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tory; but the religion of Chrift reforms the understanding and will, and all the actions depending on them; it chases away error, and vice, and hatred, and fheds abroad light and love, purity and peace, and forms on earth a lively reprefentation of that pure fociety that is in Heaven. Harmony of the Divine Attributes.
JOHN HOWE, A. M.
AUTHOR OF THE LIVING TEMPLE.DIED 1705.
To judge other men's confciences is of fo near affinity to governing them, that they that can allow themselves to do the former, want only power, not will or inclination, to offer at the other too, which puts the matter out of doubt, that when men of this temper complain of fuch ufurpation, it is not that they think it an offence in itself, but against them only; and that no consciences ought to be free but their own. The proof of an honeft and equal mind herein iswhen we judge this to be evil, not being hurt by it, or abhor to hurt others in this kind, when we have power to do it; upon which account that paffage is memorable of the Emperor Maximilian II. to a certain prelate that there was no fin, no tyranny more grievous, than to affect dominion over men's confciences; and that they who do so, go about to invade the tower of Heaven-a con
fiderable faying from fo great a prince, that lived and died in the Roman communion. What shall be thought of any fuch Proteftants, that, without any colour, or fhadow of a ground, befides differing from them in fome very difputable and unimportant opinions, fhall presume to judge of other men's confciences (confequently of their state God-wards) which fuch a one as he thought it fo prefumptuous wickedness to attempt to over-rule or govern? All are for the truth, and they are all for peace and union; by which fome, indeed, more gently mean, they hope all will quit their former miftaken opinions and ways (as, in great kindness to themselves, they take for granted all men's are but their own) and come wholly over to them; others, that have not breafts capable of even fo much charity as this, not only are as much lovers and admirers of themselves, but fo vehement haters of all that prefume to differ from them, that they think them not fit to live in the world that durft adventure to do fo; the meaning, therefore, of their being for peace is, that they would have all deftroyed that are not of their minds; and then, when they have made a defolation, so that they, themselves, are left alone in the world, that they will call peace.
How little any of us know, or are capable of knowing, in this our prefent ftate! that they that think they know moft, or are most conceited of their own knowledge, know nothing as they ought
to know. That they that are moft apt to contend, do, most of all, fight in the dark. That it is too poffible there may be much knowledge without love. How little fuch knowledge is worth! That it profits nothing. That it hurts, puffs up, when love edifies. That the devils know more than any of us; while their want of love, or their hellish malignity, makes them devils. That as by pride comes contention, fo humility would contribute more to peace (and to the difcerning of truth too) than the most fervent difputation. But to close all, I pray, let us confider we are profeffedly going to heaven, that region of light and life, and purity and love. It well, indeed, becomes them that are upon the way thither, moderately to enquire after truth. Humble, ferious, diligent endeavours to increase in divine knowledge are very fuitable to our prefent ftate of darknefs and imperfection. The product of fuch enquiries we fhall carry to heaven with us. We fhall carry truth and the knowledge of God to heaven with We fhall carry purity thither, devotedness of foul to God and our Redeemer; divine love and joy, if we have their beginnings here, with whatfoever else of real permanent excellency, that hath a fettled fixed feat and place in our fouls now, and fall there have them in perfection. But do we think we fhall carry ftrife to heaven? Shall we carry anger to heaven? Envyings, heartburnings, animofities, enmities, hatred of our bre
thren and fellow Chriftians, fhall we carry thefe to heaven with us? Let us labour to diveft ourfelves, and ftrike off from our fpirits every thing that fhall not go with us to heaven, or is equally unfuitable to our end and way, that there may be nothing to obftruct and hinder our abundant entrance, at length, into the everlafling kingdom.
Sermons on Religious Contention.
JEREMIAH WHITE *.
HOW W frange and abfurd a thing is this, if
it were well confidered-to fee a good man one hour of the day upon his knees, bewailing to God his own ignorance, folly, and mifcarriages, and in another hour of the day fitting in the judgment-feat with confidence and fcorn, judging, cenfuring, and condemning his differing, mistaken, and fallen brother? And yet, how commonly is this to be found among us!
A biographical account of Mr. Jeremiah White will be found in Palmer's Non-conformist Memorial. From his writings, and from the character he has left behind him, it appears that he was a man of confiderable eminence and piety.
I think it no affront to any man's opinion to tell him, how fond foever he is of it now, that it must die. For all the trueft and beft notions we can have of spiritual truths and things here below, are to be done away when we arrive at that state above. So the Apostle exprefsly tells us; where having faid we know but in part, and prophefy but in part; he adds, when that: which is perfect is come, then that which is in part fhall be abolished: we shall then lofe all our, present beft notions and opinions of fpiritual things; not in a blackness of darkness and death violently breaking in upon, and overspreading them, but in a brightness of unmixt and eternal light, arising upon them, and comprehending them in itself. They shall all then be blotted out, not as water quenches fire, but after such a manner as the beams of the fun do put it out, by drawing up the finer, and fiery parts, into themselves; they fhall then be put out, not as a candle is by the extinguisher, but as the darkness and fhadows of the night are swallowed up by the light of the morning; or rather, as the feveral colours of light in the first dawning of the day, are, afterwards, drunk up in the pure and perfect light of an encreasing day. It is as yet but a morning light with the most enlightened fouls here on earth. Thou art not yet fo knowing, fo good as thou shouldft be, if thou canft be fatisfied with thyfelf, and thy prefent notions of things. Art