Seven Treatises (eBook)

by Richard Rogers

in ePub, .mobi & .pdf format

A Comprehensive Handbook on the Spiritual Life

Containing such direction as is gathered out of the Holy Scriptures, leading and guiding to true happiness, both in this life, and in the life to come: and may be called the Practice of Christianity. Profitable for all such as heartily desire the same: in the which, more particularly true Christians may learn how to lead a godly and comfortable life every day.

This text has been initially updated from EEBO-TCP by Project Puritas (Logan West, David Jonescue, Alex Sarrouf) Further revision and editing done by Monergism. Copyright Monergism via universal text usage permission from the above. 

Richard Rogers (1550-1618) authored Seven Treatises, a seminal work in post-Reformation England. Unlike William Perkins' series of shorter treatises, Rogers compiled his comprehensive handbook on the spiritual life into a single volume, covering everything a reader might need to understand and grow in the Christian faith. The Seven Treatises address the identification of true believers, the Christian's life and conduct, the means of grace, the daily Christian walk, obstacles encountered in the pilgrimage of faith, privileges of believers, and objections readers might have.

Rogers's teaching on the means of grace reflects an early Reformed approach, tailored primarily for laypeople. He categorizes the means of grace into ordinary (commonly practiced) and extraordinary (special occasions) and further divides them into public (used in open assemblies) and private exercises. Public means include ministry of the Word, administration of sacraments, and prayer. Private exercises include watchfulness, meditation, armor of a Christian, experience, company through conference and family-exercise, private prayer, and reading.

Rogers’s purpose was to provide readers with one volume that addressed just about everything they might need in order to understand and grow in the Christian life. The Seven Treatises comprising his work treated:

- the identification of true (and false) believers;

- a general description of the Christian’s life and conduct, as intended by God;

- the means of grace;

- the manner in which the Christian should proceed through the days of the week;

- the obstacles that typically confront Christians in the course of their pilgrimage;

- the privileges Christians enjoy (and how to appropriate them); and

- the various objections “and cavils” readers might have against the work itself.

The book serves as a counter to the misleading treatises of Papists, offering Christian directions grounded in Rogers's own experience and spiritual practice. It is described as an invaluable resource for Christians seeking guidance in devout living, surpassing the superficial devotion found in Papist writings. Esteemed for its depth and practicality, the book is likened to an "Anatomy of the soul," detailing the Christian life's complexities and providing remedies for spiritual ailments. Commended by contemporaries for its savory style and substantive content, "Seven Treatises" is presented as essential reading for those devoted to their spiritual health, offering profound insights into godliness and the Christian walk.


Table of Contents






The first Treatise showeth, who be the true children of God.

Chap. 1. Of the sum and order of this first Treatise. 

Chap. 2. Of man's misery. 

Chap. 3. Of the knowledge of redemption and deliverance. 

Chap. 4. How this knowledge worketh 

Chap. 5. Of the lets of faith, and namely in the behalf of the Minister. 

Chap. 6. Of the lets that hinder faith on the behalf of the people. 

Chap. 7. What desire breeds faith. 

Chap. 8. How the weak in faith should be established. 

Chap. 9. The difference of believers from them that are none. 

Chap. 10. Of the eight companions of faith. 

Chap. 11. How weak faith is confirmed. 

Chap. 12. The sweet fruit and benefit of the preserving and confirming of our faith. 

The second Treatise declareth at large, what the life of the true believer is, and the conversation of such as have assured hope of salvation. 

Chap. 1. The sum and order of this second Treatise. 

Chap. 2. That a godly life cannot be without unfeigned faith, nor this faith without it: which is the first point in the first general head to be handled. 

Chap. 3. That for the leading of a godly life, is required faith in the temporal promises of God, and hearty assent and credit to the commandments also, and threatenings in the word of God, as well as faith to be saved. 

Chap. 4. Of the heart, and how it should be cleansed and changed, and so the whole man, which is sanctification, tending to repentance and a godly life. 

Chap. 5. Of the renouncing of all sin: which is the first effect of a renewed heart in the true believer. 

Chap. 6. Of the diverse kinds of evil to be renounced, and namely of inward against God and men. 

Chap. 7. Of other evils and sins, most properly concerning ourselves. 

