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xxviii

2''he

flifle

faints

fojourn,

and are

militant

here

on

earth,

the in-

telleEtuals

of

all

of

them will be

of

the

fame

faze,

or

caft

into

the

fame

mould;

that their

light

will

be

of

the

fame

clearnefs, and

that they

will be

all

of

equal

mortification,

felf-

denyednefs, tendernefs,

unbiaffednefs, finglenefs,

holy

zeal,

refolution, courage and

boldnefs;

which,

as

it

Pays,

that there

will

be

more clearnefs, and more

darknefs,

and

doubting

amongft

them,

at

leaft

as

to

fome

remote

things

;

fo

it

fpeaks

the

neceffity

of

mutual

Chri-

$ían

forbearance,

compaffion

and fympathy.

And

it

hath

been

a

very

generally received

maxim

in

matters

of

confcience,

that

in dubiis

tutius

eft

abftinere,

In

things

that

are

doubtful

(at

leaft

as

to

their

very

fubflance (to

fay

fo)

and not only

as

to fomewliat

extrmfick

to them)

is

Pfeil

to

ab

/lain.

Eighthly,

We

would

in

the

cafe

of

indifferent things,

wherein

we

are

clear ourfelves, and fully perfwaded of

our

own

Chriftian

liberty,

be very

tender

of

the

confci-

ences

of

others,

who

may in

that refpe&

be more weak,

and

not

fo

fully clear and

perfwaded about

them

;

left

we

offend

and wound

their

confcience, and

fo

indire&ly,

confequently

and by

the rebound,

offend

and

wound

our

'

own confcience

:

Here

the

apoflle's

dire

&ions,

of

ertions,

precepts

and

practice,

Rom.

14.

i

Cos^.

S,

9, and

io.

Chap. are

fingularly ufeful,

admirably

appofite and ex-

cellent

;

O

that

the apoflolick primitive Chriflian

ami-

able

tendernefs

in

the

matter

of

offence,

in

the

ufe

of

things

indifferent, were

brought

back

to, and revived

in

this much

declined and

degenerated generation,

where-

in

offences

abound,

and

the

love

of

many waxeth

cold

;

and wherein there

is a

great propenfion

and readinefs,

untenderly

and

uncharitably

to give and

to take

offence

!

I

do

not

by

this

in

the

leaft

inlinuate,

that

for

preventing

the

offence

(or rather

difpleafure)

of

any,

we may

warrantably do

or

forbear

any

thing that God bath

com-

manded or

prohibited

the

doing

of

;

or

that

we

lhould

or

may

run

crofs to

the dictates

of our

own confciences,

or

do

any

thing

with

an

unbar

and

doubting

confcience

;

which

is

always

fin,

and

therefore

never to be adven-

tured

on,

offend

and be difpleafed

who will

;

though,

even in

that

cafe,

their

offence fh.ould

be

a

grief

to

us,

as

it.