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To the READER.
His Treatife commendeth it felf to thy acceptance upon a double account, the one is the known worth of the Author, the other is the great usefulnesse of the fubject matter: The Authour is Mr. Oba diah Sedgwick, no novice in the things of God, but one that for a long time, both beyond the feas, and at home, in City and in Countrey, hath kept up the vigour of a convincing Miniftery, which the Lord hath abundantly profper ed to the converting of fome, and building up of others, and no doubt to the conviction of many more, who fall one day know that a Prophet of the Lord hath been amongst them: Besides, one of an exemplary godlinesse, and long experience in the wayes of God; of whole excellent (pirit the world hath had a fufficient taste in those choise Treatifes that are already published under his name; certainly from such an able head, and boly heart, nothing can be expected that is cheap and mean.
'Tis a loffe, a loffe that cannot enough be bewailed, that fo eminent and useful an inftrument, is now by bodily weaknesse, and prevailing indifpofitions, taken off from his publick Minifteriál labours there is no murmuring against the hand of God, but the wasting of the old flock of our able Minifters fhould be more laid to heart; alas we that are to fucceed in the Lords work (I am fure I can accufe one) with what a weak and unequal pace do we follow their great examples? and being too too early by the removal of fuch choise inftruments,put upon publick fervices, no wonder if we faint under the burden.
'Tis fome recompenfe for this loffe, that this worthy fervant of God is yet alive, not only to honour his own Mini. ftery (which was moft confolatory) by his private difcourfes, full of faith and pirit,and patient, yes, cheerful fubmiffion to the Will of God concerning him; but alfo to fingle out fuch Treatifes of his own, as may be of moft ufe to publick benefit and edificati
The other reafon is the usefulnele of the fubject matter. Of all graces fanch is the chiefeft, of the most universal and conftant influence on the spiritual life; we work by love, but we live by faith; in the chaine of graces defcribed, 2 Pet.1 5,6,7. the firit link is faith, as giving ftrength and efficacy to all the seft; what is the grace that yicideth the Lord the glory of his mercy, veract 17 and power, but faith? it honourech God more then an uni ferme entire abedience to the whole moral Law in innocency could poffibly have done, and pleafech him more then he was difpleafed with the fin of Adam; All graces keep time and pace with faith, if faith be weak, love cannot be strong, nor obedience carried on in an eventenour, the back of patience will foon be broken, and temperance exercise but a weak and feeble reftrainton our lufts and paffions, till we learn to counter ballance prefent delights with future enjoyments. Faith is the eye of the foul to fee things to come, and the band of the foul, to receive Jefus Chrift, and all benefits in him: Faith,But I will not di grefle into the common place, certainly no Treatife of Faith can be unwelcome to a gracious heart, especially fuch an one as this is; where matters are carried on with fuch evidence and demonftration of the fpirit, and as to the file, with a sweet eligancy, and yet tempered with gravity and judgement.
I could fpeak more, but to avoid fufpicion of partiality, and private affection to my worthy Predeceffour and Father: I fhall only adde this, 'twere pity that fo excellent a Treatife should come forth in an age peftred with fuch a throng of needleffe Writers, but that it is likely to be found out by its own lustre and brightneffe, like a fparkling diamond among an heap of pibbles and common ftones; The Lord continue the life of, and (f it be his gracious will) restore so much of strength to the Authour, that he may increase the Churches treasure by publishing thole excellent Difcourfes concerning the Covenant of grace,and other fuch like fpiritual arguments, which he hath in ftore by him. Reader, Fam
Thine in all Chriftian offices,
The Contents of the Chapters
1. The dependance of the words.
Chap.2. The words opened with the feveral doctrines.
S. 1. Change of heart breeds change of estimation towards the Mi-
§. 2. Senfible finners are ever inquifitive.
S. 3. The main and choife thing the troubled foul looks after is
§. 4. Perfons rightly fenfible are as throughly refolved for the
means and wayes, as for the end and fcope.
