roughly studied it themselves. You may meet with many difficulties in theology, and in the text, which you think can never be well solved, which are nothing to them that understand the thing. No novice in the study of logic, astronomy, geometry, or any art or science, will think that every difficulty that he meeteth with, doth prove that his author was deceived, unless he be able to resolve it of himself: but he will ask his tutor, or some one versed in those matters, to resolve it: and then he will see that his ignorance was the cause of all his doubts.

Cond. 29. Labour faithfully to receive all holy truths with a practical intent, and to work them on your hearts according to their nature, weight, and use. For the doctrine of Christianity is scientia affectiva practica; a doctrine for head, heart, and life. And if that which is made for the heart, be not admitted to the heart, and rooted there, it is half rejected while it seemeth received, and is not in its proper place and soil.

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If you are yet in doubt of any of the supernatural verities, admit those truths to your hearts which you are convinced of; else you are false to them and to yourselves, and forfeit all further helps of grace.

Object. This is but a trick of deceit to engage the affections, when you want arguments to convince the judgment: perit omne judicium cum res transit in affectum.

Answ. When the affection is inordinate, and overruns the judgment, this saying hath some truth, but it is most false as of ordinate affections which follow sound judgment. For by suscitation of the faculties, such affections greatly help the judgment and judgment is but the eye of the soul to guide the man, and it is but the passage to the will, where human acts are more complete. If your wife be taught that conjugal love is due to her husband, and your child that filial love and reverence is due to his father, such affections will not blind their judgments; but, contrarily, they do not sincerely receive these precepts, if they let them not into the heart, and answer them not with the affections.k

And here is the great difference between the faith of an honest, sanctified ploughman, and of a carnal, unsanctified lord or doctor;

* Dubitamus, ambigimus, necesse quod dicitur plenum fidei suspicamur: committamus nos Deo, nec plus apud nos valeat incredulitas nostra, quàm illius nominis et potentiæ magnitudo: ne dum ipsi nobis argumenta conquirimus quibus esse videatur falsum id quod esse novimus atque adnitimur verum obrepat dies extremus, et inimicæ mortis reperiamur in faucibus.—Arnob, adv. Gent. 1. 2. verbis ultim.

the one openeth his heart to the doctrine which he receiveth, and faithfully admitteth it to its proper work, and so embraceth it practically, and in love, and therefore holdeth it fast as a radicated, experienced truth, when he cannot answer all cavils that are brought against it. The other superficially receiveth it into the brain, by mere speculation, and treacherously shuts up his heart against it, and never gave it real rooting, and therefore, in the time of trial loseth that unsound, superficial belief which he hath. God blesseth his word to the heart that honestly and practically receiveth it, rather than to him that imprisoneth it in unrighteousness.

Cond. 30. Lastly, if yet any doubts remain, bethink you which is the surest side which you may follow with least danger, and where you are certain to undergo the smallest loss.

It is pity that any should hesitate in a matter of such evidence and weight, and should think with any doubtfulness of Christianity, as an uncertain thing: but yet true believers may have cause to say, ' Lord help our unbelief, and increase our faith,' and all doubting will not prove the unsoundness of belief. The true mark to know when faith is true and saving, notwithstanding all such doubtings, is the measure of its prevalency with our hearts and lives. That belief in Christ and the life to come is true and saving, notwithstanding all doubtings, which habitually possesseth us with the love of God above all, and resolveth the will to prefer the pleasing of him, and the hopes of heaven, before all the treasures and pleasures of this world, and causeth us in our endeavours to live accordingly. And that faith is unsound which will not do this, how well soever it may be defended by dispute. Therefore, at least, for the resolving of your wills for choice and practice, if you must doubt, yet consider which is the safest side. If Christ be the Saviour of the world, he will bring believers to grace and glory: and you are sure there is nothing but transitory trifles which you can possibly

