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The Works of John Witherspoon, Volume 1

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Sprinkle Publications


The following Treatises were originally published at different times, and some of them on particular occasions; but the attentive reader will easily perceive one leading design running through the whole. The author has long been of opinion, that the great decay of religion in all parts of this kingdom, is chiefly owing to a departure from the truth as it is in Jesus, from those doctrines which chiefly constitute the substance of the gospel.


Prefatory Memoir – H. Rondel Rumburg

A Funeral Discourse: The Faithful Servant Rewarded (Matthew 25:21) – Rev. Dr. John Rodgers of New York

1. An Essay of Justification

Essay on the connection Between the Doctrine of Justification by the Imputed Righteousness of Christ, and Holiness of Life. With some reflections upon the reception which that Doctrine hath generally met with in the World

Prefixed Letter to the Rev. James Hervey, rector of Weston-Favell, Northamptonshire, Author of Theron and Aspasio

2. Treatise on Regeneration (John 3:3)

Chapter One: Some general observations on the metaphor used by the apostle John, Except a man to be born again; and the same or similar expressions to be found in other parts of the Word of God.

Section I – From this expression, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, we may learn the greatness of that change which must pass upon every child of Adam, before he can become an heir of life.

Section II – This expression, Except a man be born again, and other familiar expressions, imply that the change here intended is not merely partial, but universal.

Section III – From these words, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God and other similar expressions in the holy Scripture, we may infer that the change here intended is not merely external and imperfect but inward, essential and complete.

Section IV – From the metaphor, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, and other parallel expressions in the holy Scriptures, we may learn that the change here intended is supernatural.

Chapter Two: In which is shown wherein this change does properly and directly consist, and what are its principal evidences and fruits.

Section I – Wherein the change in Regeneration does properly and directly consist.

Section II – The second part of this change.

Section III – The effects of Regeneration; with some of the principal evidences of its sincerity.

Section IV – A more particular inquiry into what properly constitutes the sincerity of the change.

Chapter Three: Of the steps by which this change is accomplished.

Section I – There must be a discovery of the real nature of God.

Section II – There must be a discovery of the infinite glory of God.

Section III – There must be a conviction of sin and danger.

Section IV – Of the degree of sorrow for sin in true penitents.

Section V – Acceptance of Salvation through the cross of Christ.

Section VI – How the believer recovers peace of conscience.

Section VII – How the Christian is governed in his daily conversation.


John Witherspoon (February 5, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and a Founding Father of the United States.