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force a doctrine, unfashionable indeed, but certainly the doctrine of the Gospel.

There is no doubt but that my subject is * the most momentous which can fall under

the contemplation of a human being'; and I therefore claim for it, as the happiness of mankind is at stake, a dispassionate and unprejudiced attention.

The moral world, as well as the political, appears at present, to be greatly out of order. :. Moral confusion, indeed, naturally produces

political. Let all who love their species, or their country, calmly consider whether the neglect or rejection of Christianity may not be the real cause of both: and let those who are thus persuaded, co-operate with every at. tempt to revive and diffuse the TRUE SPIRIT OF THE GOSPEL. “Let us meekly instruct 6 those that OPPOSE THEMSELVES,* (if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, not being over“ come of evil, but overcoming evil with “ good.”'t

Nor let a private clergyman, however in. considerable, be thought to step out of his province, in thus endeavouring to tranquil. lize the tumult of the world, by calling the

* 2 Tim. ii. 25.

† Romans, xii. 21.

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 purcha6 sed with his own blood.”+

This I have humbly attempted ; and, in imitation of a most excellent prelate, f 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: remember-, ing the Apostle's example, who says, “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 all means save some; " and this I do for the GOSPEL'S SAKE, that “ I might be a partaker thereof with you.”II. . .. * 1 Pet. v. 2. ' † Acts, xx. 28.

Bishop Saunderson, who preached in an appropriate marmer, ad aulam, ad clerum, ad populum. See the titles of his Sermons.

Il 1 Cor. xi. 22.

A ?

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 loye 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.




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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 general. 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.

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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


- . , - : - 73

XIV. The Opinion of Doctor Lucas, the celebrated Author

of a Treatise on HAPPINESS, concerning the evidence

of Christianity arising froni divine Communication.

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

Author, intitled, Inward Testimony. - -

XVI. Dr. Townson'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. ...

XIX The Opinion of Soame Fenyns on the fundamental

Principles of Christianity. - - -

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. .' - - -


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. - . . 111

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 -

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