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lead us into Temptation: But don't we often lead our Selves into as Bad as the Worft of those we can Pray against? We venture oftentimes caufelefly and rafhly within reach of the Devil's Chain, and are not afraid to ftir up and awake that Roaring Lyon: We love to play with Danger, to handle Knives and Razors, to walk upon Slippery Ground, to ftand upon Turrets and Battlements, and to hazard our Vertue and Innocence, by Needlefs, and fometimes Doubtful Trials, where if we should Overcome, the Victory would scarce attone for the Imprudence. So much do the Children of this World exceed the Children of Light in Wisdom.

Thus it is, and to our great fhame we must Confefs it: There is no Doubt or Difpute in the Victory, the Contention has been all along very unequal, and the Odds very apparent; we are utterly Distanc'd in the Race, and fee the Prize of Wisdom born away before us. We have indeed. in our Eye a much Nobler Mark, but we want a fteddy Hand. Our End is better than theirs, but our Management is not fo good. And what a fhame is it for us that have propofed a Greater and a better End, and are alfo more Inftructed in the Choice of Means, (which are pointed out and defcribed to us by God him felf,) to be yet fo far out-witted by those of Lower Aims, and who are fain to Study and Contrive their own Means, and whofe Wisdom after all, is Foolishness with God! And yet thus it is, the Devil's Scholars are better Pro

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ficients than Chrift's Difciples; the Ark falls before Dagon, and Light is outfhone by Darkness.

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WHAT therefore remains, but that fince we will not Learn in Chrift's, we should be fent to the Devil's School, and imitate the Politicks of the Dark Kingdom, and of the Children of this World? Imitate them I say, not in the Choice of the End, (which indeed is very Poor and Low,) but in that Wisdom, Diligence and Care wherewith they profecute it, and be as Wife at least unto Salvation, as they are to Deftruction. Go to the Ant thou Sluggard, fays Solomon, confider her Ways, and be Wife, Prov. 6. 6. And may I not in like manner befpeak the greateft part even of Pioufly difpofed Chriftians, Go to the Men of the World, and learn Wifdom?

LET us then be as Wife as thefe Serpents; and fince we have Chofen the Better Part, and are fo nigh to the Kingdom of God, let us not for the want of One thing, mifs of being compleatly Wife and Happy. But as we have made a good Choice, let us profecute it with equal Prudence. So will our Wisdom be Whole and Intire, Uniform and Confiftent, Blameless and Irreprehenfible; in a Word, that Wisdom which fhall be Juftified of all her Children.:

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Righteous and Unrighteous Judgment.

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JOHN 7. 24.

Fudge not according to the Appearance, but Judge Righteous Judgment.

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HAT which the great Descartes makes neceffary to a Philofopher, is indeed no less fo to a Chriftiansto ftrip and devest himself of all Prejudices and Partialities, to unravel all his former Sentiments, to unthink all his Pre-conceived 0pinions, and fo reduce his Soul to the natural Simplicity of a Blank Table, and to the Indifferency of an even and well poifed Ballance. For as it matters much in reference to our Actions, what our Sentiments and Judgments of things are (because we always act as at that prefent inftant we think,) fo does it to the Regularity and Uprightness of our Judgments what the Temper and Difpofition of our Mind is. The Wife Ben-Sirach has long fince obferved, that Wisdom will not enter into a Polluted Spirit; and

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St. Paul, that the Animal Man perceives not the things of God, 1 Cor. 2. 14. There are it feems fome Moral as well as Natural Difpofitions of the Man that make the Soul unfit for Knowledge, and till thefe Scales fall off from her Eyes, fhe cannot fee. But the Pythagoreans went higher, and taught their Difciples, χωρισμὸν ἀπὸ τὸ σῶμαία πρός τὶ καλῶς φιλοσοφείν, that they muft feparate and unwind themselves even from their very Bodies, if they would be good Philofophers. This in a Qualified and Corrected Senfe is true, for the Body is the great Impediment and Difadvantage of the Soul, and therefore all Bodily Paffions and Inclinations, as well as Intellectual Habits and Appetites must be put to Silence, in the ftill and Attentive Search and Inquiry after Truth. But to the prefent purpofe, it will be enough to remark, that Prejudices and Prepoffeffions as well as vitious Habits, a crofs Conftitution, and a groß Texture of Blood and Spirits, do Cloud and Per vert the Understanding, and take away the K of Knowledge. This is that Veil which (as the A postle complains) 2 Cor. 3. 4. remain'd untaken away upon the fews, in the Reading of the Old Teftament. And which hindered them from understanding it, and made them ftand out in defiance against all the Divine Precepts and Convincing Works of the Son of God, whofe Divinity through this Veil of Prejudice they could not difcern. It was a greater hindrance to them in diftinguishing the Character of his Perfon, than the Veil of his own Flesh was, or the My

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ftery of the Incarnation. This therefore must be removed by the Chriftian as well as by the Philofoper, and the Soul must be Purged before it can be enlightened; Freed from Prejudices and falfe Appearances before it can be from Errors and Misapprehenfions. Without this Purity of Heart, there will be fo little Clearness of Head, that let our Parts ftand upon never fo great Advantages, either of Art or of Nature, we fhall neither be right in our Determinations of things, nor juft in our Cenfure of Perfons; neither Wife in our Difcourfes, nor Righteous in our Sentences; we fhall neither maintain Truth nor Charity. All which is briefly Intimated and fummarily Contained in this Admonition of our Saviour to the prejudiced and partially affected Jews, Fudge not according to the Appearance, but Fudge Righteous Judgment.

IN Difcourfing upon which Words, I fhall First of all Inquire, what it is in general to Judge according to Appearance?

SECONDLY, Whether all Judging according to Appearance, be oppofed to Judging Righteous Judgment, and confequently here forbidden?

THIRDLY, If all be not, which it is that is fo?

LASTLY, I fhall fhew the great Refonablenefs and Neceffity of the Precept, and Conclude.

I begin with the firft Inquiry, what it is in general to Judge according to Appearance. Now

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