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BOOK III.

On the Manner of receiving the Grace of Christ, Benefits which we derive from it, and the Effects which Jollow it.

ARGUMENT.

THE two former books relate to God the creator and Redeemer. This treats of God the Sanctifier, or of the operations of the Holy Spirit towards our salvation, being an accurate exposition of the third part of the Apostles' Creed. The principal topics of this are seven, relating chiefly to one object, the doctrine of faith. First, Since our enjoyment of Christ and all his benefits depends on the secret and special operation of the Holy Spirit, it discusses this operation, which is the foundation of faith, newness of life, and all holy exercise—Chap. I. Secondly, Faith being as it were the hand by which we embrace Christ the Redeemer, as offered to us by the Holy Spirit, it next adds a complete description of faith—Chap. II. Thirdly, To improve our knowledge of this salutary faith, it proceeds to shew the effects which necessarily result from it; and contends that true penitence is always the consequence of true, faith. But first it proposes the doctrine of repentance in general—Chap. III: and then treats of the Popish repentance and its constituent parts—Chap. IV.-of indulgences and purgatorial fire—Chap. V. But institutes a particular discussién of the two branches of true penitence, the mortification of the flesh, and the vivification of the spirit, or the life of a Christian, which is excellently described—Chap. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. Fourthly, In order to a clearer display of the advantages and consequences of this faith, it first treats of justification by faith— Chap. XI.-then explains the questions which arise from it— Chap. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII.-and, lastly, proceeds to a dissertation on Christian liberty, which is an appendage to justification—Chap. XIX.

Fifthly, Next follows prayer, the principal exercise of faith, and the medium or instrument by which we daily receive blessings from God—Chap. XX.

Sixthly, But since the communication of Christ offered in the Gospel, is not embraced by men in general, but only by those whom the Lord hath favoured with the efficacy and peculiar grace of his Spirit: it obviates any supposition of absurdity, by subjoining a necessary and appropriate dissertation on the doctrine of divine election—Chap. XXI. XXII. XXIII. XXIV.

Lastly, Since we are liable to various difficulties and troubles while exercised in the severe warfare which always attends the life of a Christian, it contends that this may be alleviated by meditating on the final resurrection: and therefore adds a discourse on that subject—Chap. XXV.

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