S.5.When God doth throughly work upon mens confciences,perfonal
injurionfness must be forgotten by them who are to deal with them.
§. 6. Troubled fouls must be directed to Chrift.
Chap.3. Faith in the Lord Jefus Chrift the only way to falvation.p.13
S. 1. What fefus fignifies, and what kinde of Saviour Chrift
§. 2. What Chrift fignifieth, and of his anointing.
S. 3. Unto what Chrift was anointed, and of his office of a Prieft.
§. 4. Chrift anointed to be a Prophet.
S. 5. Chrift anointed to be a King.
Chap. 4. What believing in the Lord Jesus Christ doth import.p 29
Chap. 5. Faith in Chrift defcribed.
§. 1. The fpring or fountaine of faith.
Chap. 6. The object of justifying faith.
§. 1. The immediate object of faith.
5.2. The adequate and proper object of faith.
S. 3. How faith doth exercife it felf about whole Chrift.
§. 4. What is the exercife of faith in Christ as a Saviour, King,
·§.5. Five particulars about taking and receiving Chrift as a Lord
§. 6. The confequent object of faith, remission of fins and righte-
aufneffe, and how faith is converfant about remission of fins. p.48
§. 7. How faith locks on Chrift for righteoufweffe..
Chap. 7. How it may appear, that to beleeve in Chrift is the only-
way to be faved. Where are fome particulars premifed. p.52
§. 1. The Argument for the confirmation of the Doctrine. p.55
Chap. 8. Confectaries from this doctrine, fetting out the fingular
ufe of preaching and hearing of the Gospel.
Chap. 9. Our feftification to be found only in fefus Chrift. p.68
§. 1. The word fuftification explained.
§. 2. Juftification defined and opened.
§. 3. The perfon justified is a believing finner.
§.4. The Remiffion of finnes belong to fuftification.
§. 5. The righteoufneffe of Chrift is that by which we are fu-
S.6.The Juftification of a finner is a gracious and just action. p.78
Chap. 10. The difficulty of beleeving.
Chap. 11. The facility of error and mistake about beleeving. p.84
Chap. 12. The fure and dangerous mifery of unbelief.
Chap. 13. Rules for the difcovery of faith.
§. 1. Four things premised for the manner of evidencing of faith.
§. 2. A true love of Christ an infallible and effential evidence of
§. 3. Inward change and fanctity of the heart an infallible
§. 4. True faith takes Chrift and him only to be its Lord, p.101
S. 5. Faith makes the heart humble and lowly.
§. 7. True faith defires and endeavours after encreafe. p.107
5.8. Faith in Chrift and a mournful heart for fin go together..
Chap. 14. Singular comfort for all true beleevers.
§. 1. They are in the way to heaven.
§. 2. There is a real and blessed exchange betwixt
§. 3. They are in fingular Covenant with God.
§. 4. They may now with boldneffe approach the throne of grace.
Chap. 15. The Agreement and difference of a strong and weak faith.
§. 1. The habitual unity of true faith, and wherein expreffed in
§. 2. The intensive diverfities of faith, wherein there is a differ-
§. 8. Motives to greaten our faith.
Chap. 16. Exhortations to labour for saving faith.
§. 3. Signes of a great and strong faith.
§. 5. Demonftrations of the truth of faith though weak, p.136
§. 6. The concordance of all faith which is true, whether strong or
§. 7. The inequality of strong and weak faith, in refpect of cir-
cumftantial comforts, and fome other confequences.
§. 1. Motives to get faving faith.
§. 2. Impediments & hindrances to the geting of faving faith.p.168
§. 3. Meanes by which God works faving faith.
S.1 What it is in the general to live by faith.
§. 2.To what states of life faith may extend.
Chap. 18.The improvement of faith to a full affurance.
§. 1. What the Affurance of faith is.
§. 2. Whether fuch an affurance may be had.
S.3.Whether every beleever should strive to the affurance of faith.