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JOT
and it is as certain, that noneblinthos But Go

none but those that are

God

susaasin. Toro
is a most pure and holy being ; a being of
finite love,
eousness is invariable, whose veracity invio
and patience ; whose right-

.
ble, and whose wisdom unerring. These are
the moral attributes of the divine being, in whic
he requires us to imitate him ; the express
lineaments of the divine
good men bear a resemblance to him ; and for
the sake of which only they are the objects of
his delight : For God can love none but those
that bear this impress of his own image on their
souls. Do we find then these visible traces of
the image there ? Can we make out our
likeness to him in his holiness, goodness, mer-
cy, righteousness, truth, and wisdom ?
it is certain we are capable of enjoying him, and
are the proper objects of his love. By this we
know we are fit to die ; because by this we
know we are fit for happiness after death.

Thus then, if we are faithful to our conscien-
ces and impartial in the examination of our lives
and tempers, we may soon come to a right de-
termination of this important question, What
is the true state of our souls towards God? and
in what condition we are to die? Which, as it
is the most important, so it is the last instance
of self

I shall mention. And with

part of this subject. VITEITSMIDES YOU benimsxs 1991 on 1160 bod tedi di Dj HIT 139 JeoM ilin 91 925, 160 sods jud yuus ai vmsosiqurtos

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Ostegi songs on Showing the great excellency and advantage of this kind of science. 10

10 Oj ??, 298 3. Having in the former part of the subject laid open some of the main branches of self knowledge, or pointed out the principal things which a man ought to be acquainted with, red. lating to himself, I am now, reader, to lay before

you the excellency and usefulness of this kind of knowledge, as an inducement to labour after it, by a detail of the several great advanta! ges attending it, which shall be recounted in the following chapters, to winy po y no qbil tv: 31. Virgitty , with fricile ai

un brilais solis ils fontot mid tric Ron 4 tots into pietra 291

City CHAP. I. bitty 29.3. it buto & to Self knowledge the sfiring of self possession, that

Heiany luonnon I. ONE great advantage of self knowledge is, that it gives a man the truest and most con, is stant self possession. care een

A man that is endowed with this excellent knowledge is calm and easy.199 ef?2018 yeni ali

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1. Under affronts and defamation. For he thinks thus :: I am sure I know myself better than any man can pretend to know me. This calumniator hath, indeed, at this time missed his mark, and shot his arrows at random; and it is my comfort, that my conscience acquits me of his angry imputation. However, there are worse crimes which he might more justly accuse me of; which, though hid from him, are known to myself. Let me set about reforming them ; lest, if they come to his notice, he should attack me in a more defenceless part, find something to fasten bis obloquy, and fix a lasting reproach upon my character. Jadi

There is a great deal of truth and good sense in that, common saying and doctrine of the Stoicks, though they might carry it too far, that

it is not things but thoughts that disturb and hurt us. Now as self acquaintance teaches a man the right government of the thoughts, (as is shown above, Part I. chap. XIV.) it will help him to expel all anxious, tormenting, and fruitless thoughts, and retain the most quieting and useful ones ; and so keep all easy within. Let a man but try the experiment, and he will find that a little resolution will make the greatest part of the difficulty vanish.

2. Self knowledge will be a good ballast to the mind under any accidental hurry or disor: der of the passions. It curbs their impetuosity; puts the reins into the hands of reason, quells the rising storm, ere it makes shipwreck of the

No. 6.

K

and fury. And

conscience and teaches a man to leave off contention before it be meddled itith,* it being much safer to keep the lion chained than to thus will a wise man, for his own peace, deal with the passions of others, as well as his own. "Self knowledge, as it acquaints a man with hïs weaknesses and worst qualities, will be his guard against them ; and a happy counterbalance to the faults and excesses of his natural temper.

3. It will keep the mind sedate and calm under the surprise of bad news, or afflicting providences. For am I not a creature of God? And

my life and comforts, are they not wholly at his disposal, from whom I have received them ; and by whose favour have I so long enjoyed them; and by whose mercy and goodness I have still so many left ?rly biogor 119

A heathen cán teach me, under such losses of friends, or estate, or any comfort, (to direct my eyes to the hand of God, by whom it was lent me, and is now recalled;y that I ought not to say, it is lost but restored. And though I be injuriously deprived of it: still the hand of God is to be acknowledged; for what is it to me, by what means, he that gave me that blessa ing", takes it from me again? t naiseny,

He that rightly knows hintself, will live every day dependent on the divine Author of his mer

* Prov. xviii 14. pa b:

cies, for the continuance and enjoyment of them. And will learn from a higher authority than that of a heathen moralist, that he hath nothing he can properly call his own, or ought to depend upon as such. That he is but a steward employed to dispense the good things he possesses, according to the direction of his Lord, at whose pleasure he holds them; and to whom he should be ready at any time cheerfully to resign them.-Luke xvi. 1.

4. Self knowledge will help a man to preserve an equanimity and self possession 'under all the various scenes of adversity and prosperity.

Both have their temptations : To sone the temptations of prosperity are the greatest ; to others, those of adversity. r Self knowledge shows a man which of these are the greatest to him : And, at the apprehension of them, teaches him to arm himself accordingly, that nothing may deprive him of his constancy and self possession, or lead him to act unbecoming the man or the christian. ) itu i on

We commonly say, no one knows what he can bear; till he is tried. And many persons verify the observation, by bearing evils much better than they feared. ' Nay, the apprehen. sion of an approaching evil often gives a man a greater pain than the evil itself. This is owing to inexperience and self ignorance.

A man that knows himself, his own strength and weakness, is not so subject as others to

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