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gence, to seek for wisdom as for hiddn treasures early and late, that another order shall enjoyn us to know nothing but by statute. When a man hath bin labouring the hardest labour in the deep mines of knowledge, hath furnisht out his findings in all their equipage, drawn forth his reasons as it were a battell raung’d, scatter'd and defeated all objections in his way, calls out his adversary into the plain, offers him the advantage of wind and sun, if he please; only that he may try the matter by dint of argument, for his opponents then to sculk, to lay ambushments, to keep a narrow bridge of licencing where the challenger should passe, though it be valour anough in souldiership, is but


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weaknes and cowardise in the wars of Truth. For who knows not thạt Truth is strong next to the Almighty ? she needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licencings, to make her victorious, those are the shifts and defences that error uses against her power : give her but room, & do not bind her when she sleeps, for then ihe speaks not true, as the old Proteus did, who spake oracles only when he was caught & bound, but then rather she turns herself into all shapes, excepe her own, and perhaps tunes her voice according to the time, as Micaiah did before Ahab, untill she be adjur'd into her own likenes. Yet is it not impoffible that she may have more shapes than one. What else is all that rank of

things indifferent, wherein Truth' may be on this side, or on the other, without being unlike her self? What but a vain fhadow else is the abolition of thole.ordinances, that hand-writing nayld to the 'croffe? what great purchase is this Chriftian liberty which Paul so often boasts of? His doctrine is, that he who eats or eats not, regards a day, or regards it not, may doc either to the Lord. How many other things might be tolerared in peace, and left to conscience, had we but charity, and were it not the chief strong hold of our hypocrisie to be ever judging one another. I fear yet this iron yoke of outward conformity hath left a flavifh print upon our necks; the ghoft. of a limen decency yet haunts us. We Аа 2



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stumble and are impatient at the least dividing of one visible congregation from another, though it be not in fundamentalis; and through our forwardnes to suppresse, and our backwardnes to recover any enthrall’d peece of truth out of the gripe of custom, we care not to keep truth separated from truth, which is the fiercest rent and disunion of all. We doe not see that while we still affect by all means a rigid externall formality, we may as soon fall into a grosse conforming stupidity, a stark and dead congealment of wood and hay and stubble forc't and frozen together, which is more to the sudden degenerating of a Church than many subdichotomies of petty schisms. Not that I can think well of

every light separation, or that all in a Church is to be expected gold and silver and pretious stones : it is not possible for a man to sever the wheat from the tares, the good fish from the other frie; that must be the Angels Ministery at the end of mortall things. Yet if all cannot be of one mind, as who looks they should be? this doubtles is more wholsome, more prudent, and more Christian, that many be tolerated, rather then all compell’d. I mean not tolerated Popery, and open superstition, which as it estirpates all religions and civill supremacies, so it self should be extirpat, provided first that all charitable and compassionat means be us'd to win and regain the weak and the mided : that also which is

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