Fenner - Houston-Packer Collection BX5037 .F46 1651

A Treatife of Confcience. 39 Secondly wer, That an erroneous confcience what- ever it commandetb (though the law of God command eth the clean contrary) yet we cannot difobey it without (inne. For this is a confiant rule, we always finne when we difobey confcience : If confcience erre not, then in dif- obeying it we fin double, againfi the law and againft confcience: if confcience do erre,and wed ifobey it, we fin too ; for though we do not finne againft the law,yet we Caine againft confcience, and fo againft the law too ; not as though we were bound to obey confcience when it erreth, and yet we finne if we dif- obey it Thirdly, Albeit it be always a finne to difobey confcience though it erre, yet it is not always a finne to obey confcience when it erreth. Let us confider three Propofitions, and you shall fee what I mean. First, If confcience think that to be commanded which isabfolutely forbidden, or that to be for. bidden which is expreffely commanded, then we (inne which fide foever we take: As if an ignorant man thinks in his con- fcience that he is bound to pray to Saints departed,which thing the Lord hath expreffely forbidden : if this man do pray unto Saints, he Gnneth, becaufe the Lord hath expreffely forbid him to do it ; if he do not pray unto Saints, he finneth too, becaufe his confcience telleth him he is commanded to pray unto them. The fecond Propofition is this, If confcience hold a thing in- different to do or not to do, which yet is not indifferent, but abfolutely commanded, then it is always a finne not to do it, but it is no finne to do it. The third Propofition is this, If con- fcience hold a thing neceffary, which God hath left indifferent, as if a man in confcience thought that he ought to pray foute cimes a day (which thing yet God path left indifferent) in this he is bound to obey confcience though it erre. And it is no tan to obey confcience thus erring ; though it be a fin in confcience thus to erre. The Life of this is, I. To let us fee what a facred foveraign thing a mans confcience is. It is always a fin to difobey con- fcience whether it erre or no, as it is always a fin to difobey God. 2, 3. vfe 1.