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“1. The temper of my mind hath somewhat altered with the temper of my body. When I was young I was more vigorous, affectionate, and fervent, in preaching, conference, and prayer, than, ordinarily, can be now. My style was more extemporate and lax, but, by the advantage of warmth, and a very familiar moving voice and utterance, my preaching then did more affect the auditory, than many of the last years before I gave over preaching. But what I delivered then was much more raw, and had more passages that would not bear the trial of accurate judgments; and my discourses had both less substance and less judgment than of late.

“ 2. My understanding was then quicker, and could more easily manage any thing that was newly presented to it upon a sudden: but it is since better furnished, and acquainted with the ways of truth and error, and with a multitude of particular mistakes of the world, which then I was the more in danger of, because I had only the faculty of knowing them, but did not actually know them. I was then like a man of quick understanding, that was to travel a way which he never went before, or to cast up an account which he never labored in before, or. to play on an instrument of music which he never saw before. I am now like one of somewhat a slower understanding, who is traveling a way which he hath often gone, and is casting up an account which he hath often cast up and hath ready at hand, and that is playing on an instrument which he hath frequently used : so that I can very confidently say my judgment is much sounder and firmer now than it was then. When I peruse the writings which I wrote in my younger years, I can find the footsteps of my unfurnished mind, and of my emptiness and insufficiency : so that the man that followed my judgment then, was liker to have been misled by me than he that should follow it now.

“ And yet, that I may not say worse than it deserveth of my former measure of understanding, I shall truly tell you what change I find now in the perusal of my own writings. Those points which then I thoroughly studied, my judgment is the same of now as it was then, and therefore in the substance of my religion, and in those controversies which I then searched into with some extraordinary diligence, I find not my mind disposed to a change : but in divers points that studied slightly, and by the halves, and in many things which I took upon trust from others, I have found since that my apprehensions were either erroneous or very lame.” “ And this token of my weakness accompanied those my younger studies, that I was very apt to start up controversies in the way of my practical writings, and also more desirous to acquaint the world with all that I took to be the truth, and to assault those books by name which I thought did tend to deceive them, and did contain unsound and dangerous doctrine ; and the reason of all this was, that I was then in the vigor of my youthful apprehensions; and at the new appearance of any sacred truth, it was more apt to affect me and be highlier valued than afterwards, when commonness had dulled my delight; and I did not sufficiently discern then how much, in most of our controversies, is verbal, and upon mutual mistakes. And, withal, I knew not how impatient divines were of being contradicted, nor how it would stir up all their powers to defend what they have once said, and to rise up against the truth which is thus thrust

upon them as the morial enemy of their honor : and I knew not how hardly men's minds are changed from their former apprehensions, be the evidence never so plain.”

“3. In my youth, I was quickly past my fundamentals, and was running up into a multitude of controversies, and greatly delighted with metaphysical and scholastic writings, (though, I must needs say, my preaching was still on the necessary points ;) but the elder I grew, the smaller stress I laid upon these controversies and curiosities, though still my intellect abhorreth confusion.”

“ As the stock of the tree affordeth timber to build houses and cities, when the small though higher multifarious branches are but to make a crow's nest or a blaze, so the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, of heaven and holiness, doth build up the soul to endless blessedness, and affordeth it solid peace and comfort; when a multitnde of school niceties serve but for vain janglings and hurtful diversions and contentions. And yet I would not dissuade my reader from the perusal of Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, Arminiensis, Durandus, or any such writer; for much good may be gotten from them: but I would persuade him to study and live upon the essential doctrines of Christianity and godliness, incomparably above them all. And that he may know that my testimony is some

what regardable, I presume to say that in this, I as much gainsay my natural inclination to subtilty and accurateness in knowing, as he is like to do by his if he obey my counsel.”

“4. This is another thing which I am changed in, that whereas in my younger days I never was tempted to doubt of the truth of Scripture or Christianity, but all my doubts and fears were exercised at home, about my own sincerity and interest in Christ, and this was it which I called unbeliel; since then my sorest assaults have been on the other side, and such they were, that had I been void of internal experience and the adhesion of love, and the special help of God, and had not discerned more reason for my religion than I did when I was younger, I had certainly apostatized to infidelity. I am now, therefore, much more apprehensive than heretofore of the necessity of well grounding men in their religion, and especially of the witness of the indwelling Spirit.” “ For my part, I must profess, that when my belief of things eternal and of the Scripture is most clear and firm, all goeth accordingly in my soul, and all temptations to sinful compliances, worldliness, or flesh-pleasing, do signify worse to me than an invitation to the stocks or Bedlam. And no petition seemeth more necessary to me than,-Lord, increase our faith ; I believe, help thou my unbelief.

