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INTRODUCTION. The persons for whose vise, this treatise is more immediately intended, are they, who have by the Holy Spirit been convinced of the guilt, malignity, and demerit, of the sin which dwelleth in them, as well as of the iniquities that are committed by them; who have also been convinced of the utter insufficiency of their own righteousness, for their justification in the sight of God, and who have been enabled to embrace Jesus Christ, as their righteousness and strength. All of this description are earnestly desirous of advancing in holiness 3 but many of them, seem to be far from being duly sensible of the high importance of spiritual consolation, to the love and practice of holiness. They are soon apprehensive of danger, if they feel iniquities prevailing against them; but they yield, without alarm, to that dejection of spirit, which is often occasioned, either by inward conflicts or outward trials; not considering, that disquietude of soul paves the way for despondency, and despondency for utter despair: all which are, in a high degree, injurious to the spiritual welfare of the soul. Trouble of mind, especially when it proceeds the length of despondency, strengthens the unbelief and enmity of the heart against God; and so disqualifies the Christian for performing acceptably, the duties incumbent upon him. Although God doth not suffer any of his children,

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CHAP. VII. Of the means which disconsolate be

lievers should employ, in order to recover
their comfort,....

239 Reflections, and objections answered,..... 289 CHAP. VIII. Of the means which believers ought

to employ, in order to attain increasing com-
fort,.....

310 Reflections......

360 CHAP. IX. Of directions to believers, for attain

ing establishment in spiritual consolation,.. 366 Reflections,...

i..... 398

ERRATUM.

Page 54, line 6, from the bottom, for ayu read 1797425

INTRODUCTION. The persons for whose use, this treatise is more immediately intended, are they, who have by the Holy Spirit been convinced of the guilt, malignity, and demerit, of the sin which dwelleth in them, as well as of the iniquities that are committed by them; who have also been convinced of the utter insufficiency of their own righteousness, for their justification in the sight of God, and who have been enabled to embrace Jesus Christ, as their righteousness and strength. All of this description are earnestly desirous of advancing in holiness ; but many of them, seem to be far from being duly sensible of the high importance of spiritual consolation, to the love and practice of holiness. They are soon apprehensive of danger, if they feel iniquities prevailing against them; but they yield, without alarm, to that dejection of spirit, which is often occasioned, either by inward conflicts or outward trials; not considering, that disquietude of soul paves the way for despondency, and despondency for utter despair: all which are, in a high degree, injurious to the spiritual welfare of the soul. Trouble of mind, especially when it proceeds the length of despondency, strengthens the unbelief and enmity of the heart against God; and so disqualifies the Christian for performing acceptably, the duties incumbent upon him. Although God doth not suffer any of his children,

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ever to fall into the horrible gulf of absolute despair, yet some of them have brought themselves to the very brink of it; so as greatly to dishonour their holy profession, to injure their own souls, and to hurt the souls of many around them, who are always too ready to impute their dejection of spirit, to the holy religion which they profess. Thus, they often discourage the hearts of some, who are seeking Jesus; and strengthen the prejudices of others, who are enemies to him.

The sovereign antidote to that sinful and grievous distemper of mind, is the spiritual and holy consolation, which is offered and promised in the gospel. Much of the sacred Volume was written for this end, that the saints might be comforted, and that they, “ through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope 3.” God, in the exceeding riches of his grace, has given in his word, and confirmed by his oath, many great and precious promises; in order that all “ who have fled for refuge, to lay hold upon the hope set before them,” might not only have consolation, but strong consolation. He hath spoken in his holiness, on purpose that they might rejoice b; that they might be so“ filled with all joy and peace in believing,” as to serve him with gladness d; and shereby, to recommend faith and holiness to all around them.

Such pleasure, doth the Lord Jesus take in the prosperity of his servants, and so deeply is he concerned for their happiness, even in this valley of

* Rom. xv. 4. d Ps. c. 2.

b Ps. ix. 6.

• Rom. Xv, 13.

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