Gods drawing, and mans coming to Christ discovered in 32 sermons on John 6. 44 : with the difference between a true inward Christian, and the outward formalist, in three sermons on Rom. 2. 28, 29
Vines, Richard, 1600?-1656., Baxter, Richard, 1615-1691.
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THough I may suppose that the precious name of Mr. R. Vines will do much in procuring thy estimation and accep∣tance of this Book; yet if it had not a greater excellency, I should not com∣mend or tender it to thy perusal. Though I have not so exactly read it, as to give my judgement of every sentence; yet by the general sur∣vey which I have made, I am able to tell thee, that the Doctrine of Conversion is plainly and judiciously here unfolded; the necessity and victory of effectual Grace is solidly asserted; and the opposition of cor∣rupted nature discovered; and in all thou art taught that greatest duty, to know God as he is revealed in his infinite Goodness, and incomprehensible Mercy, to miserable man, in and by his Blessed Son our Re∣deemer, and to give him the Glory of his Love and Grace. If thou have the Grace thou readest of, it must needs be sweet to thee, to read of so sweet a thing, as the treasures of restoring saving Grace, so co∣piously and clearly opened; and to be employed in so Page  [unnumbered] high and sweet a work, as to labour with all the Saints to comprehend, what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the Love of Christ which passeth knowledge, to be filled with all the fulness of God: The happiness of those that study▪ Christ by the conduct of Christ, and are strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may even dwell in their hearts by Faith, and they may be rooted and grounded in Love.] Eph. 3. 16, 17, 18, 19. But if thou read of Grace with a graceless heart, the Learning of the Writer, and the clear decision of the several controversies, may possi∣bly be acceptable to thee; but as for the sweetness of the excellent subject, no wonder if thou be a stranger to it. It is a pittiful thing to hear some men Learnedly discourse of the Nature and Necessity of Grace, and disputing of its Universality and Speciality, its suffici∣ency and efficacy, the way of its operations, whether Moral or Physical, &c. that yet never felt the illumi∣nating, changing, renewing, resolving, mortifying, strengthening, or elevating works of Grace upon their souls, nor were ever brought by it to a Life of Faith, to an hatred of their most secret sins, to a predominant Love of God, to a superlative esteem of spiritual things, and to an Heavenly conversation; and that must perish forever for want of that Grace, (yea for their contempt and hatred of it) which they verbally magnified in their preaching and disputes! If any sub∣ject in Divinity be practical, and to be read with holy affection and resolution, it is this. Remember when thou readest of Grace, that the Reader is one that is lost and miserable till Grace recover him, and must be beholden to Grace to save him from everlasting wo. Remember that God hath therefore thus wonderfully revealed himself in Love, that appearing most Lovely Page  [unnumbered] to us, he may be most Loved by us, and all the beams of his transcendent Goodness may terminate thus upon our hearts, and heat them into ascendent flames of Love: Read till thou thus Believest, and thus Lovest; and then thou hast read well. And I hope thou wilt find much in these Sermons, which may be bellows and fuel for this holy fire: Though they are not those ex∣act and elaborate works, by which Mr. Vines should be known in his great abilities to the world, but such Ser∣mons as he ordinarily preached to his Flock; yet if even here thou find not matter to encrease thy tears in the remembrance of those faithful Labourers that sin hath deprived England of, thou differest from

One of the afflicted servants of the Church, Rich. Baxter.