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130

Che

L

I

E

E

of

the

LIB.

I.

i;.

At

fiti}

I was

greatly inclined

to

with the

bigñeff

in Controverfies,

on

one

fide

or other

;

as

with Dr. Twee, and Mr.

Rutherford,

and

Spanbemiva de

Provi-

dentia,

&

gratia, &c.

But now

Iean

fo

easily

fee

what to

fay

againft

both

extreams

thatI

am much more inclinable

to

reconciling Principles.

And whereas

then :I

thought that Conciliators werebut ignorant men,

that were

willing

to

pleafe

all,

and

would

pretend to reconciletheWorld by Principleswhich they did not

under-

t}and

themfelves;

I

have

fine

perceived that

if

the

amiablenefs

of

Peace andCon-

cord

had

no hand in the

bulinels,

yet greater

Light

and ïtronger Judgment

ufually

is

with the Reconcilers,

than with

either

of the

contending Parties (

as

with

Dave.

nant, Hall,

Ufherr,

Lud.

Crociva,

Bergiva,

Strangiva,

Camero,

&c.)

But

on

both

ac-

counts

their

Writings are

molt

acceptable,

(

though

I

know

that Moderation

may

be

a

pretextof Errors).

14.

At

firít

the

Stile

of

Authors took

as

much with me

as

the Argument, and

made the Arguments

seem

more forcible

:

But

now I

judge

not of Truth at

all

by

any

fuch

Ornaments

or

Accidents, but

by its

naked Evidence.

Is-.

I now

fee

more

Good

and more

Evil

in all

Men than

heretofore

Idid I

fee

that

Good

men

are

not

fo good,

as

I

once thought they were,

but have more

Imperfections

:

And

that nearer approach

and fuller

trial, doth

make

the

bet} ap-

pear more

weak and faulty,

than their

Admirers at

a

diftance

think.

And I

find

that

few are

fo

bad,

as

either their

malicious Enemies,

or

cenforious

feparating

Prof&

fors

do

imagine.

In

tome

indeed I

find

that

Humane Nature

is

corrupted into

a

greater

likenefs to Devils,

than

I

once thought any on Earth had

been. But

even

in the wicked

ufually

there

is

more

for grace

to

make advantage

of,

and

more to

teftifie

for God

and Holinefs,

than

I

once believed there had

been.

16,

I

lefs

admire

Gifts

of

Utterance

and

bare Proteges)

of Religion than

I

once

did

;

and have much more

Charity

for

many, whoby the

want

of

Gifts,do make

an

obscurer Profefí

-ron

than they.

I

once thought that

almo11

all

that

could

pray

movingly

and fluently,

and

talk well

of Religion,

had been

Saints.

But

Experi-

encehath

opened to me, what odious Crimes may

confift

with high Profellìon

;

and I

have met

with

divers obscure Persons,

not noted

for any

extraordinary

Pro

-

fe[üon,

or

forwardnefs in Religion,

but only to

live a

quiet

blamelefs Life,

whom

I

have afterfound

to

have long lived,

as

far

as

I could difcern ,

a

truly godly and

fan&ified Life

;

only their Prayers and Duties were

by

accident

kept

fecret

from o-

ther

mens observation.

Yet he that upon

this

pretence would confound

the

Godly and the Ungodly

, may

as

well go

about to

lay

Heaven and Hell toge-

ther.

r7.

I

am

not

fo

narrow

in

my

ffiecial Love

as

heretofore

:

Being

lefs

cenforious,

and talking more than

I

did for Saints,

it mull

needs follow

that I

love

more

as

Saints

than I did

before.

I think

it

not

lawful

to

pat that

Man

off with

bare

Church Communion,

and

fach common Love which

I

mutt

allow the Wicked,

who

profeffeth himself a true

Chriftian,

by

Loch

a

Pro£effion as I

cannot

dii

prove.

18.

I im

not too narrow in my Principles

of

Church Communion

as

onceI

was :

I

more plainly perceive the

difference between

the Church

as Congregate

or

visible,

and

as Regenerate

or Myftical

:

and

between

Sincerity

and

Profeflwn;

and

that

a

Cre-

dible

Profefoz

is

proof

fufficient

of

a

Man's

Title to Church

Admifliion:

and that

the

Profeffton

is

Credible in

fora

Ecclefiæ,

which

is

not

difproved.

I

am

not

for nar-

rowing

the Church

more than

Chriftt

himfelfalioweth

us

;

nor for

robbing him

of

any

of

his Flock.

I

ammore

fenfible

how much

it

is

the Will

of

Chrift

that

every

Man

be

the

cbeofer

or

refuter

of

his

own

felicity,

and that

it

lieth

molt

on

his

own hands,

whether

he will have

Communion with the Church or

not;

and that

if

he

be

an Hypocrite

it

is

himfelf that

will bear the

lofs.

19.

Yet am I more

apprehenfive

than

ever

of the

great

ufe

and need

of

Ecclefi-

aftical

Difcipline, and what a

fin

it

is

in the Pallors of the Church,

to

make no

diftinçtion, but

by

bare

Names

and

Sacraments,

and

to

force all

the unmeet

againft

their own

wills,

to

Church

Communion and

Sacraments

(

though

the

ignorant

and erroneous may fometime be forced to hear

initrudion

):

And what

a

great

djsfhononr

to Chrift it

is,

when

the

Church

!hall

be

as

vicious

as

Pagan and

Ma-

hometan

Affemblies

,

and

lhall

differ from

them only

in

Ceremony and

Name.

zo.

I

am.'

much more

fenfible

of

the Evil

of

Schifm, and

of

the

Separating

Hu-

mour,

and

of

gathering Parties, and making

feveral

Seeks

in the Church than

I

was

heretofore. For

the

Effets

have chewed

us

more

of

the

mischiefs.

zr.1