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Oppression, that receiving the Spirit of Chritt into their Hearts, the Fruits of which aro Love, Peace, Joy, Temperance and Patience, Brotherly-kindness and Charity, they may in Body, Soul and Spirit, make a triple League against the World, the Flesh and the Devil, the common Enemies of Mankind; and hava ing conquered them through a Life of Selfdenial, by the Power of the CROSS of JESUS, they may at last attain to the eternal Rest and Kingdom of GOD.
So defreth, lo prayeth,
Thy fervent Christian Friend,
HAP. 1 and 2. Of the Necessity of the
daily bearing of the Cross of Chrift,
Chap. 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. Of Luxury,
what it is, and the Mischief of it to Man-
learned and virtuous Personages among the
Chap. 22. An Exhortation to all
No Cross, No Crown.
PART the First.
CH A P. I.
§. 1. Of the Necessity of the Cross of Christ
in general; get the little Regard Christians have to it. §. 2. The Degeneracy of Christendom from Purity to Lult, and Moderation to Excess. §. 3. That worldly Lusts and PleaJures are become the Care and Study of Christians, so that they have advanced upon the Impiety of Infidels. §. 4. This Defection a second part to the Jewith Tragedy, and worse than the first: The Scorn Christians have cast on their SAVIOUR. §. 5. Sin is.of one Nature all the World over; Sinners are of the same Church, the Devil's Children: Profesion of Religion in wicked Men, makes them but the worse. §. 6. AWolf is not a Lamb, a Sinner cannot be, whilft such, a Saint. §. 7. The Wicked will perfecute the Good; this false Christians have done to the True, for Noncompliance with their Superstitions: The strange carnal Measures false Christians have taken of Chriftianity; the Danger of that Self-le
duction. $. 8. The Sense of that, has obliged me to make this Discourse, for a Dilluafive against the World's Lusts, and an Invitation to take up the daily Cross of Christ, as the Way left us by him to Blessedness. $. 9. Of the Self-Condemnation of the Wicked ; that Religion and Worship are comprised in doing the Will of God. The Advantage good Men have upon bad Men in the last Judgment. §. 10. A Supplication for Christendom, that the may not be rejected in that great Aslize of the World. She is exhorted to consider, what Relation me bears to CHRIST; if her Saviour, how saved, and from what: What her Experience is of that great Work. That CHRIST came to save. from Sin, and Wrath by Consequence : Not to save Men in Sin, but from it, and so from the Wages of it.
§. I. HO'the Knowledge and Obedience
of the Doctrine of the Cross of CHRIST, be of infinite Moment to the Souls of Men; for that is the only Door to true Christianity, and that Path the Ancients ever trod to Blessedness: Yet, with extream Affliction let me say, it is so little understood, so much neglected, and what is worse, so bitterly contradicted by the Vanity, Superstition, and Intemperance of profess’d Christians, that we must either renounce to believe what the Lord Jesus hath told us, Luke xiv. 27. That whosoever doth not bear bis Cross, and come after him, cannot be bis Disciple: Or, admitting that for
Truth, conclude, that the generality of Christendom do miserably deceive and disappoint themselves in the great Business of Christianity, and their own Salvation.
§. II. For, let us be never so tender and charitable in the Survey of those Nations, that intitle themselves to any Interest in the holy Name of Christ, if we will but be just too, we must needs acknowledge, that after all the gracious Advantages of Light, and Obligations to Fidelity, which these latter Ages of the World have received by the Coming, Life, Doctrine, Miracles, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, with the Gifts of his holy Spirit; to which add, the Writings, Labours, and Martyrdom of his dear Followers in all Times, there seems very little left of Christianity but the Name; which being now usurp'd by the old heathen Nature and Life, makes the Profeffors of it but true Heathens in Disguise. For though they worship not the same Idols, they worship Christ with the same Heart: And they can never do otherwise, whilst they live in the fame Lufts. So that the unmortified Christian and the Heathen are of the fame Religion. For though they have different Objects, to which they do direct their Prayers, that Adoration in both is but forc'd and ceremonious, and the Deity they truly worship, is the God of the World, the great Lord of Lults: To him they bow with the whole Powers of Soul and Sense. What thall we eat? What Thall we drink? What shall we wear? And B 2