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Now we should all of us be careful to find out and examine our proper taste of religious things; that if it be a false one, we may rectify it ; if a bad one, mend it ; if a right and good onen strengthen and improve it. For the mind is capable of a false gust, as well as the palate ; and come by it the same way ; viz. by being long used to unnatural relishes, which by custom become grateful. And having found out what it is, and examined it by the test of scripture, reason, and conscience, if it be not very wrong, let us indulge it, and read those books that are most suitable to it, which for that reason will be most edifying. But at the same time let us take care of two things. 1. That it do not bias our judgment, and draw us into errour. 2. That it do not cramp our charity, and lead us to censoriousness. Dit 180 e inísto tou)07 11
Cos! : Mehr In Oulun
* XXVI. ANOTHER part of self knowl. edge is, to know what are the great ends for which we live. "
We must consider what is the ultimate scope we drive at; the general maxims and principles we live by ;/ or whether we have not yet determined our end, and are governed by no fixed principles; or by such as we are ashamed to own.
The first and leading dictate of prudence is, that a man propose to himself his true and best interest for his end ; and the next is, that he make use of all those means and opportunities whereby that end is to be obtained. This is the most effectual way that I know of to secure to one's self the character of a wise man here, and the reward of one hereafter. And between these two there is such a close connection, that he who does not do the latter, cannot be sup posed to intend the former. b He that is not careful of his actions, shall never persuade me that he seriously proposes to himself his best interest as his end; for if he did, he would as seriously apply himself to the other, as the means.
There are few that live so much at random as not to have some main end in eye ;b somes thing that influences their conduct, and is the great object of their pursuit and hope. A man cannot live without some leading views; a wise man will always know what they are, whether it is fit he should be led by them or no's whether they be such as his understanding and reason approve, or only such as fancy and inclination suggest. He will be as much concernedi to set with reason, as to talk with reason; as much ashamed of a solecism and contradiction in his character, as in his conversation.
Where do our views centre ? In this world we are in, or that we are going to ? If our hopes and joys centre here, it is a mortifying
thought, that we are every day departing from our happiness ; but if they are fixed above, it is a joy to think that we are every day drawing nearer to the object of our highest wishes.
Is our main care to appear great in the eye of man, or good in the eye of God ? If the former, we expose ourselves to the pain of a perpetual disappointment ; for it is much if the envy of men do not rob us of a good deal of our just praise, or if our vanity will be content with that portion of it they allow us. But if the lat. ter be our main care, if our chief view is to be approved of God, we are laying up a fund of the most lasting and solid satisfactions. Not to say that this is the truest way to appear great in the eye of men, and to conciliate the esteem of all those whose praise is worth our wish.
Be this then, O my soul, thy wise and steady pursuit ; let this circumscribe and direct thy views ; be this a law to thee, from which account it a sin to depart, whatever disrespect or contempt it may expose thee to from others; be this the character thou resolvest to live up to, and at all times to maintain both in publick and private, viz. a friend and lover of God; whose favour thou centerest all thy present and future hopes. Carry this view with thee through life, and dare not in any instance to act inconsistently with it."
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CHAP. XVIII, eesniqqani tito atst b V1319 Ste'sy thu Zaidt at yoj s ai How to know the true state of cour souls a dand whether
7 x 160193 we are fit to die. ubi no e -10. bod10979 9d a boog 70 Aggio -140 LASTLY, the most important point of self knowledge, after all, is to know the true state of our souls towards God; and in what condition we are to die. Y no ti o geister d. These two things are inseparably connected in their nature, and therefore I put them together The knowledge of the former will determine the latter, and is the only thing that can determine it ; for, no man can tell whether true state of his own soul. u in good: 10 B. This now is a matter of such vast moment, that it is amazing any considerate man, or any one who thinks what it is to die, can be satisfied, so long as it remains an uncertainty. Let us trace out this important point then with all possible plainness; and see if we cannot come to some satisfaction in it upon the most solid principles, urof busile şiv isvina big bau In order to know then, whether
, we are fit to die, we must first know what it is that fits us for death. And the answer to this is very natural and easy, viz. that only fits us for death, that fits us for happiness after death.
This is certain. But the question returnsWhat is it that fits us for happiness after death ?
Now in answer to this, there is a previous homma question necessary to be determined; What that happiness is ?
OD DAS S10 jcoln - It is not a fool's paradise,
or a Turkish dream of sensitive gratifications. It must be a happiness suited to the nature of the soul, and what it is capable of enjoying in a state of separation
And what can that be, but the enjoyment of God, the best of beings, and the author of ours ? 3MIUM SETE 13ngche 10 The lo
question then comes to this-What is that which fits us for the enjoyment of God, in the future state of separate spirits ? And methinks we may bring this matter
od this matter to
aluga a very sure and short issue, by saying it is that which makes us like to him
him now. is our proper qualification for
for the enjoyment of him after death, and therefore our
only proper preparation for death.
For how can they, who are unlike to God here, expect to enjoy him hereafter ? And if they have no just ground to hope that they shall enjoy God in the other world, how are they fit to die ?
is 1,500 So that the great question, Am I fit to die? resolves itself into this, Am I like to God? For it is this only that fits me for heaven ; and that which fits me for heaven, is the only thing that
е познал соли тавала fits me for death.
ogbeliyor 192 te Let this point then be well searched into, and examined very deliberately and impartially.
Most certain it is, that God can take no real complacency in any but those that are like him;