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conceit, or gratify his own humour, imagination and fancy, prefer himself before his brethren, be boisterous, tempestuous and troublesome in the place where he lives. For either this man, notwithstanding his profession, is not a christian ; or else these persons were mistaken that put these characters down in holy scripture. No certainly, we are not to allow and esteem him a christian, that is haughty, arrogant and self-conceited; for no principle in the world lays such ground of modesty and soberness of spirit and temper, as the christian religion doth. And nothing is more unnatural to the true spirit of religion, than a proud and haughty mind; for this of all things is most scandalous to it. 'Tis eafier a great deal to bear the scorn and contempt of the irreligious, than the infolency, forwardness, and self-conceitedness of self-fattering professors.

We may, and ought to prefer the modest, gentle, calm spirit, that we find in some ftill and quiet believers, before the arrogant, cenforious, self-aflum. er ; and have reason to believe, that there is more of God and of the christian profeffion in the modest ftill, quiet fpirit, who makes no noise in the world, who are rather to God than to men; and that they are more noble-spirited, and better christians than the other. I will give you a demonstration of this, because that temper I have been speaking against, is that which brings a reproach upon chriftianity. Professors of religion are thought to be troublesome to the world, and incendiaries ; and where men are proud, arrogant, and selfish, and allow themselves in self-will, they are so indeed :


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but these are not in the highest form of christianity.
For divine truth, sublime reason, and tried notions
of things, are to be found as the comely ornament
of an humble spirit, and in souls subdued to God.
These, and these only, have a right sense of things,
and are capable rightly to estimate and judge. A
generous notion will not lodge in a haughty, pre-
sumptuous breast : for these are not cool enough
for wisdom to enter into their souls ; for wisdom is
the fruit of deep search, and serious confideration ;
and he that knows most, thinks he has moft ftill to learn,
They are the empty vessels that make the greatest
noise. We need no other discovery of conceited-
ness than its own expression and behaviour ; they
are always talkative, cenforious, dictating, impo-
fing, self-admirers. But he that is fincere in reli-
gion, can search and discover them : just as one
that is a master of his art or science, can detect a
pretender, discover a bungler, and shew his cheats:
there is also a nauseousness and fulsomness in the
converse with those that are conceited, and full of
themselves ; they being self-flatterers, and great ad-
mirers of themselves, and highly in love with the
fpurious issue of their own brain ; and tho' their
notions are imaginary and fantastical, and truly ri-
diculous to any one that is of any discerning spirit,
yet they are importune and troublesome : whereas
he that speaks truth in the evidence of reason, he
commands every ear ; for man's foul is a-kin to
truth, and whatsoever truth doth appear, a man's
foul doth greet it as its first and nearest acquain-
tance. But if it be the presumption of a conceited


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brain, it cannot be received ; and therefore those persons must be importune and troublesome to faften their notions upon unwilling receivers. Take it for granted, no wise man is fond of any notion, nor given up to any persuasion, so as not willingly to hear of any thing to the contrary, And really, it doth not become any of us to be fond of tion that we have received, or to be under the pows er of any perfuafion, so as not to be willing to submit it to examination, and to offer it to fevere and impartial fearch ; for we are all finite and fallible, and we ought to think we are short and may be mistaken ; and if I receive that for truth, which is not fo, I am deceived, and brought into a fool's paradise, and can lay no strefs upon it ; or if I do, it will fail me. But all truth is connatural, and of fome use and advantage to the soul of man ; but if it be a lie, and false, which I took for truth though 1 may be saved by the fubftantial truths that otherwise I received ; yet fa far forth as I am mistaken fo far forth shall I be frustrated, and never the better. Just as in the case of which the apostle {peaks, 1 Cor. ji. 12. They that build upon the foundation, wood, hay, stubble, &c. may be saved, because upon the foundation; but theirworks shall fufferloss. But why should I not have my understanding be a receptacle for truth? Why should I have anything that is false there, when I shall never be the better for it? The most I can expect is, that God will excufe me, because I am honeft-minded. But it becomes me, if I will do honour to God, and right to my own soul, impartially to examine whatsoever I receive as true in matters of

religion ;

religion ; and to commit it to serious and impartial judgment: And I leave it with you, That no wife man, nor truly good man is fond of any opinion, or addicts himself to any persuasion, but hath this in the resolution of his mind, that if any opinion be made known to him to be a mistake, he will leave it; and this is inherent to all those that are of sober, modest, meek, and gentle spirits. But those that are haughty and arrogant think too fondly, of themselves, and believe that every body ought to receive their dictates from them : they are indeed too full of themselves, ever to be wife; they think they have attained, and so are beyond the apostle, who when he had profess'd his faith of the resurrection, faith, not that I have already attained, not that I am already perfect, not that I have already apprehended.

I know there is a great allowance to be given to men's suppositions : that which a man hath long thought, and imagined, and hath been brought up in, and often put in his prayers, and often proposed to others, it is a hard matter for him to call this into question. But if we consider that we may be misa taken, being finite and fallible; it becomes us, at the least, to be enquirers after truth, and to have an ear open after information, and to be resolved to follow truth whenever it may appear.

But on the other hand, there is no fuch troublesome converse in the world, as the company of one that bolsters himself up with the opinion of his religion ; but indeed knows not himself. To conclude, the right believer, is most modest and humble ; less rigid, and cenforious ; lefs captious and given to take


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exception ; and fo his converse and society is less offensive and burdensome. So far is true religion from doing any harm, or making any disturbance in the common-wealth of mankind; for it is indeed the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the hght of God is of great price."'1 Pet. iii. 4. And this for the application, where our apostle profefieth in a high degree his faith of the resurrection, and his resolution to subdue and subordinate all things thereunto; for he faith, If by any means I may attain the resurrection of the dead, there he doth immediately subjoin the expressions of his humility; the deepest sense he hath of his own shortness and fallibility ; Not as if I had already attained, or were already perfect : not that I think I have already apprehended. How carefully doth he avoid all commendation of himself; how doth he decline pride and arrogancy, how far is he from felf-conceitedness and proud reflection upon himself, from all haughtiness and self-assuming ? Where is the most of God there is least of self. This is the first. Where he doth profess his faith, there he testifies his humility. Now to the case itself, not that I have already attained, or ihat I am already perfect, or that I have apprehended. In the spiritual state there is more or less of strength, but not more or less of truth; for the truth of things consists in an indivisible point; either a man hath true grace, or he hath no grace at all ; either he hath real goodness, or no goodness at all ; either truly in the state of grace or not at all in it; either he hath a frue intention, or he doth not mean at all in religi

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