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the plain principles of scripture, it is forthwith to be discarded; and that sense of scripture that is violently forced to bend' towards it, is very much to be suspected.

It must be very surprising to one who reads and studies the sacred scriptures with a free unbiassed mind, to see what elaborate, sine spun, and flimsy glosses men will invent and put upon some texts as the true and genuine sense of them, for no other reason, but because it is most agreeable to the opinion of their party, from which, as the standard of their orthodoxy, they durst never depart; who, if they were to write a critic in the fame manner on any Greek or Latin author, would make themselves extremely ridiculous in the eyes of the learned world. But, if we would not pervert our rule, we must learn to think as scripture speaks, and not compel that to speak as we think. Would we know ourselves then, we must often view ourselves in the glass of God's word. And when we have taken a full survey of ourselves from thence, let us not soon forget what manner of persons we are, Jam. i. 23, 24. If our own image do not please us, let us not quarrel with our mirror, but set about mending ourselves.

The eye of the mind indeed is not like
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that of the body, which can see every thing else but itself; for the eye of the mind can turn itself inward, and survey itself. However, it must, be owned, it can see itself much better when its own image is reflected upon it from this mirror. And it is by this only that we can come at the bottom of our hearts, and discover those secret prejudices and carnal prepossessions, which self-love would hide from us.

This then is the sirst thing we must do in order to self-knowledge. We must *\vamine, scrutinize, and judge ourselves, diligently, leisurely,f-equently, and impartially ,and that not by the false maxims of the world, but by the rules which God hath given us, reason and scripture; and take care to understand those rules, and not set them at variance. The next important step to self-knowledge is the subject of the following chapter.

CHAP. II.

Constant Watchfulness, necessary to Self Knowledge.

H. 't TT^OULD we know ourselves, we "must be very watchful over "our hearts and lives."

(i.) We

(1.) We must keep a vigilant eye upon our harts, i. e. our tempers, inclinations, and passions. A more necefsary piece of advice we cannot practise in order to selfacquaintance, than that which Solomon gives us, Prov. iv. 23. Keep your heart with all diligence, or, as it is in the original, above all keeping *. q. d. Whatever you neglect or overlook, be sure you mind your hearts. Narrowly observe all its inclinations and aversions, all its motions and affections, together with the several objedts and occasions which excite them. And this precept is enforced with two very urgent reasons in scripture. The sirst is, because out of it are the ijsuet of life. i. e. As our heart is, so will the tenor of our lise and conduct be. As is the fountain, so are the streams; as is the root, so is the fruit, Matth. vii. 18. And the other is, because ;'/ is deceitful above alt things, Jer. xvii. 9. And therefore without a constant guard upon it, we shall insensibly run into many hurtsul self-deceptions.

* TD»0 -VDD

f Parallel to this advice of the royal preacher is that of the imperial philosopher, EvSav /SAtTi tvSov yap Ii xvriyn TV ayaSa, Look within; for tcitbin is the JouutaiM ofallgocd, M. Aurcl. lib. 7. § 59.

{tions. To which I may add, that without this careful keeping of the heart, we shall never be able to acquire any considerable degree of self-acquaintance or self-government.

(2.) To know ourselves, we must watch our life and conAuR as well as our hearts. And by this the heart will be better known; as the root is best known by the fruit. We must attend to the nature and consequences of every action we are disposed or solicited to, before we comply; and consider how it will appear in an impartial review. We are apt enough to observe and watch the conduct of others; a wise man will be as critical and as severe upon his own; For indeed we have a great deal more to do with our own conduct than other mens; as we are to answer for our own, but not for theirs. By observing the conduct of other men, we know them; by carefully observing our own, we must know ourselves.

CHAP.

CHAP. III.

Wejhould have some Regard to the Opinions of others concerning us, particularly of our Enemies.

HI. " TT7"0ULD we know ourselves, we *7 "fhould not altogether ne"glect the opinion which' others have of "us, or the things they may fay of us."

Not that we need Be very solicitous about the"censure or applause of the world, which is generally very rafh and wrong, according to the particular humours and prepossessions of men; and a man that knows himself will soon know how to despise them both. "The judgment which "the world makes of us, is generally of "no manner of use to us; it adds no"thing to our fouls or bodies, nor lessens "any of our miseries. Let us constant"ly follow reason, (says Montaigne), and "let the public approbation follow us the ** fame way if it pleases."

But still, I fay, a total indifference ia this matter is unwise, "We ought not to be entirely insensible to the reports of others; no, not to the railings of an enemy: for an enemy may fay something out of

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