“5. Among truths certain in themselves, all are not equally certain to me; and even of the mysteries of the gospel I must needs say, with Mr. Richard Hooker, that whatever men may pretend, the subjective certainty cannot go beyond the objective evidence. Therefore I do, more of late than ever, discern a decessity of a methodical procedure in maintaining the doctrine of christianity, and of begioning at natural verities as presupposed fundamentally to supernatural truths; though God may when he please reveal all at once, and even natural truths by supernatural revelation. And it is a marvellous great help to my faith, to find it built on so sure foundations, and so consonant 10 the law of nature."

56. In my younger years, my trouble for sin was most about · my actual sailings; but now I am much more troubled for inward defects, and omission or want of the vital duties or graces in the soul.” “ Had I all the riches of the world, how gladly would I VOL.J.


give them for a fuller knowledge, belief, and love, of God and everlasting glory! These wants are the greatest burden of my life, which oft maketh my life itself a burden. I cannot find any hope of reaching so high in these, while I am in the flesh, as I once hoped before this time to have attained; which maketh me the wearier of this sinful world, that is honored with so little of the knowledge of God.

7. Heretofore, I placed much of my religion in tenderness of heart, and grieving for sin, and penitential tears; and less of it in the love of God, and studying his love and goodness, and in his joyful praises, than now I do. Then I was little sensible of the greatness and excellency of love and praise;" “but my conscience now looketh at love and delight in God, and praising him, as the top of all my religious duties; for which it is that I value and use the rest.

“8. My judgment is much more for frequent and serious meditation on the heavenly blessedness than it was in my younger days. I then thought that a sermon of the attributes of God, and the joys of heaven, was not the most excellent; and was wont to say, 'Every body knoweth that God is great and good, and that heaven is a blessed place; I had rather bear how I may attain it.' And nothing pleased me so well as the doctrine of regeneration and the marks of sincerity, which was because it was suitable to me in that state; but now I had rather read, hear, or meditate, on God and lieaven, than on any other subject: for I perceive that it is the object which altereth and elevateth the mind; which will resemble that which it most frequently feedeth on.

“9. I was once wont to meditate most on my own heart, and to dwell all at home, and look little higher. I was still poring either on my sins or wants, or examining my sincerity; but now, though I am greatly convinced of the need of heart-acquaintance and employment, yet I see more need of a higher work, and that I should look often upon Christ and God and heaven. At home I can find distempers to trouble me, and some evidences of my peace; but it is above that I must find matter of delight and joy, and love, and peace itself. Therefore I would have one thought at home upon myself and sins, and many thoughts above upon the bigh and amiable and beatifying objects.

“ 10. Heretofore I knew much less than now, ard yet was not balf so much acquainted with my ignorance: I had a great delight in the daily, new discoveries which I made, and of the light which shined in upon me, like a man that cometh into a country where he never was before ; but I little knew either how imperfectly I understood those very points whose discovery so much delighted me, or how much might be said against them, or how many things I was yet a stranger to."

“11. Accordingly I had then a far higher opinion of learned persons and books than I now have; for what I wanted myself, I thought every reverend divine had attained, and was familiarly acquainted with. And what books I understood not, by reason of the strangeness of the terms or matter, I the more admired, and thought that others understood their worth. But now experience hath constrained me against my will to know, that reverend learned men are imperfect, and know but little as well as I, especially those that think themselves the wisest."

“12. And at first I took more upon my author's credit than now I can do: and when an author was highly commended to me by others, or pleased me in some part, I was ready to entertain the whole; whereas now I take and leave in the same author, and dissent in some things from him that I like best, as well as from others.

“ 13. At first, I was greatly inclined to go with the highest in controversies on one side or other; as with Dr. Twisse and Mr. Rutherford, and Spanhemius de Providentia et Gratia, &c. But now I can so easily see what to say against both extremes, that I am much more inclinable to reconciling principles.

“14. At first, the style of authors took as much with me as the argument, and made the arguments seem more forcible, but now I judge not of truth at all by any such ornaments or accidents, but by its naked evidence.

“ 15. I now see more good and more evil in all men, than heretofore I did. I see that good men are not so good as I once thought they were, but have more imperfections, and that nearer approach and

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