Fenner - Houston-Packer Collection BX5037 .F46 1651

A T'reatife of Confcience. provoke the Lord co his face. If it be fuch a finne to finne as gainft confcience in an errour, it is much more a finne to finne againft confcience it being in the right. Thus much of a confci ente erring. III. A doubting Confcience. A Doubting confcience is frith a confcience as fo hangeth in [j futpenfe that it knoweth not which way to take: it know- eth not which is the finne and which not. If it goes this way to work, It may be I fh.all finne , faith confcience : if that way , It may be I fha11 finne too, faith confcience. Such a man finneth which way foever he taketh. The reafon is this becaufe he doubreth. Ile that doubteth is condemned if he eat, faith the A. poftle :for whatfoever is not of faith is finne. Suppofe a man doubteth whether it be lawfull for him to do fuch a thing, and doubteth alto whether he may lawfully omit the doing it ; in fuch a cafe whether he do it or not do it he finneth,becaufe both wayes he doubteth. Yet here thefe rules are very ufefull. a. Rule; When confcience doubteth on the one part and is refolved on the other, we muff refufe the doubting part and take that wherein we are certain and fure. As for example; When one doubteth of the lawfulnefîe of playing at cards and dice ; he is lure it is no finne not to play, but whether he may lawfully play he doubteth : in this cafe he is bound not to play. So when on doubteth whether it be a finne not to call his family together every day to prayer ; Gods minifters tell him he mull or he finneth: I doubt of that, faith he. Do you fo ? but you are lure it is no finne to do it : Therefore you are bound to doe it becaufe you are bound to decline the doubtfull part and take that which is certain. And fo of all other the like particulars. z. When confcience doubteth on both fides which is the (in, and which not, then a man ought to do that which is molt void of offence. As for example; Say an Anabaptift amongft us doubteth whether it be a finne in him to bring his child to Church to be baptized, or a finne to refufe; here his rule is,That that which is molt void of offence, and molt agreeable to bro- therly ;. A doubting confci- ence.. Rom. i4 23. Rule z. Rule 2.