nuance of the Holy Spirit in the Heart, and conse-

quently to the Evidence of Christianity afforded by

Divine Illumination. ... m

XXIV. On improving Afflictions duly as a Means of

Grace and Belief in the Gospel. - - 114

XXV. On Devotion—a Means, as well as an effect of

Grace:—no sincere Religion can subsist without it. 115

XXVI. On Divine Attraction. - - - 118

Section Pag«

XXVII. On the Difficulties of the Scripture. - - 121

XXVIII. The Omnipresence of God a Doctrine universally allowed; but how is God everywhere present but

by his Spirit, which is the Holy Ghost. - 123

XXIX. the Want of Faith could not be criminal, if it depended only on the Understanding; but Faith is a Virtue, because it originates from virtuous Dispositions favoured by the Holy Spirit. - 127

XXX. Of the scriptural Word " Unction;" its high mysterious Meaing. ... 129

XXXI. On what is called by devout Persons Experience in Religion. .... 131

XXXII. On the Seasons of Grace. - - 135

XXXIII. Of mistaking the effects of imagination for the Seasons of Grace. ... 137

XXXIV. Of seasons of Desertion, or supposed Absence of
the Spirit. - - - 139

XXXV. Of the Doctrine, that the Operations of the Holy
Spirit are Never distinguishable from the Operations

of our own Minds. .... 141

XXXVI. Of devotional Feelings or Sentiments. 144

XXXVII. Of Enthusiasm. ... 147

XXXVIII. Cautions concerning Enthusiasm. . 151

XXXIX. Of being RIGHTEOUS over-much. - 154 XL. All extravagant and selfish Pretensions to the Spirit to

be anxiously avoided, as they proceed from and cherish Pride, and are frequently accompanied with Immorality. 159

XLI. Affected Sanctity, Demureness, Canting, Sourness, Censoriousness, ignorant and illiterate Preaching, no Marks of a State of Grace, but contribute to bring the whole Doctrine of Divine Energy into Contempt, and to diffuse infidelity. - - - 163.

XLII. Bishop Lavington's Opinion, respecting the extravagancies and follies of fanatical Preachers, and pretenders to the Spirit. .... 166

XLIII. Pride the great Obstacle to the general Reception of

the Gospel of Grace. .... 168

XLIV. The universal Prevalence of the Holy Spirit—the genuine Grace of the Gospel—highly conducive to the happiness of civil Society, as well as of individuals, 171

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