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PEACE is so great a blessing, and disputations and questions in religion are so little friends to peace, that I have thought no man's time can be better spent than in propositions and promotions of peace, and consequently in finding expedients, and putting periods to all contentious learning. I have already, in a Discourse before the Right Honourable the Lords and Commons assembled in this Parliament, proved that obedience is the best medium of peace and true religion; and laws are the only common term and certain rule and measure of it. "Vocatâ ad concionem multitudine, quæ coalescere in populi unius corpus nulla re, præterquam legibus, poterat," said Livy. Obedience to man is the external instrument, and the best in the world. To which I now add, that obedience to God is the best internal instrument; and I have proved it in this Discourse. Peace and holiness are twin-sisters; after which because every man is bound to follow, and he
a Lib. i. cap. 8.
that does not, shall never see God, I concluded that the office of a bishop is in nothing so signally to be exhibited, as in declaring by what means these great duties and blessings are to be acquired. This way I have here described, is an old way; for it was Christ's way, and therefore it is truth and life; but it hath been so little regarded, and so seldom taught, that when I first spake my thoughts of it, in the following words, before the little, but excellent University of Dublin, they consented to it so perfectly, and so piously entertained it, that they were pleased, with some earnestness, to desire me to publish it to the world, and to consign it to them as a perpetual memorial of their duty, and of my regards to them, and care over them in my station. I was very desirous to serve and please them in all their worthy desires, but had found so much reason to distrust my own abilities, that I could not resolve to do what I fain would have done, till by a second communication of those thoughts, though in differing words, I had published it also to my clergy, at the metropolitical visitation of the most Reverend and Learned Lord Primate of Armagh, in my own diocese. But when I found that they also thought it very reasonable and pious, and joined in the desire of making it public, I consented perfectly, and now only pray to God
it may do that work which I intended. I have often thought of those excellent words of Mr. Hooker, in his very learned Discourse of Justification: "Such is the untoward constitution of our nature, that we do neither so perfectly understand the way and knowledge of the Lord, nor so steadfastly embrace it when it is understood, nor so graciously utter it when it is embraced, nor so peaceably maintain it when it is uttered, but that the best of us are overtaken, sometimes through blindness, sometimes through hastiness, sometimes through impatience, sometimes through other passions of the mind, whereunto (God knows) we are too subject." That I find by true experience; the best way of learning and peace, is that which cures all these evils, as far as in the world they are curable, and that is the ways of holiness, which are, therefore, the best and only way of truth. In disputations there is no end, and but very little advantage; but the way of godliness hath in it no error and no doubtfulness. By this, therefore, I hoped best to apply the counsel of the wise man : "Stand thou fast in thy sure understanding, in the way and knowledge of the Lord, and have but one manner of word, and follow the word of peace and righteous
ness." I have reason to be confident that they who desired me to publish this Discourse, will make use of it, and find benefit by it: and if any others do so too, both they and I shall still more and more give God all thanks, and praise, and glory.
Ecclus. v. 10. Vulg. Edit. Lat.
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine,
THE ancients, in their mythological learning, tell us, that