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to

the Reader.

Xxvìi

man,

as

his

deputy,

to whofe

diEates

he

is

carefully to

take

heed,

and

hath

not made

the

confcience

of

any

one

man,

or

fociety

of

men, his

depute over all

the

confcien-

ces

of

other

men.

I

;hall

eafily

grant, that,

when

the

confciences

of

more

knowing,

more

tender

and

more

confcientious

men

than myfelf, di&ate

to

them the war

-

rantablenefs

of

fuch and fuch

a

praftice,

I

am-

called

to

be

holily jealous

over,

and fufpicious

of

\myfelf, impar-

tially

to examine

the

reafons

of

their

clearnefs, and

on

that

occafion

to

fearch very

fcrutinoufly,

narrowly,

and

exaiwfly

into

the

grounds

of

my

own

unclearnefs,

hefita-

tion and doubting, and

to be much and earneft

in

pray-

er

to

God, with

unbiaffed

finglenefs

and fincerity,

for

fending

forth

bis

light

and

truth

to

guide

and

lead

me

:

But

if,

notwithffanding

all

this,

my

doubt

fä11

remains

;

and

it

may be

alto, that

there

are feveral

other

godly and

Judicious perfons

that

are

doubtful

and

unclear with

me

;

I

cannot

in

that

cafe

warrantably

give

up myfelf

to

be

implicitly

determined by the

confcience

of others,

what-

ever

their

qualifications be,

or

whatever

my

veneration

may be

for

them,

nor

am

I

bound

to a&

myfelf

with

a

doubting

confcience

;

fince

I

am

exprefly told

by

the

in-

fallible Scriptures

of

truth,

that

I

cannot

aft

in

that

cafe

without

fin,

and without

incurring the hazard

of

dam-

nation

;

and

that

no

man can

keep

me

harmlefs

in

doing

fo,

fince

every

man mull

give

an

account

of

himfelf

to

God

:

And

if

I

fhall

do

one

thing

with

a

doubting

confcience,

becaufe

I

may

be miftaken, and

in an

error

;

or

becaufe

fuch and

fuch

godly and knowing

perlons are free

for

it,

what

a

wide

door would this

open

?

why

may

I

not

do

another thing

of

greater

moment

doubtingly,

and

ano-

ther

after

that.,

and

a

third

after

that

?

where

shall

I

flay or flop,

and

when

fha11

there

be

an

end

of

fuch

Confcience-

doubting

a

&ions

?

efpecially

in

times

where

in

troubles

and

tentations, fnares and

offences

do

abound;

wherein,

as

there

hath

been, fo

there

will

readily

ffill

be,

different fentiments and apprehenfions

as

to

Tome

leffer

and

lower

truths

further

removed from

the fundamen-

tals

of

religion

(whereabout

all are agreed

)

and

fo

proportionably

as

to

force

praffices

amongff

even

truly

godly

men;

it

not

being

to

be

fuppafed'

thhg

while

faint,$