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Genius, Industry, Situation Sc, will al- SERM.
ways warrant a mutual Truft and Depend- XV.
ence upon each other: Accordingly this my
will be always a Ground and Foundation
for Humility and a teachable Disposition;
and indeed there is no Way of arriving at
Wisdom and Knowledge, but throʻ the Gate
of Humility. Pride and Conceit are the
Paths that lead to infinite Error and Confu-
fion. For the less Truft we put in others,
the less Benefit can we have from them ;
and the less we make our Circle the fmaller

will our Circle be; and the more we ada Na

mire ourselves, the less shall we fee to ad-
mire in others, 'till at last we fancy our-
felves all-fufficient. But there being no
folid Foundation to support this imagi-

nary Perfection, it commonly ends in infi-
for nite Doubts, Diffidence and Despair.
ube

There is certainly nothing more amiable in the Sight of God or Man, than Humility and a Difpofition to hearken to In

struction and Advice. 'Tis such a true Di!!

rection of the Mind, that it gains the Love
of People at the fame Time that it gains
Instruction. And if, where there is Action,

there is also necessary Reaction, 'tis the best 4 Disposition imaginable for Instruction. For the good Opinion he entertains of others,

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SERM. Operates back upon himself with all the
XV.
Advantage imaginable. In short, nothing

paper can be wanting to such a Disposition to receive Instruction, or to create a Disposition

BE in others, to give it. In the natural and moTal World there is the fame Resemblance and Analogy. Minds that are rightly difpos’d, do naturally attract each other, like natural Bodies, and when they don't do this, 'tis a Sign they are not right.

But perhaps it will be objected, that Men are fallible, and therefore can have no right to such a Trust or Credit, which it would be preposterous to give them, since they are fallible Men as our felves. 'Tis true, they are so, for which reason the Trust we put in them, is not an absolute one but limited accordingly. But after all, what if they are as fallible as we, are they not as wise too? therefore if we distrust Others, should not we for the fame Reason distrust ourselves likewise : But what does a Man lose by a proper Submission to Au- B thority ? Do we part with any Privilege | by so doing, which we might otherwise have enjoy'd ? Do we give up the use of our Understandings by giving a due Credit to the Understandings of others ? Or havę we less Understanding for fo doing? 'Or ras

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ther is it not demonstrably true, that by a SERM. proper Submission to the Understanding of' XV. others, you have not only your own, but the Benefit of others at the same Time ? Whereas upon the other Hand, thé Loss is very confiderable, for the less Credit we give to others, the less Benefit shall we receive from them. And indeed a Man that will give no Man Credit but himself, ought according to his own Principles to relinquish all manner of Claim to any Benefit arising from the Maxims, Rules, Precepts, or any Sort of Knowledge whatsoever that comes from abroad. Let him give back all Conclusions, which the Industry of Ages has already form’d to his Hands, and see when he will be able to acquire the ten millionth Part of them by his own. A Being thus bereft of all his acquired Knowledge, cut off from all Benefit to be had from his Fellow-Creatures, left destitute of every foreign Help, would never arrive at any Truth, because that which could afcertain him of it, the concurring Judgment of his Fellow-creatures, would be wanting.

But perhaps it will be said, that tho' it be proper to submit to others, as to what we have to say, yet it will not be right to put a Faith in thein, 'till they convince the. Reason, i. e. tho'their Judgments shall be of some Weight, yet they shall be allow'd to weigh nothing at all. In answer to this, let it be observed, that when the Reason is

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SÉR M. convinc'd, Faith has nothing to do, for XV. 'tis Nonsense to talk of Faith, when we ex

pect Demonstration. Indeed were we all Reason, 'twould be right for all Application to be made to that Faculty, but since we are likewise compounded of Sense as well as Reason, and have a Faith also arising out of it, and it was given us to supply the Defects of Reason; where there is a proper

Demand for it, 'tis unreasonable not to comply with it.

If it be ask'd how far we must submit and give Credit: I answer as far as their Character requires, but to require the very Point is childish. You may as well ask, where one Colour begins, and another ends in the Rainbow. These are Points, tho' not to be fix'd by any Rule, yet Nature knows where to find that out, and after all the Stir that some make about these Things, every one does more or less submit, and the better his Disposition is, the nearer he comes to this Point.

The Child obeys his parents, Governors and Masters, and, when he is grown up, sees the Reason for fo doing, and enjoys the Benefit of it. The Man of Trade and Búfiness gives Credit, well knowing that Trade cannot sublist without it, and the same holds good likewise in all other Parts of Life. And now shall every Thing have the benefit of Faith; but Religion? whatever Reason will justify a Faith in any one,

will conclu mich imore sirongly. in favour SERM.
of those Doctrines that are manifestly reveal- XV.
ed to us, and of conscquence must be the in
Standard of divine Truth. From what has
been faid, it appcars, that as they are Depths
which the Line of liuman Heason is not able
to fathom, every modeft Searcher after
Truth should take in all those Helps and
Assistances, which the Goodness of God has
offer’d, and every Man in Prudence muit
accept of, for we are not, according to St.
Paul, Sufficient, of our Selves, to think

any
Thing of our selves, so as to make our pria
vate Judgment an infallible Guide in mat-
ters of Religion, but our Sufficiency is of
God, who hath abundantly provided for
our Weaknesses and Wants. How prepof-
terous and abfurd is it then to despise Au-
thority, or even to give up the general
Judgment of Mankind to our own Fancies
and Opinions. Those that will allow no-
thing to be put in the Scale against their
Vanity and Presumption, muft in jnstice to
their own Principles expect but little re-
gard to be paid to them, the same measure
they mete, will be meafiired to them again.
What will be the Confequence of such in-
coherent Systems of Divinity, where every
Man must dictate, and judge as he pleases,
according to his own Humour and Fancy?
at this rate, every Thing that is useful and
beneficial must be given up, to make room
for Confusion and every evil Work. There
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