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i

to

the

Reader

each

a

perfoh

as

Chrift)

muff

we

obey

fuch

á

cofnsnatd

.Pro

fef

on

with

the tongue

(faith

he)

is

no

more

than

any

other

geflure

whereby

we

fgni

fy

our

obedience,

and

wherein

a

Chriflian,

holding

firmly

in his

heart

the

faith

of Chrifl'

bath

the

fame

liberty

that

Elitha

allowed

to

Naaman

the

Sr

Brian.

A

great

and

grofs miftake

;

the

prophet

allowed no

fuch thing, But,

without giving

any

particular

anfwer

to

his demand,fince,by what

Mr.

Hobbs

confetfeth, he

could

not

but

know

that

what

he

defired

(if

indeed

he

defired

it,

fome

learned

men

aferting,

that

the words

contain

a

refle&ion upon

a

paff

unlawful

pra&iee,

and

a

begging

forgivenefs

of

it,

and

not

a

delire

of

a

permiffion

of

any

fuch

pra

&ice

for the future)

was a

tin

and

unlawful

to

be

done

;

only

bids

him

go in

peace,

withing

him

well,

and God's

bleffing to

him,

tho'

not

as

to.that particular

;.

Here,

faith

he, Naaman

believed

in

bis

Heart,

but,

by

bowing

before

the

idol

Rimmon,

he

denied

the true

God

in

e

ffett, as

if

he

had

done

it with

his

lips

:

(How

dare

he

then

be

fo

bold,

as

to affirm,

that

the prophet.

allowed

and

approved

of

his

pra

&ice

?

What

then

fball

we

fay

to

that

of

our

saviour,

Whoever

denieth

me before

Men,

him

will

I

deny before my

Father

which

is

in heaven

?

9'o

this

(faith he)

we may

fay,

That whatfoever

a

fisbjett,

as

Naaman

was,

is compelled to,

in

obedience to

his

love_

reign, and

Both

it

not according

to

his

own

mind, but

in

or-

der

to

the

laws

of

his country,

that

aëiion

is not

his, but

bis

favereign's

;

nor is

it

he

that

in

this

cafe

denies

Chri'1,

but

his governor,

and

the

law

of

his country.

O

what

a

wide

door

is

opened here

for groffett diffimulation,'

and juggling in

the

matters

of

God,

and

for the

moff

palpable inconhftency betwixt

the heart of

a

man, and

his

a

&ions

!

the

one

manifettly

contradi&ing

and

bely.

ing the other, which ought,

efpecially in fuch

cafes,

faithfully to

correfpond,

and exaétly

to agree.

What

fecurity,

I pray,

could

men have

upon

earth

one from a-

nother

in

their

oaths, covenants,

pads

and contra

&s,'

in

their

mutual bargainings and dealings,

if

fuch

a

curled

latitude

were allowed

them,

to

fay, promife,

and

fwear

one

thing,

and

resolve

another

in

their

hearts

?

And

(hall

that

be allowed

in

matters wherein

the

honour

of

God

is'

fo

much, and

fo

nearly

concerned,' which

is

fo'abo-