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a

26

The

LIFE

of

the

1.

I

B.

I,

and

they

defend their Errors

as

themfelves, and

fair

up all their Wit and Ability

to oppofe

you

:

In

controverfies

it

is

fierce

Oppofition which

is

the

Bellows

to

kindle

a

refifting

Zeal

;

when if they be

negle

ted,

and their Opinions

lie

a while

defpifed, they ufually cool and come again

to

themfelves

(

though I know

that

this

holdeth not when the

Greedinefs and Increafe

of

his Followers,

doth animate a

Se

kary, even though he have

noOppoftion).

Men are

fo

loth to be drenched with

the Truth,

that

I

am

no more

for going

that

way

to work

;

and to

confefs

the

Truth,

I am

lately much prone

to

the

contrary

Extream,

to

be

too indifferent what

Men

hold, and to keep my Judgment to my

kW,

and never

to

mention any thing

wherein

I

differ

from another, or any thing which I think

I

know more

than

he;

or

at

leaf, if

he

receive

it

not

prefently

to

hlence

it,

and

leave

him

to his

own

Opinion

:

And

I

find

thisEffe&

is

mixed according to

its

Calks,

which

are tome

good,

and force

be,

The

bad

Caafes

are

r.

An Impatience

of

Mens

weaknefs

and

miftaking frowarddefi and

Self-

conceitednefs.

s.

An Abatement

of

my

Jenfible

E(teem

of

Truth, t

rough

the

long abode

of

them on my

Mind: Though my

judgment

value

them, yet it

is

hard to be equally

afebted

with old and common

things, as with

new

and

rare

ones.

The

better

Caufes are

r. That

1

am much more

fenfible

than

ever

of thenecellìty

ofliving upon the Principles

of

Religion, which

we

are

all

agreed

in,

and uniting

thefe

;

and how much Mifchief

Men that

over-

value

their own Opinions

have

done by their

Controverfies

in

the Church

;

how

Tome

have deftroyed

Charity, and

force miffed Schifms by

them,

and moft have

hindered

Godl nets in themfelvesand others,

and

ufed

them

to

divert Men from

the

furious

profecuting

of

a

holy Life ; and as Sir

Francis Bacon

faith,

(

in

his

EJT,

of

Peace

) that

it's one great Benefit of Church -Peace and

Concord, that writing

Controverfies

is

turned into

Books

of

pradtical Devotion forincreafe

of Piety and

Virtue.

2. And

I

find

that

it's

much more

for

molt

Mens

Goodand Edification,

to

converfe

with them only

in that

way

of

Godlinefs

which

all are agreed in, and

not

by touchingupon

Differences

to

fir

up their Corruptions; and to

tell them

of

lit

-

tle more

of

your Knowledge,

than what

you find them willing

to

receive from

you

as

meer

Learners ;

and therefore to

fay

till they

crave

Information

of

you

( as

Mafculur

didwith the Anabaptifs

;

when he

vifited

them in Prifon;

and converfed

kindly and lovingly

with them, and

(hewed

them all the

Love

he

could, and

ne-

ver talkt to them

of

their Opinions,

till

at

laut

they who were wont to

call

him

a

Deceiver and

falfe

Prophet, did intreat him to

infra&

them, and

received his

Infru

&ions

). We

mifake

Mens,Difeafes

when

we

think there needethnothing

to

cue

their

Errors

;

but only to bring them the

Evidence

ofTruth

:

Alas

!

there

are

many Diftempers

ofMind to

be removed,before

Men

are

apt to

receive

that Evidence.

And therefore

that

Church

is

happy where Order

is

kept

up, and the Abilities

of

the Miniferscommand

a -reverend Submiflion

from the

Hearers;

and where

all

are in

Chrif's

School in

the

difin&

Ranks

of

Teachers

and Learners

:

For in a

learning way Men are ready

to

receive the

Truth,

but in a Difputing

way

they

come armed

again( it

with

Prejudice, and Animofity.

3.

And

I

muli

fay

farther, that what

I.laf

mentioned on the

by,

is

one

of

the

notable(

Changes

of

my Mind

:

In

my

youth I

was

quickly pall my Fundamen-

tals,

and

was

running up into

a

multitude

of

Controverfies, and greatly delighted

with

metaphifical and

fcholafick Writings ( though

I

muff needs fay,

my Preach-

ing

was

fill

on the

neceffary Points

):

But

the

elder

I

grew

the

fmalier

frets

I

layd

upon

thefe .ontroverfres and

Curiofities

(though fill

my intellect abhorreth

Confufion

),

as

finding far

greater Uncertainties

in them,

than I at

firft

difcerned,

and finding

lefs Ufefalnefi

comparatively, even where there

is

the greateft Certainty.

And now

iris

the

fundamental Doctrines

of

the Catechifm, which

I

highlieft

values

and

daily

think

of, and

find

moli

ufeful

to

my felf and others

:

The

Creed, the

Lord's

Prayer, and the

Ten

Commandments, do

find

me

now

the moli acceptable

and plentiful

matter, for

all

my

Medications

:

They

are to me

as

my

daily Bread

and Drink

:

And

as

I

can fpeak and

write

of

them over

and over again ;

fo

I had

rather

read or hear

of

them, than

of

any of the

School

Niceties, which once

fo

much

pleafed me.

And thus I obferved

it

was

with

old Bifhop

Ufher,

and with

ma-

ny

ocher

Men

:

And I

conjecture

that

this Effe& alto

is

mixt of

good

and

bad,

according to its Cedes.

The

bad Ca

/e

may perhaps

be

fome natural Infirmity and Decay

:

And

as

Trees

in the SpringIhoot up into

Branches, Leaves and Bloffoms

;

but

in the

Autumn

the

Life

draws

down into the

Root;

fo

pofibiy, my Nature

confcious

of

its

Infirmi-

ty

and Decay, may

find

it

felfinfutfrcient

for

numerous. Particles,

and Affurgency

to the altemptiog

of

difficult things ;

-

and fo my

Mind may retire

to

the Root

of

Chrilitan