1 Quæ mala Stoici non audent appellare; aspera autem, et incommoda et rejicienda, et aliena naturæ esse concedunt; ea nos mala dicimus, sed exigua, et porro minima. -Piso de Peripat. et Academ. in Cicer de Fin.l. 5. p. 234. Cum ergo hæc sit conditio futurorum ut teneri et comprehendi nullius possim anticipationis attactu, nonne purior ratio est, ex duobus incertis et in ambigua expectatione pendentibus, id potius credere, quod aliquàs spes ferat, quàm omnino quod nullas ? Id illo enim periculi nihil est, si quod dicitur imminere, cassum fiat et vacuum; in hoc damnum est maximum, (id est salutis amissio,) si cum tempus advenerit, aperiatur hoc fuisse mendacium. Quid dicitis O nescii etiam fletu et miseratione dignissimi; ita non tam extimescitis, ne forte hæc vera sint, quæ sunt despectui vobis, et præbent materiam VOL. XXI,


lose by such a choice. For, certainly, his precepts are holy and safe, and no man can imagine rationally that they can endanger the soul. But if you reject him by infidelity, you are lost for ever for there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a fearful looking-for of judgment, and fire, which shall devour his adversaries for ever. There is no other Saviour for him who finally refuseth the only Saviour. And if you doubted whether faith might not prove an error, you could never see any cause to fear that it should prove a hinderance to your salvation: for salvation itself is an unknown thing to most that do not believe in Christ and no man can well think that a man who is led by an age of such miracles, so credibly reported to us, to believe in one that leadeth up souls to the love of God, and a holy and heavenly mind and life, can ever perish for being so led to such a Guide, and then led by him in so good a way, and to so good an end.

And thus, reader, I have faithfully told thee what reasonings my soul hath had about its way to everlasting life, and what inquiries it hath made into the truth of the christian faith: I have gone to my own heart for those reasons, which have satisfied myself, and not to my books, (from which I have been many years separated,) for such as satisfy other men, and not myself. I have told thee what I believe, and why; yet, other men's reasonings, perhaps, may give more light to others, though these are they that have prevailed most with me. Therefore, I desire the reader that would have more said, to peruse especially these excellent books: Camero's Prælectiones de Verbo Dei,' with the Theses Salmurienses and Sedanenses on that subject; Grotius De Veritate Religionis Christianæ ;' Marsilius Ficinus 'De Relig. Christ. cum notis Lud. Crocii ;' Lodovicus Vives 'De Verit. Fid. Christ. ;' Phil. Morney du Plessis De Verit. Fid. Christ. ;' John Goodwin 'Of the Authority of the Scriptures;' Campanella's 'Atheismus Triumphatus ;' Hieronymus Savonarola's Triumphus Crucis ;' (both excellent books, excepting the errors of their times ;) Raymundus 'De Sabundis Theologia Naturalis;' 'Micrelii Ethnophronius ;' (an excellent book ;) Raymundus Lullius Articul. Fid. Alexander Gill; (out of him, on the Creed ;) Mr. Stilling

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risus? Nec saltem vobiscum sub obscuris cogitationibus volvitis, ne quod hodiè credere obstinata renuitis perversitate redarguat serum tempus et irrevocabilis pœnitentia castiget? Nonne velle hæc saltem vobis fidem faciunt argumenta credendi, quod jam per omnes terras in tam brevi tempore im mensi hujus sacramenta diffusa sunt, &c.—Arnob. 1. 2. p. 12.


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fleet's 'Origines Sacræ ;' (a late and very worthy labour;) Dr. Jackson on the Creed; Mr. Vincent Hatecliff's 'Aut Deus aut Nihil;' (for the first part of religion;) passing by Lessius, Parsons, and abundance more; and common-place books, which many of them treat very well on this subject: and of the ancients, Augustin De Civitate Dei,' and Eusebii Preparatio et Demonstratio Evangelica,' are the fullest; and almost all of them have somewhat to this use, as Justin M. Athenagoras, Tatianus, Tertullian, Clemens Alexand., Origen against Celsus, &c., Cyprian, Lactantius, Athanasius, Basil, Gr. Nazianzen, Nessen, &c.

