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THE

METHOD OF GRACE,

IN THE

HOLY SPIRIT'S APPLYING TO THE SOULS OF MEN

THE ETERNAL REDEMPTION

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WHICH THINGS THE ANGELS DESIRE TO LOOK INTO.-1 PET. i. 12.

LONDON:

THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,

Instituted 1799,
56, PATERNOSTER ROW AND 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.

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FROM THE

AUTHOR'S

PREFACE.

READER—It is the one thing needful for thee to get an assured interest in Jesus Christ; which being once obtained, thou mayest with boldness say, Come, troubles and distresses, losses and trials, prisons and death, I am prepared for you; do your worst, you can do me no harm : let the winds roar, the lightnings flash, the rain and hail fall never so furiously, I have a good roof over my head, a comfortable lodging provided for me : “My place of defence is the munition of rocks, where bread shall be given me, and my water shall be sure.”

The design of the ensuing treatise is to assist thee in this great work; it contains the method of grace in the application of the great redemption to the souls of men, as the former part* contains the method of grace provided and accomplished by Jesus Christ. The acceptance God has given the former part, signified by the desires of many for the publication of this, has at last prevailed with me,

* THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE.

way of

notwithstanding the secret consciousness of my inequality to so great an undertaking, to adventure this second part also upon the candour of the reader.

And I consent the more willingly to the publication of this, because the design I first aimed at could not be complete without it; but especially as the subject, through the blessing and concurrence of the Spirit, may be useful both to rouse the drowsy consciences of this sleepy generation, and to assist the upright in clearing the work of the Spirit upon their own souls. These considerations have prevailed with me against all discouragements.

If thou be one that hast sincerely applied and received Jesus Christ by faith, this book may be useful to thee, to clear and confirm thy evidences, to melt thy heart in the sense of thy mercies, and to quicken thee in the thy duties. Here thou wilt see what great things the Lord hath done for thy soul, and how these dignities, as thou art his son or daughter by the double title of regeneration and adoption, oblige thee to yield up thyself to God entirely, and to say from thy heart, Lord, whatever I am, I am for thee; whatever I can do, I will do for thee; and whatever I can suffer, I will suffer for thee; all that I am or have, all that I can do or suffer, is nothing to what thou hast done for my soul.

And now, reader, it is impossible for me to speak particularly and distinctly to the care of thy soul, of which I am ignorant, except as the Lord shall direct my discourse to it in some of the following suppositions.

If thou art a stranger to regeneration and faith, making a powerless profession of Christ; if thou hast a name to live, but art dead, here it is possible thou mayest meet with something that will convince thee how dangerous it is to be an old creature in the new creature's dress and habit; and what it is that blinds thy judgment, and is likely to prove thy ruin: a seasonable and full conviction of which will be the greatest mercy that can befall thee in this world, if thereby at last God may help thee to put on Christ, as well as the name of Christ.

If thou art in darkness about the state of thy soul, and willing to have it faithfully and impartially tried by the word, which will not warp to any man's humour or interest, here thou wilt find some assistance offered thee to clear thy doubting thoughts, which, through thy prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, may lead thee to a comfortable inward peace.

If thou art a proud, presumptuous soul, who hast too little knowledge, and too much self-love, to admit any doubts of thy state towards God, there are many things in this treatise proper for thy conviction and better information; for woe to thee if thou shouldest not fear till thou begin to feel thy misery, if thy troubles do not come on till all thy hopes are gone off.

I know all these things are performed by me with much infirmity; and that the whole is quite below the dignity of the subject.

But when I consider that the success of sermons and books in the world has but little relation to the elegance of language and accuracy of method, and that many may be useful who cannot be excellent, I am willing, in all humility and sincerity, to commit it to the direction of Providence and the blessing of the Spirit.

One thing I earnestly request of all the people of God into whose hands this book shall fall, that they will be

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