Chap. 8. How the minds and hearts of the believers are taken up usually, seeing they renounce inward lusts. 

Chap. 9. Of the second kind of evils or sins to be renounced, namely outward. 

Chap. 10. Of four sorts of such as hope for salvation; and yet renounce not open sins, and outward offenses. 

Chap. 11. Of certain objections raised from the former doctrine, and answers thereto: as why we should put difference betwixt men: whether the godly may fall reproachfully, and what infirmities they may have. 

Chap. 12. Of the keeping of the heart once purged, in that good plight afterward. 

Chap. 13. Of the sum and manner of handling this second part of a godly life: and particularly of the rules to be observed for the effecting of it: namely, knowledge and practice. 

Chap. 14. Of the answering of some objections about the former doctrine, and of the other two virtues which help to a godly life. 

Chap. 15. Of some particular duties pertaining to God directly in the first, second, third, and fourth commandments. 

Chap. 16. Of certain duties to men, in the fifth, sixth, and seventh commandment, the obeying whereof is a part of a godly life. 

Chap. 17. Of some duties to men in the 8, 9, and 10. commandments. 

Chap. 18. Of certain reasons persuading to the practice of a godly life: which is the fourth general part of this treatise. 

Chap. 19. Of answers to objections brought against the necessity of practicing this godly life. 

Chap. 20. The last objection against the godly life answered. 

The third Treatise layeth forth the means, whereby a godly life is holpen and continued. 

Chap. 1. What the means are, and the kinds of them, and of the sum and order of this Treatise. 

Chap. 2. Of the public helps to increase godliness: and namely the ministry of the word. 

Chap. 3. Of the second public help, namely, the Sacraments. 

Chap. 4. Of public prayers: also of the private helps in general. 

Chap. 5. Of the first private help, which is watchfulness. 

Chap. 6. Of meditation, the second private help. 

Chap. 7. Of the third private help, which is the armor of a Christian: and of the three first points of it. 

Chap. 8. Of the last point, which is the benefit of this armor. 

Chap. 9. Of our own experience, and what a special help it is to the leading of a godly life: also of the use of company and family exercises. 

Chap. 10. Of prayer and the parts thereof, thanksgiving and request, whereunto is added confession of sins. 

Chap. 11. Of reading. 

Chap. 12. Of the extraordinary helps. 

The fourth Treatise directeth the believer unto a daily practice of a Christian life. 

Chap. 1. Of the sum, order, and parts of this treatise. 

Chap. 2. Of the first reason, why there ought to be a daily direction to guide the believer. 

Chap. 3. Of the second reason of a daily direction, consisting of two branches. 

Chap. 4. Of the third reason of the daily direction. 

Chap. 5. Of the fourth reason. 

Chap. 6. Of the 5.6.7. and 8. reasons. 

Chap. 7. Of the description of the daily direction. 

Chap. 8. Of the necessary parts of the daily direction, being the 2. branch of the 2. part of this Treatise. 

Chap. 9. Of the illustration or more full declaration of the former parts of the direction. 

Chap. 10. Of outward duties of life, most commonly to be done daily, but not of necessity. 

Chap. 11. Of the benefit and commendation of the direction. 

Chap. 12. Of the declaration of the first duty of awaking with God. 

Chap. 13. Of the declaration of the second duty, of beginning the day with prayer. 

Chap. 14. Of the declaration of the third duty, about our callings. 

Chap. 15. Of the declaration of the fourth rule or duty, directing us in company. 

Chap. 16. Of the declaration of the fifth duty, how we should behave ourselves in solitariness. 

Chap. 17. Of the declaration of the sixth duty, of using prosperity well. 

Chap. 18. Of the declaration of the seventh duty, of bearing afflictions rightly every day they come. 

Chap. 19. Of the declaration of the eight duty, namely, of using religious exercises in our families. 

Chap. 20. Of the declaration of the ninth and last duty, of viewing the day. 

The fifth Treatise showeth the lets, which hinder the sincere course of the Christian life before described. 

Chap. 1. Of the sum and order of this Treatise, and how it agreeth well with the former. 

Chap. 2. Of Satan's properties and attempts against us in general, and our help against them. 

Chap. 3. Of the devils troubling the weak believer about his faith, and if he do not prevail against him one way, he seeketh by another. 

