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dress of this publick nature : you love the real and solid fatisfactions, not the pomp and shew, those fplendid incumbrances of life : your rational and virtuous pleasures 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 resisted. I am,

Dear Sir,

Unseignedly Yours,




TheINTRODUCTION, wherein is mewn the Connexion betwixt this, and the author's former treatises, concerning an Enquiry after Happiness. A short comparison between secular and religious Perfection. The design of this book declared, and justified from some exceptions ; and the method of the whole laid before the Reader.

Page i.

Chap. 1.

Of Religious Perfection in general.
Erfe&tion, a confirmed babit of holiness.

This notion fcripture. The nature of an habit considered, according to four properties of it

Page 1 Chap. 2. This notion of Perfection countenanced by all

parties, however different in their expresions. Some jbort reflections upon what the Pelagians, the Papilts, the Quakers, and the mystical writers have said concerning Perfection

17 Chap. 3. Several inferences deduced from the true nos

tion of Perfection. With a plain method how perfons may judge of their present state. The difference between the extraordinary primitive conversions, and those which may be expe&ted in our days. With a remark about infused babits

27 Chap. 4. A general account of the blessed Fruits and Advantages of Religious Perfection, which is reA 3


duced to these four heads. I. As it advances the honour of the true and living God, and his son )efus 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 perfekt man a fu'! alurance of eternal happiness and glory: 4. As it puts him in poljc202. of true happiness in this life. These two laft, Aflurance, and present Happiness or Pleasure, handied in this chapier. Where the pleajures of the finner, and of the perfect Christian, are compared

Page 44 Chap. 5. Of the attainment of Perfection with a

particular account of the manner, or the several fleps by which man advances, or grows up to it : with thrce Remarks to make this discourse more useful, and to free it from some scruples

77. Chap. 6. Of the Means of Perfection. Five general

observations, serving for directions in the use of gof pel-means, and inftrumental duties,

praca tice of Wisdom and Virtue is the best means to improve and strengthen both. 2. The two general and immediate instruments, as of Conversion so of Perfeâion too, are the Gospel and the Spirit. 3. The natural and immediate fruit of Meditation, Prayer, Eucharist, Pfalmody, and goud Conversation, or Friendship, is, the qusi kening and enlivening the Conscience; the fortifying aid confirming our Refolutions ; and the railing and keeping up an heavenly Frame of Spirit. 4. The immediate ends of Discipline, are the subduing the 'Pride of the beart, and the reducing the Appetites of the body. 5. Some kinds of life are better suited to the great ,

ends of religion and virtue, than others Chap. 7. Of the Motives to Perfection. Several mo

tives summed up in fort, and that great one, of having the other Life in our view, infifted upon


1. The


Chap. I.


F Illumination. I. The distinguishing cha-

racter of illuminating truths. 1. They

purify us.

2. They nourish and strengthen us. 3.

They delight us. 4. They procure us a glorious re-

ward. Il. The nature of illuminating knowledge

1. It must be deeply rooted. 2. It must be distinct

and clear. 3. It must be throughly concocted 148

Chap. 2. Of the Fruits and Attainments of Illumi-

nation. That Illumination does not depend so much

- upon a man's outward Parts, extraordinary Parts,

acquired Learning, &c. as upon his moral Qualifi-

cations ; such 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 selves with a very

tender and sensible concern to the study of illumina-

ting truths. 3. That we act conformable to those

Measures of light which we have attained. 4. That

we frequently address our selves 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

rigbteousness 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 sin. The

nature of which considered, chiefly with respect to its

Corruption. How fær 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 sucka fin's, viz. Sins in which the most perfe&t live and die. 2. If there are, what they be ; or what distinguishes them from damnable or mortal fins, 3. How far we are to extend the liberty of the per

feet man in relation to these fins Page 296 Chap. 6. Of Liberty, as it imports freedom or delive

rance from Mortal Sin. What mortal fin is. Here the perfe&t man must be free from it, and which way this Liberty may be best attained. With some rules for the attainment of it

316 Chap. 7. Of Unfruicfulness, as it confifts in Idle

nefs. Idleness, either habitual or accidental. Confi

derations to deter men from the fin of Idleness 352 Chap. 8. Of Unfruitfulness, as it confifts in Luke

warmness or Formality. The causes from which Lukewarmness proceeds. The folly, guilt, and danger of a Laodicean ftate

367 Chap. 9. Of Zeal. What in general is meant by

Zeal; and what is that Perfection of boliness 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 supposed to arrive 398 Chap. 1o. Of Zeal, as it confifts in good Works.

That our own security demands a Zeal in these good works : fo likewise do the Good of our Neighbour, and the Glory of God, which are much more promoted by good works

418 Chap. 11. Of Humility. How necessary it is to Perfection

430 SECT. III. Of the Impediments of Perfection. FIVE Impediments reckoned up, and insisted on.

1. Too loose a notion of religion. 2: An opinion 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

442 THE

with a prayer

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