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wears none, whether he hear organs, or hears none, whether he kneel at the communion, or for conscience sake stands, or sits ; he hath the life of religion in him, and that life acts in him, and will conform his soul to the image of his Saviour, and walk along with him to eternity, notwithstanding his practice, or non practice of these indifferents.
On the other side, if a man fears not the eternal God, darés commit any sin with presumption, can drink excessively, swear vainly, or falsely, commit! adultery, lie, cozen, cheat, break his promise, live loosely; though he practise every ceremony never SO curiously, or as' stubbornly oppose them; though he cry down bishops, or cry down presbytery; though he be re-baptized every day, or though he disclaim against it as heresy; though he fast all the lent, or feasts, out of pretence of avoiding superstition; yet, notwithstanding these, and a thousand more external conformities, or zealous oppositions of them, he wants the life of religion.
SIR MATTHEW HALE.
THE Christian religion and doctrine was, by the goodness and wisdom of God, designed to be the common means and method to bring mankind to their chief end, namely, to know, and to serve, and obey, and glorify, and everlastingly to obey almighty God, the chiefést good. And to that end it was given out, with all the
plaidness and perspicuity, with all evidence and certainty; a doctrine and religion, containing precepts of all holiness and purity, of all righteousness and honesty, of all longanimity, benignity and gentleness, sweetness, meekness, and charity, of all moderation and patience, of all sobriety and temperance; in brief, it is a religion that is admirably and sufficiently constituted to make a man, what, indeed, he should be, pious towards God, just and beneficent towards men, and temperate in himself, fitted for a life of piety, honesty, jus-, tice, and goodness, and happiness bereafter. Such is the Christian religion, and such the men must be that are truly conformable to it; and if any man professing Christianity, be not such a man, it is because he comes so much short of his due con. formity to Christian religion, and the most excellent doctrine and precepts thereof.
SIR MATTHEW HALE.
THE plainest truth and purity of religion, is a thing that seldom pleaseth and suiteth to the curiosity and appetite of men; they are always fond of something annexed, or appendicated to religion, to make it pleasing to their appetite. A certain sauce, that may entertain their fancy, after which it may run, and wherein it may please itself. And these sauces to religion are various, and variously pleasing, according to the various inclinations of men. Most ordinarily, the fancies of men affect some things splendid and sensible to
be superadded to religion: the Israelites would needs have gods that might go before them; and in compliance with this humour, most of the strange modes and gesticulations among the Heathens, and most of the superstitions, cere. monies, and rites among the Papists, were invented. Again, sometimes the humour of the people runs in the other extreme; either they will have 110thing of form or order, or all such forms or orders as are extremely opposite to what others use, and place their delight and complacency therein: and by this means oftentimes it comes to pass, that men are carried with greater earnestness and vehemenice after those placentia, the entertainments of their fancies, than to the true substance of religion itself.
SIR MATTHEW HALE.
IF any one say, How came it to pass, that the Heathen, that knew not, and therefore feared not the true God, were yet great asserters, main. tainers, and practisers of all civil justice and righteousness between man and man? though they knew not the true God, they knew there was a God whom (though ignorantly) they feared : and this imperfect and broken fear of God was the true cause of that justice and righteousness, that was sincerely, and not for ostentation, practised among them; and though they mistook the true God, yet in this they were not mistaken, that there was a God; and this truth had that great prevalence upon them to do jastly: and if that imperfect fear of God in them did so much prevail as to make them so just, how much more must the true knowledge, and the fear of the true God prevail, to advance righteousness and justice in them that have that fear of God in their hearts?
SIR MATTHEW HALE.
THE fear of almighty God hath these two great advantages therein. First, The will of God instructs exactly all relations in their duties of these reciprocal relations; and this will of God is revealed in his word, which contains excellent pre.cepts of all kinds suitable to every several relation. Secondly, The fear of God sets these directions close upon the heart, and is a severe and constant obligation to observe them: and so this fear of God doth effectually fit, habituate, guide, and oblige a man to the duties of his several relations. It makes a good magistrate, a good subject, a good husband, a good wife, a good father, a good child, a good master, a good servant, in all those several kinds of goodness that are peculiar and proper to the several relations wherein a man stands.
HE that has not religion to govern his morality, is not a dram better than my mastiff dog: so long as you stroke him and please bim, and do not
pinch him, he will play with you as finely as may be; he is a very good moral mastiff: but, if you hurt him, he will fly in your face, and tear out
ALTERATION in religion is dangerous, because we know not where it will stay; 'tis like a millstone that lies upon the top of a pair of stairs; .'tis hard to remove, but if once it be thrust off the first stair, it never stays till it come to the bottom.
... DISPUTES in religion will never be ended, because there wants a measure by which the business would be decided. The Puritan would be judged by the word of God; if he would speak clearly, he means hiinself, but he is ashamed to say so; and he would have me believe him before a whole church, that has read the word of God
*This opinion of a learned member of the established church, is greatly at variance with the general practice of her ministers in the present day, who are so much in the habit of preaching up the moral virtues as every thing neþessary to a man's salvation.
“ Morality, thou deadly bane,