|Author:||Lukin, H. (Henry), 1628-1719.|
|Title:||The chief interest of man, or, A discourse of religion, clearly demonstrating the equity of the precepts of the Gospel, and how much the due observance thereof doth conduce to the happiness and well-being as well of humane societies as of particular persons by H. Lukin.|
|Publication info:||Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, Digital Library Production Service
2011 December (TCP phase 2)
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The chief interest of man, or, A discourse of religion, clearly demonstrating the equity of the precepts of the Gospel, and how much the due observance thereof doth conduce to the happiness and well-being as well of humane societies as of particular persons by H. Lukin.
Lukin, H. (Henry), 1628-1719.
London: Printed by R.D. for T. Bassett, 1665.
Errata on p.  at end.
Reproduction of original in Bodleian Library.
THE PREFACE To the Reader.
SECTION. I. The Practical Atheist a greater wonder than the Specula∣tive Atheist; the unreasona∣bleness of such as professing Religion, do yet neglect the commands thereof, and de∣spise such as desire to be found in a strict observance of them.
SECT. II. The equity of Gods commands: Love (which is the fulfilling of the Law) founded on Gods goodness, Patience, Bounty. Fear (which with that observance that is the effect of it, is the whole Duty of Man) founded on his Power and Wisdom: ratio rei, or reason it self the ground of such things as are of natural right: Gods soveraignty the ground of such things as are of positive right.
SECT. III. The advantage which Men have by Religion in respect of their good name, honour being both a moral and a na∣tural effect of vertue and holinesse. The Hypocrisie of some that professe Chri∣stianity, an argument of the excellency of it. Shame the present reward of sin. None dare speak against holiness or holy men as such.
SECT. IV. How much Godlinesse condu∣ceth to the preserving and increase of Mens Estates, which Sin doth like a Can∣ker, wast and consume. An illustration of Jer. 17.11. and Hos. 9.11. Objections answered, which Men make from that Justice and Cha∣rity which Religion obliges Men to, and from those ex∣penses and losses which it exposes them to, as also from experience and daily obser∣vation.
SECT. V. The influence which Religion hath even upon our bodies, how far it conduceth to our health. Diseases of the body ordinarily proceed from the distempers of the Soul. That Temperance, Di∣ligence in our callings and moderation of our passions, which the Gospel requires and teaches, is the best re∣medy against them.
SECT. VI. Religion forbids us not any pleasures which are agreea∣ble to nature, reason, or Mans own interest. None can more freely enjoy plea∣sures than a Godly Man.
SECT. VII. The advantage which we have by Religion in respect of our Souls. First, in being thereby restored to the image of God, and that spiritual beauty which hath been de∣faced by sin.
SECT. IX. Tranquility of mind the pri∣viledge of the Godly Man. A due ordering of the af∣fections, not a stoical Apa∣thy necessary thereto. Peace of Conscience unknown to the Heathen Philosophers, and attainable only by true Religion. Objectionsground∣ed on the moroseness, and in∣ward troubles of Christians answered.
SECT. IX. The reward which Godly Men have after this life, the chief advantage of Religi∣on. The excellency thereof demonstrated from Scri∣pture, from the satisfaction which the Angels have in it, from the glory which wicked Men enjoy in this World, from the sweet fore-tasts which Godly men have of it in this life. Wherein it con∣sists, the glory of the body, the happiness of the Soul, in the enjoyment of God, in communion with the whole number of perfected Saints, and that for ever.
SECT. X. The necessity of holiness to sal∣vation, proved by many plain Scriptures. Objecti∣ons answered. The impru∣dence of being but formal half Christians, and the ad∣vantages that stict serious Christians have above such.
SECT. XI. The misery of wicked Men af∣ter this life demonstrated from Scriptures, from the sufferings of Godly Men here in this World, from terrors of conscience in good and bad, from the Devils trembling at the thoughts of it, which they have not so much reason for as Man. The punishment of losse with the aggravations of it. The punishment of sense exqui∣site, without allay or inter∣mission, without end.
SECT. XII. How much Religion conduces to the good of humane Soci∣eties. And first, of Families, prescribing such rules to all therein, as well observed, would make them happy in each other.
SECT. XIII. How far Religion advances the happiness of Kingdoms and Common-wealths, not only naturally, as it pre∣scribes the best Laws, and rules to all sorts of Persons, and keeps Men within the bounds of their duty; But morally, as it brings down blessings, keeps off judge∣ments. The false accusations which Christians have lain under in all Ages. Julians wicked policy.
SECT. XIV. An enquiry into the causes, why Religion is so much neg∣lected. The remoter causes the corruption of Mans na∣ture, the malice and power of the Devil, the nearer cause, the prevalenccy of sence against Faith and rea∣son, which is removed by shewing in how many in stan∣ces of our Lives, we do by reason correct the errors of sense.
SECT. XV. Inconsideratenesse, another great cause of Atheism, a∣gainst which the best reme∣dies are a serious apprehen∣sion of the great moment, and importance of spiritual things, frequent reading and hearing the word of God, Christian communion and conference about matters of Religion, mutual admoni∣tion. The prevalency of evil customs and habits, the folly of deferring repentance.
SECT. XVI. Objections, from differences in Religi∣on answered, though we could not be fully assured that the Christian Religion is true, yet it would be our wisdom to observe the Rules and Precepts of it. The proofs which some have of the truth of Christian Religion, clearer than those which some desire to have, & clearer than any produced for the truth of any other Religion. Objections from the improbability and seeming contra∣diction of many things in Scripture answered. Notwithstanding the difference amongst Christians, all of them are agreed, in so much as may serve for the well ordering of our conversations.