Vital Godliness: A Treatise on Experimental and Practical Piety (Plumer)

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Sprinkle Publications

Plumer then puts his finger on a characteristic, far too common among contemporary professors, as evidence of being self-deceived - that is, being as much like Christians at the first as at the last. "They do not grow in grace, for they have none. They may increase in outward manifestation and professions, but never in a godlike temper...true grace is a growing principle." Plumer takes the reader through the garden of those fruits which grace produces...Certainly as one peruses this volume the question must surface, how can we really be students of such books relating to vital godliness and yet be so remiss in what we accept for conversions and converted persons in our churches. ~ From the Foreword


Table of Contents:

  1. General remarks on religious experience
  2. Early religious impressions
  3. Early religious impressions, continued
  4. Further strivings of the Spirit
  5. A sense of wretchedness
  6. Conviction – Conversion
  7. Cases of religious distress
  8. Spiritual darkness
  9. Backsliding
  10. Faith
  11. Repentance
  12. Humility
  13. The fear of God
  14. Hope
  15. Love to God
  16. Love to Christ
  17. Love to our neighbor
  18. Love to the brethren
  19. Peace
  20. Courage
  21. Contentment
  22. Patience
  23. Joy
  24. Zeal
  25. Concluding observations



William Swan Plumer (1802-80) was a minister, author, and theological professor. Plumer was a prolific author and active churchman. His published works include commentaries, biblical studies, articles, essays, sermons, and a volume on pastoral theology. His writings, while profoundly theological in nature, are very practical in focus. His books represent a high point in the theological-devotional literature produced of nineteenth century American Presbyterianism.