Imágenes de páginas

It is what equally concerns all men,

PAGE. 54, 55

I. No man can be a real christian without this,


Because he does not accept of Christ as a teacher

and instructer, 56. He is not interested in Christ's
death as an atonement,


He is not capable of submitting to Christ's dominion
and government,

59, 60 Hence it follows; that the performance of religious

duties, by the formalist, are not sufficient to make
him a real christian, 61. Because he has no suit-
able attention, nor affection, 61. Nor will he per-
severe, 62. The receiving of sacraments will not
make such men really christians, 62. Therefore
they are not entitled to the present privileges of
the gospel,

63, 64

II. No man can go to heaven except he be born again,


Our Lord has most expressly declared this, and his
faithfulness stands engaged to make it good, 65,
66. God's being true to his word, the foundation
of all religion,


It is also utterly disagreeable to the pure and holy

nature of God, to admit an unrenewed unholy per-
son into his presence,

67, 68

The unrenewed mind is as much set against the hap

piness of heaven, as God is against the admitting
such an one into it, 69. Such an one is unfit for
the company of heaven, 70. And the employ-
ments, 70. And the entertainments of

Hence it comes to pass, that it is so hard to recon

cile men to the happiness of christians,



Which gives occasion to infer, that there are but

few that shall be saved, 72. And also to pity those
that are heated with a mistaken zeal in the lesser
points of religion, whilst this greatest and weigh-
tiest doctrine of christianity is neglected, 74, 75,


Means of attaining the New Birth,


The desire of being directed in this matter includes seve

ral things, Directions laid down for such as have a sincere desire to

be born again.

I. - Be careful and constant in attending upon the preach

ing of God's word, 77. No need of one from the dead to bring men to repentance, where the ordinary means of grace are rightly attended to, 77, 78. Be sure not to stifle conviction, 78. Not to neglect public worship, 79. Nor yet to expect a sudden and miraculous change by one sermon; but give a regular and stated attendance,

79, 80

II. There must be time allowed and set apart for retire

ment, and serious thoughtfulness, 80. This is necessary to improve sermons, and also to improve affictive providences, 80, 81. The chief subject of consideration should be our latter end,

81, 82

III. There must be a frequent and diligent reading the

holy scriptures, 82. And other divine writings, that may instruct us in the nature of conversion, and true piety, 83. It is necessary that we should have regular thoughts of our apostacy, and the consequences of it, that we may understand the method of our recovery, 83 to 86

IV. We should endeavour hereupon to affect our souls

with a sense of the corruption of our nature, 86. And


the many sins that we have actually committed in our lives, 87. Several heads of enquiry by which we may find out our sins, 87, 88, 89. And the aggravations of them, 89. By considering of which, our resentments and affections should be excited,


V. Another prescribed mean of regeneration, is humble, fervent prayer, 90. The objections, against putting men in a state of sin upon prayer, answered, 90, 91. How such ought to pray,

91, 92

VI. The next step is to make a solemn dedication of our

selves to God, through Jesus Christ, as those that are desirous to be his in an everlasting covenant, 93. This should be done in writing, 93. The form of a covenant dedication drawn up,

94, 95, 96

VII. What remains after this, is only to abide by what is

done ; and to try how far we can go in amending our lives and actions, 96. We may possibly find greater conflicts after we have surrendered ourselves to God, than before, 96, 97. But we must yet continue praying, 97. And we must use our best endeavours to reform our lives,


Here it is desired of those who are in a safe state

themselves, to pray earnestly for such as may
Bow be in the struggles of the new birth,


The evidences of being born again,


I. Wherever a saving change is wrought, it will dis

cover itself in the mind and temper,


The spirit of him that is born again, is very lowly and humble,

101, 102

It is also very sincere and upright,

PAGE. 102, 103

The understanding is enlightened to discern those things

of which it was ignorant, or at least to which it shewed no just regard,


This considered with reference to those that have

been entire strangers to religion, 104.. Those that
are of more raised natural capacities, 104, 105.
And those that have had a religious education,


The will of him that is born again, is brought to an en

tire submission and obedience to the will of God, 106. His will, notwithstanding the greatest prejudices, is subdued to a reverence of God's will in his word, and a resignation to the disposals of his providence,


With what allowances this is to be understood,

107, 108

The conscience of him that is born again, is tender and

faithful, 108. Four things in which the natural and renewed conscience differ, 108. A caution to be observed, in our judging of the impressiveness of conscience,


The affections of him that is born again, are prevailingly

spiritual and heavenly, 109. Very great differences, however, are to be found among good people in this respect,

109, 110

II. There are other evidences of the new birth, in the

outward behaviour and conversation,


He that is born again is careful to avoid all sin, Four

things instanced in,


He has a constant regard to every duty, 111. The heads

of duty instanced in,


He is particularly careful of his words, 112. Several in

stances of this,


PAGL. He manages his common affairs so as to serve some re

ligious end, 114. Converting grace does not oblige men to quit their callings, 114. Nor to give up their estates, 114. But it teaches them in all things, even in their hospitalities, and recreations, to aim at a religious end,


He that is born again, will abound in all proper instances

of love and charity toward his brethren, 115. Selflove, which in a natural state hinders the love of our neighbour, in a renewed state promotes it, 115, 116. Almsgiving considered as an evidence of being born againg


The Application to four sorts of Persons.

1. To those that are at ease, and think will of them

selves, although their tempers and lives are quite contrary to the foregoing account,

117, 118

%. To those that are content in being able to pick out

here and there, an evidence for themselves, when yet many things are wanting to prove that they are savingly renewed,

118 to 120

3. To those that are truly renewed, but yet uneasy, and

perplexed about their state and condition, because they cannot discover all the aforementioned evidences in themselves,

120, 121


To those few, that may have the comfort of discovering

such marks in themselves, as to know that they are born again,

121, 122

« AnteriorContinuar »