Chap. 4. Of Satan's hindering the continuance of faith. 

Chap. 5. Of Satan's hindering the believer from living godly: and how many ways: and namely, by keeping him in a wandering & unsettled course; and also of the remedy against it: and first by occasion of that, how he holdeth back the wicked. 

Chap. 6. Of another let: the leaving of our first love. 

Chap. 7. Of a third let in this first kind, namely, the want of the ordinary preaching of the word of God. 

Chap. 8. Of the second kind of general lets: namely, the unmortified affections wherewith he oppresseth the believer. And first of fear that they shall not persevere: and of pride in their gifts. 

Chap. 9. Of other unruly affections, touchiness, peevishness, &c. 

Chap. 10. Of worldly lusts, and namely the love of carnal pleasure, and the inordinate desire of riches. 

Chap. 11. Of the remedies of this worldly lust: namely, covetousness, and excessive love of riches. 

Chap. 12. Of the third kind of lets general, whereby the believer is hindered from going forward in a godly course. 

Chap. 13. An example of a covenant made by certain godly brethren, declaring what manifold lets the faithful have in this world (fit to illustrate the former doctrine) contained in the two next chapters following. In this chapter of the first part of it, namely a complaint. 

Chap. 14. Of the second part of the covenant, namely, the remedies against the complaint mentioned in the former chapter. 

The sixth Treatise setteth down what privileges belong to every true Christian: and how he may have his part in them. 

Chap. 1. Of the sum of this Treatise: the reasons why it is set out: the order of it: and of the diverse kinds of privileges. 

Chap. 2. Of the first privilege. That the believers may know in this life, that they have eternal life. 

Chap. 3. Of the second privilege, namely, that God is with his always, after he hath assured them of his favor. 

Chap. 4. Of the third privilege, how God giveth grace to his children to live godly, and of the first branch. 

Chap. 5. Of a second branch of the third privilege. 

Chap. 6. Of the fourth privilege, how the godly may rise again when they are fallen. 

Chap. 7. Of the fifth privilege, namely, the gracious helps by which he hath granted them to grow in faith and godliness. 

Chap. 8. Of the sixth privilege, namely, of the right using of prosperity. 

Chap. 9. Of the seventh privilege: concerning the afflictions of the godly: and namely of the first branch of the same: that is, how they may be free from many of those troubles, which do light on and meet with the unreformed.

CHAP. 10. Of the second branch of this privilege, concerning the afflictions of the faithful: namely, That God delivereth them out of many, when the wicked still remain in theirs.

Chap. 11. The third branch of this privilege: that we may have much good by our afflictions. 

Chap. 12. Of the eight privilege: of growing in grace. 

Chap. 13. Of the ninth privilege: that the believers shall persevere unto the end. 

Chap. 14. Of the tenth and last privilege, enjoyed perfectly in the life to come, but begun here. 

The seventh Treatise containeth the objections and cavils, which may be brought against the doctrine before set down, and an answer to them. 

Chap. 1. Of the sum and order of this Treatise. 

Chap. 2. The first objection (that there needs no direction daily, besides God's word, and therefore this is needless) answered. 

Chap. 3. Of answering this objection, that no such direction can be observed daily. 

Chap. 4. Of answer to this reason against the practice of daily direction: that it is toilsome and inconvenient, taking away all pleasure from men, and hinders their labors. 

Chap. 5. Of answer to another reason against daily directing of us, that it would break off all society and fellowship among men. 

Chap. 6. Of the doubts and objections, which weak Christians ought to propound until they be satisfied: namely, how they may attain to such direction daily, and answer thereto; and other like, namely that they count it hard, and what such ought to do. 

Chap. 7. Of other objections of the weak; as that they cannot see how they should walk thus, while they live in such an evil world: and other like objections, with answers thereto. 

Chap. 8. Of the objection of weak Christians who cannot read; and another of them, that are troubled through some Scriptures; and answers to both. 

Chap. 9. Of the objection, that Ministers may follow daily direction, but yet not therefore the people, and of such as object, that better counsel is given by the author then he himself will follow: with answer to both; and a larger answer to the first objection in the second chapter. 

Chap. 10. The conclusion of the whole book, containing an exhortation to good and bad.

A Sweet Meditation of the Authors

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