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"highest: importance to every one *." Other sciences are suited to the various conditions of lise. Some more necefiary to some, other to others. But this equal* ly concerns every one that hath an imr- ortal soul, whose sinal happiness he desi -. s and seeks (3.) "Other knowledge

'is very apt to make a man vain; this "always keeps him humble." Nay, it is always for want of this knowledge that men are vain of that they have. "Know"ledge pufFeth up," 1 Cor. viii. 1. A small degree of knowledge often hath this effect on weak minds. 'And the reason why greater attainments in it have not so generally the fame effect is, because they open and enlarge the views of the mind so far, as to let into it at the fame time a good degree of self-knowledge: for the more true knowledge a man hath, the more sensible he is of the want of it; which keeps him humble.

And now, Reader, whoever thou art, .whatever be thy character, station, or distinction in lise, if thou art afraid to look into thine heart, and hast no inclination

to to self-acquaintance, read no further, lay aside this book; for thou wilt sind nothing here that will flatter thy self-esteem, but perhaps something that may abate it. But if thou art desirous to cultivate this important kind of knowledge, and to live no longer a stranger to thyself, proceed; and keep thy eye open to thine own image, .with whatever unexpected deformity it may present itself to thee; and patiently attend, whilst, by divine assistance, I endeavour to lay open thine own heart to thee, and lead thee to the true knowledge of thyself in the following chapters.

* 'Tis virtue only makes our bliss below;
And all cur knowledge is, Ourselves to know.

Pate, r,jay on IvTan,


The several Branches of Self-knowledge. We mujl know what fart of Creatures we are, and what we shall be.

HTHAT we may have a more distinct .*• and orderly view of this subject, I shall here consider the several branches of self-knowledge, or some of the chief particulars wherein it consists. Whereby perhaps it will appear to be a more copious and comprehensive science than we imagine. And,

(1.) To know ourselves, is "to know B "and '' and serioufly consider what sort of crea"tures we are, and what we {hall be."

"I. "What we are."

Man is a complex being, T^kj* wrteeco-if, a tripartite person, or a compound creature, made up of three distinct parts, viz. the tody, which is the earthy or mortal part of him; the soul, which is the animal or sensitive part; and the spirit or mind, which is the rational and immortal part *.

Each Each of these three parts have their respective ossices assigned them; and a man then acts becoming himself, when he keeps them duly employed in their proper functions, and preserves their natural subordination. But it is not enough to know this merely as a point of speculation; we must pursue and revolve the thought, and urge the consideration to all the purposes of a practical self-knowledge. B2 We

* This doctrine, I think, is established beyond all dispute, not only by experience, but by authority. It was received by almost all the ancient philosophers. The Pythagoreans, as we learn from Jamblicus, -vid. Pro'rept. p. 34, 3J. The Platonills, as appears from Nemesius, Sallust, and Laertius, vid. Di. Latrtius, Lib. 3. p. 219. The Stoics, as appears from Antoninus, who iaith expressly, "There are three things "which belong to a man; the body, foul, and the "mind. And as to the properties of the division, "sensation belongs to the body, appetite to she foul, *' and reason to the mind: to fin, ^v^n, t»s i fufisflpi "attfatus, Tpvfcris o^uKi, \lt iiyparx." Lib. 3. § 1£t. Lib. 2. § 2. Lib. 12. § 3. — It appears also to have been the opinion of most of the lathers, v'.i. Ircmcus, Lib. 5. cap. p. Lib. 2. cap. 33. Ed. Par. Cltm. Alex. Storm. 3. p. 242. Ed. Oxon. Origin. Phi'ica/. p. 8. Ig~ unt. Ep. ad Pbiladelpb. ad calcrtn. See also jifef-h. Antif. Lib. I. cap. 2. p. 5. Conjlitvt. Apcf.nl. Lib. 7. caff 34.— But above all these, is the authority of Serial ture; which, speaking of the original formation of man, mentions the three distinct pasts of hie nature,r Gen. ii. 7. viz. r\Q~Mirr\0 "131/ '"' °s "* tartb, or, tit iody: HTlti'BJ ^t t.ving foul, or, tit

animal animal and sensitive part: and O^nj"l0iL>3 the breath ms Use, i.e. the spirit, or rational niiuu. m like manner, the apostle Paul divides the whole man into (tj ,wtivti&.i n t£-irgir, xai To roifioL) the spirit, the scul, and the body, 1 Their, v. 23.; and what he calls (,anvp.oi) here, he calls (»») Rom. vii. 24. the word winck

Antoninus uses to denote the fame thing They

ygrho would see more of this may consult Nemestus de Natura Hominis, cap. I. and Wbiftans Prim. Cbrijl. vol. 4. p. 262.

All the observation I {hall make hereupon is, that this consideration may serve to soften the prejudices of some against the account which scripture gives us of the mysterious manner of the subsistence of the divine nature; of which every man (as '' created in "the image of God ") cariies about him a kind of emblem, in the threefold distinction of his own; which, if he did not every minute sind it by experience to be fact, would doubtless appear to him every ,whit as mysterious and incomprehensible as thescripture doSrine of the Trinity.

"Homo habet tres parses, spiritual, animam, et ** corpus; itaque homo est imago S. S. Trinkatis,'' August. TraBat. de Symbols.

We are not all body, nor mere animal creatures. We sind we have a more noble nature than the inanimate or brutal part of the creation. We cannot only move and act freely, but we observe in ourselves a capacity of reflection, study, and forecast, and various mental operations, which irrational animals discover no symptoms of. Our fouls, therefore, must be of a more excellent nature than theirs; and from the power of thought with which they are endowed, they are proved to be immaterial substances, and consequently in their own nature capable of immortality. And that they are actually immortal, or will never die, the sacred scriptures do abundantly testify *.—


* As nature delights in the most easy transition! from one class of beings to another, and as the nexus utriusque generis is observable in several creatures of ambiguous nature, which seem to connect the lifeless and vegetable, the vegetable and animal, the animal and rational worlds together, (see Nemefius de Nat. Ham. cap. I. *. 6.), Why may not the fouls of bjjjtei be considered as the nexus between material an^S» material substances, or matter and spirit, orsametbi%g\, hetiveen both? The great dissimilitude of nature, in' these two substances, I apprehend, can be no sqlid ob:^ction to this hypothesis, if we consider (beside our

-n ignorance of the nature of spirits) but how ncnhey approach in other instances, and how closely 'are united in man.

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