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are but words and speculations; when we come to practice, and life, there appears nothing, or very little, that answers these notions and speculations, little of that moderation that these notions import. We love the world, the wealth, the honour, and pleasures, the profits of it, with all our souls; we make it our principal business to attain and enjoy it; we account it our greatest calamity when we are crossed or disappointed in it. One man sets his whole heart upon his greatness, another upon his wealth, another upon his pleasure and recreations, another upon his preferment, another upon the favour of great men, another upon the applause of his learning or eloquence, another upon the beauty of a mistress or servant; nay, so childish we many times are, that we are enamoured on very toys, as fine clothes, handsome furniture, a fine house, splendid entertainments, a fine head of hair, or mad antic postures, or compliments, affected words, gestures, or phrases, apish imitation, plays, and gaming, new fashions; that many there are that make such feathers as these the principal object of their love, the business and study of their lives, and are as much concerned in their disappointment herein, as if they were undone. These are preposterous, and want moderation in their affections, because they have no true judgment or estimate of things according to their true values.
SIR MATTHEW HALI.
TRUE religion is the greatest improvement, advantage, and privilege of human nature; and that which gives it the noblest and highest pre-eminence over other visible creatures.
Sir MATTHEW HALE.
IT is one of the chiefest mercies and blessings that almighty God hath afforded to the children of men, and that which signally manifests his providential care towards and over them, that in all ages, and among all nations, he hath given to them some means and helps to discover unto them, though in different degrees, some principal sentiments of true religion. zootio
BECAUSE the Christian religion was iniended and instituted for the good of mankind, whether poor or rich, learned or unlearned, simple or prudent, wise or weak, it was fitted with such plain, easy, and evident directions, both for things to be known, and things to be done, in order to the attainment of the end for which it was designed, that might be understood by any capacity that had the ordinary and common use of reason, or human understanding, and by the common assistance of the divine grace, might be practised by them. ,
; . Les do u s IBID.
If we do but look about us in the world, and
observe, and consider, the matters wherein men, for the most part, do place religion, we shall find quite another kind of rate and nature of religion than what Christ instituted or intended, and yet all veiled and shrouded under the name of Christian religion; and greater weight and stress laid upon them than upon the true, real, grand imports of Christian religion.'
Sir MATTHEW HALE.
IT is true that physicians and naturalists do, and may make inquiries into the niethod and progress of generation, and digestion, and sanguification, and the motions of the chyle, the blood, the' humours: For, 1st, They have means of access to the discovery thereof, by dissection and observation; and, 2d, It is of some use to them in their science and the exercise thereof. But when all is done, a man of a sound constitution digests his meat, and his blood circulates, and his several vessels and entrails perform their offices, though he knows not distinctly the methods of their motions and operations. But these speculations, in points of divinity, as they are not possible to be distinctly determined with any certainty, so they are of little use to be known. . If the heart be seasoned with the true knowledge of the things that are revealed, and with the life of the Christian religion, and the love of God, not, like an exquisite anatomist, acquainted with a distinct comprehension or knowledge of the several difficult inquiries of this nature. Believe what is required by the word of God to be believed, and do your duty as by that word is directed; so that the life of religion, and the love of God, be once set on foot in the soul, and there nourished, and commit yourself to the faithfulness and goodness of God, and this will be effectual to the great end of religion, though all these disputes be laid aside.
lectual enough to order his life and bring him to everlasting happiness, though he be
SIR MATTHEW HALE.
IT is a pitiful thing to see men run upon this mistake, especially in these latter times; one placing all his religion in holding the Pope to be Christ's ricar, another placing religion in this, to hold no papist can be saved. One holding all religion to consist in holding episcopacy to be jure divino; another by holding presbytery to be jure divino; another in crying up congregational government; another in anabaptism; one in placing all religion in the strict observance of all ceremonies; another in a strict refusal of all. One holding a great part of religion in putting off the hat, and bowing at the name of Jesus; another judging a man an idolater for it: and a third placing his religion in putting off his hat to none; and so, like a company of boys, that blow bubbles out of a walnut shell, every one runs after his bubble, and calls it religion; and every one measures the religion or irreligion of another, by their agreeing or dissenting with them in these or the like matters; and, at best, while we scramble and wrangle about the pieces of the shell, the kernel is either lost, or gotten by some that do not prize any of their contests.
Sir MATTHEW HALE.
BELIEVE it, religion is quite another thing from all these matters. He that fears the Lord of heaven and earth, walks humbly before him, thankfully lays hold of the message of redemption, by Christ Jesus, strives to express his thankfulness by the sincerity of bis obedience; is sorry with all his soul, when he comes short of his duty, walks watchfully in the denial of himself, and holds no communion with any lust, or known sin; if he falls, in the least measure, is restless till he hath made his peace by true repentance; is true in his promise, just in his actions, charitable to the poor, sincere in his devotions, that will not deliberately dishonour God, though with the greatest security of impunity; that hath his hope in heaven, and his conversation in heaven, that dare not do an unjust act, though never so much to his advantage, and all this because he sees him that is invisible, and fears him because he loves him, fears him as well for his goodness as his greatness. Such a man, whether he be an episcopal, or a presbyterian, or an independent, or an anabaptist; whether he wear a surplice, or