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dress of this publick nature: you love the real and folid fatisfactions, not the pomp and fhew, those splendid incumbrances of life: your rational and virtuous pleafures burn like a gentle and chearful flame, without noise or blaze. However, I cannot but be confident, that you'll pardon the liberty which I here take, when I have told you, that the making the best acknowldgement I could to one, who has given me fo many proofs of a generous and paffionate friendship, was a pleasure too great to be refifted. I am,
The INTRODUCTION, wherein is fhewn
the Connexion betwixt this, and the author's for-
mer treatifes, concerning an Enquiry after Hap-
pinefs. A fhort comparison between fecular and
religious Perfection. The defign of this book de-
clared, and juftified from fome exceptions; and
the method of the whole laid before the Reader.
Of Religious Perfection in general.
Chap. 1. Perfection, a confirmed babit of bolines.
This conformable to reafon and
fcripture. The nature of an habit confidered, accor-
ding to four properties of it
Chap. 2. This notion of Perfection countenanced by all
parties, however different in their expreffions. Some
jhort reflections upon what the Pelagians, the Pa-
pilts, the Quakers, and the mystical writers have
Chap. 3. Several inferences deduced from the true no-
tion of Perfection. With a plain method how per-
fons may judge of their present state. The difference
between the extraordinary primitive converfions, and
thofe which may be expected in our days. With a
duced to thefe four heads. 1. As it advances the
honour of the true and living God, and his Son Je-
fus in the world. 2. As it promotes the good of
mankind. These two treated of in the chapter of
Zeal. 3. As it produces in the perfect man a fu'l
affurance of eternal happiness and glory. 4. As it
puts him in poffeffion of true happiness in this life.
Thefe two laft, Affurance, and prefent Happiness
or Pleasure, handled in this chapter. Where the
pleasures of the finner, and of the perfect Chriftian,
Chap. 5. Of the attainment of Perfection with a
· particular account of the manner, or the feveral fleps
by which man advances, or grows up to it: with
three Remarks to make this difcourfe more useful,
and to free it from fome fcruples
Chap. 5. Of the Means of Perfection.
obfervations, ferving for directions in
pel-means, and inftrumental duties.
tice of Wifdom and Virtue is the best means to
improve and firengthen both. 2. The two general
and immediate inftruments, as of Converfion o of
Perfection too, are the Gofpel and the Spirit. 3.
The natural and immediate fruit of Meditation,
Prayer, Eucharift, Pfalmody, and good Converfa-
tion, or Friendship, is, the quickening and enliven-
ing the Confcience; the fortifying and confirming
our Refolutions; and the raifing and keeping up an
heavenly Frame of Spirit. 4. The immediate ends
of Difcipline, are the fubduing the Pride of the
heart, and the reducing the Appetites of the body.
5. Some kinds of life are better fuited to the great
ends of religion and virtue, than others
Chap. 7. Of the Motives to Perfection. Several mo-
tives fummed up in short, and that great one, of
having the other Life in our view, infifted upon
Chap. 1.0F Illumination. I. The diftinguishing cha-
purify us. 2. They nourish and strengthen us. 3.
They delight us. 4. They procure us a glorious re-
ward. II. The nature of illuminating knowledge.
1. It must be deeply rooted. 2. It must be diftinct
and clear. 3. It must be throughly concocted 148
Chap. 2. Of the Fruits and Attainments of Illumi-
nation. That Illumination does not depend fo much
· upon a man's outward Parts, extraordinary Parts,
acquired Learning, &c. as upon his moral Qualifi-
cations; fuch as Humility, Impartiality, and Love
of the Truth. Four directions for the attainment
of illumination. 1. That we do not suffer our minds
to be engaged in quest of knowledge foreign to our
purpose. 2. That we apply our felves with a very
tender and fenfible concern to the study of illumina-
ting truths. 3. That we act conformable to thofe
Measures of light which we have attained. 4. That
we frequently addrefs our felves to God by Prayer,
for the illumination of his grace. The chapter con-
cluded with a prayer of Fulgentius
Chap. 3. Of Liberty in general. The notion of it tru-
ly stated and guarded. The fruits of this Liberty.
1. Sin being a great evil, deliverance from it is great
bappiness. 2. A freedom and pleasure in the acts of
righteoufnefs and good works. 3. The near relation
it creates between God and us. 4. The great fruit
of all, eternal life. With a brief exhortation to en-
deavour after deliverance from fin
Chap. 4. Of Liberty, as it relates to original fin. The
nature of which confidered, chiefly with respect to its
Corruption. How far this distemper of nature is
curable. Which way this cure is to be effected, 269
Chap. 5. Of Liberty, with respect to fins of Infirmity.
An Enquiry into these three things. 1. Whether there
be any fuck fins, viz. Sins in which the most perfect
live and die. 2. If there are, what they be; or
what diftinguishes them from damnable or mortal fins.
3. How far we are to extend the liberty of the per-
fect man in relation to thefe fins
Chap. 6. Of Liberty, as it imports freedom or delive-
rance from Mortal Sin. What mortal fin is. Here
the perfect man must be free from it; and which
way this Liberty may be beft attained. With fome
rules for the attainment of it
Chap. 7. Of Unfruitfulness, as it confifts in Idle-
nefs. Idleness, either habitual or accidental. Confi-
derations to deter men from the fin of Idlenefs 352
Chap. 8. Of Unfruitfulness, as it confifts in Luke-
warmnefs or Formality. The caufes from which
Lukewarmness proceeds. The folly, guilt, and dan-
Chap. 9. Of Zeal. What in general is meant by
Zeal; and what is that Perfection of holiness in
which it confifts. Whether the perfect man must be
adorned with a confluence of all virtues; and to what
degree of holiness he may be fuppofed to arrive 398
Chap. 10. Of Zeal, as it confifts in good Works.
That our own fecurity demands a Zeal in thefe good
works: fo likewife do the Good of our Neighbour,
and the Glory of God, which are much more pro-
Chap. 11. Of Humility. How neceffary it is to Per-
Of the Impediments of Perfection.
that Perfection is not attainable. 3. That religion
is an enemy to pleasure. 4. The love of the world.
5. The infirmity of the flesh. The whole concluded