For my own part, I humbly thank the heavenly Majesty for the advantages which my education gave me, for the timely reception of the christian faith; but temptations and difficulties have so often called me to clear my grounds, and try the evidences of that religion, which I had first received upon the commendation of my parents, that I have long thought no subject more worthy of my most serious, faithful search; and have wondered at the great number of Christians, who could spend their lives in studying the superstructures, and wrangling about many small uncertainties, to the great disturbance of the church's peace, and found no more need to be confirmed in the faith. In this inquiry I have most clearly, to my full satisfaetion, discerned all those natural evidences for godliness or holiness, which I have laid down in the first part of this book: and I have discerned the congruous superstruction and connexion of the christian religion thereunto; I have found, by unquestionable experience, the sinful and depraved state of man; and I have discerned the admirable suitableness of the remedy to the malady: I have also discerned the attestation of God in the grand evidence, the Holy Spirit, the Advocate or Agent of Jesus Christ, viz., 1. The antecedent evidence in the spirit of prophecy, leading unto Christ. 2. The inherent, constituent evidence of the Gospel, and of Christ, the image of God, in the power, wisdom, and goodness, both of Christ and of his doctrine. 3. The concomitant evidence of miracles in the life, resurrection, and prophecies of Christ, and in the abundant miracles of the apostles, and other of his disciples, through the world. 4. The subsequent evidence in the successes of the Gospel, to the true sanctification of millions of souls, by the powerful efficacy of divine co-operation. I have spent most of my life in converse with such truly sanctified persons, and in preach

ing this Gospel, through the great mercy of God, with such success upon no small numbers; so that I am certain, by full experience, of the reality of that holy change, which cannot be done but with the co-operation of God. I have seen that this change is another matter than fancy, opinion, or factious conjunction with a sect: even the setting up God in the soul as God, as our Owner, Ruler, and chief Good, and the devoting of the soul to him in resignation, obedience, and thankful love; the seeking of an everlasting felicity in his glorious sight and love in heaven; the contempt of this world as it pleaseth the flesh; and the holy use of it, as the way to our felicity and pleasing God; the subduing and denying all carnal desires, which would rebel against God and reason, and restoring reason to the government of the lower faculties; the denying of that inordinate selfishness, which setteth up our interest against our neighbours, and the respecting and loving our neighbours as ourselves, and doing to others as we would be done by, and doing good to all men as far as we have power; the holy governing of our inferiors, and obeying our superiors in order to these ends; living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this world, and in the patient bearing of all afflictions; and diligently serving God in our several places, to redeem our time, and prepare for death, and wait with longing for the everlasting glory, the hope of which is caused in us by faith in Christ, our Ransom, Reconciler, Example, Teacher, Governor, and Judge. This is the true nature of the religion expressed in the Gospel, and impressed on the souls of sanctified men. By this effect, I know that Christ is the Saviour of the world, and no deceiver, as I know a man to be a true physician, and no deceiver, when I see him ordinarily and thoroughly perform the cures which he undertaketh. He saveth us actually from the power of our sins, and bringeth up our hearts to God, and therefore we may boldly say, 'He is our Saviour.' This witness, through his mercy, I have in myself, and is always with me, and in those whom I converse with round about me. I have also, upon just inquiry, found that the witnesses of Christ's resurrection and miracles have delivered us their testimony with a three-fold evidence, 1. The evidence of just credibility to a human belief. 2. The evidence of natural certainty in the natural impossibilities of deceit. 3. The evidence of supernatural, divine attestation, in, 1. The image of God on their hearts and doctrine: 2. Their miracles; and, 3. Their sanctifying success. And I have found

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