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for the circumstances of it we are wholly at liberty,--so also it is in matters of his own ordinance and institution, in which the religion is to be obeyed; the design is to be observed and promoted, the essentials of the observation to be infallibly retained; but in the incidences and collateral adherences which äre nothing to the nature of the rite, nor at all appertain to the religion, there is no obligation, no advantage, no love, no duty, in imitating the practice of our blessed Saviour. Thus to celebrate the blessed sacrament of the Lord's

supper with bread and wine, to do it in remembrance of his death, to do it as he commanded, in obedience to him, to receive it à præsidentium manu,'' from the hands of the presidents of religion,' ' is matter of duty, and matter of love, and matter of obedience; but to suppose we are bound so to imitate the actions and circumstances of the actions of Christ, as that it is duty or necessity that we take it in unleavened bread, to mingle water with wine, to receive it in wines of Judæa, to receive it lying or leaning on a bed, to take it after supper, is so far from being matter of love or duty, and a commendable imitation of Christ, that it is mimical and theatrical, trifling and superstitious, a snare to consciences, and a contempt of religion; it is a worshipping of God with circumstances instead of forms, and forms instead of substances; it is like burning mushrooms upon the altar, and a converting dreams into a mystery; it is flattery, not love, when we follow our Lord in those things, in which he neither gave command, nor did any thing of religion or excellence, that is, in which he neither propounded himself imitable, nor to be obeyed. For what worthiness was there in it, that Christ did eat this supper at supper

time; or that when he did institute this, he was at his other supper, and did, as the fashion of the country was, at his supper? What religion was there in it, that he drank the wine of his own country ? and what ceremony or mystery was it, if, according to the usages of sober persons, he put water into his wine for his ordinary beverage? and how could these become matters of religion or imitation, when they were only the incidences and investitures of the ordinary actions of life and conversation? and, in these things, the interest of religion is conducted competently by common reason. He that follows the vices of his prince, does like the man that worshipped Mercury by throwing stones at him; and he serves him with a mischief, and to please his vicious prince, thrusts him forward to eternal ruin. But he that, to humour him, carries his neck aside, or shrugs his shoulders in the same manner, or holds his knife at dinner by his pattern, is a flatterer; but he only loves his prince, and is a worthy servant, who fights bravely if his prince be valiant, and loves worthy things by his example, and obeys his laws, and celebrates his fame, and promotes his interest, and does those things in imitation, for which his lord is excellent and illustrious in all the world.

38. But because against a rule no example is a competent warrant; and if the example be according to the rule, it is not the example, but the rule, that is the measure of our action; therefore it is fit to inquire, of what use it can be to look after the examples either of the Old or New Testament; and, if it be at all, since the former measures are not safe, to inquire which are. In which inquiries we are not to consider .concerning examples, whose practices are warranted by rules; for in them as there is no scruple, so neither is there any usefulness, save only that they put the rule into activity, and ferment the spirit of a man; and are to the lives of men, as exhortation is to doctrine; they thrust him forward to action, whose understanding and conscience was pre-engaged.

Of the Use of Examples in the Old and New Testament.

39. But then if it be inquired,— What use examples are of beyond the collateral encouragement to action, and which are safe to be followed ?-I answer:

40. (1.) That in cases extraordinary, where there is no rule, or none that is direct or applicable with certain proportions to the present case, then we are to look for example, and they are, next to the rule, the best measures to walk by. But this is of no use in any matter, where God hath given a law; but may serve the ends of human inquiry in matters of decency and personal proportions, when men are permitted to themselves and their intercourse with others. For the measures of human actions are either the το άγιον, και το δίκαιον, “ that which is holy and that which is just;" and of this our blessed Lord hath given full rules and measures: or else the

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measure is, rò rcdór nai TAPÉTOV, “ that which is worthy and becoming such a person :” and because laws do not ever descend to such minutes, the practices and examples of imitable and exemplary persons is the auxiliary of laws. But this is coincident to that of fame and reputation; thus if it be inquired, in the days of persecution, whether it be fit to fly or to abide the worst,—although we are, by all general rules, unlimited and unconstrained, and so the question of lawful or unlawful will cease, yet because it may be a question of the Tapétroy, we may look about and see, what such men as we are and ought to be, have done: “Shall such a man as I fly?" said the brave Eleazar: he did not, and so made up the rule by becoming a worthy precedent.

41. (2.) In complicated questions, when liberty and necessity are mingled together, rule and example together make the measures. Thus if it be inquired, how we are to comport ourselves towards our king, and what are the measures of our duty towards a tyrant or a violent injurious prince: the rule is plain, “ we must not strike princes for justice;" and we must not hurt the Lord's anointed, nor revile the ruler of the people; but if we inquire further concerning the extension of a just defence, the example of David is of great use to us, who not only comported himself by the laws of God and natural essential reason, but his heart smote him for that he had cut off the lap of Saul's garment; and, by his example, kept us so far within the moderation of necessary defence, that he allowed not any exorbitancy beyond it, though it was harmless and without mischief.

42. (3.) In the use of privileges, favours, and dispensations, where it is evident that there is no rule, because the particular is untied from the ligatures of the law; it is of great concernment, that we take in the limits of the best examples. And in this we have the precedent of our blessed Saviour to be our guide: for when, in the question of gables or tribute-money, he had made it appear, that himself was, by peculiar privilege and personal right, free; yet that he might not do any thing, which men would give an ill name to, he would not make use of his right, but of his reason, and rather do himself an injury, than an offence to others. This is of great use in all the like inquiries; because it gave probation, that it is better to depart from our right, than

him with a mischief, and to please his vicious prince, thrusts him forward to eternal ruin. But he that, to humour him, carries his neck aside, or shrugs his shoulders in the same manner, or holds his knife at dinner by his pattern, is a flatterer; but he only loves his prince, and is a worthy servant, who fights bravely if his prince be valiant, and loves worthy things by his example, and obeys his laws, and celebrates his fame, and promotes his interest, and does those things in imitation, for which his lord is excellent and illustrious in all the world.

38. But because against a rule no example is a competent warrant; and if the example be according to the rule, it is not the example, but the rule, that is the measure of our action; therefore it is fit to inquire, of what use it can be to look after the examples either of the Old or New Testament; and, if it be at all, since the former measures are not safe, to inquire which are. In which inquiries we are not to consider concerning examples, whose practices are warranted by rules; for in them as there is no scruple, so neither is there any usefulness, save only that they put the rule into activity, and ferment the spirit of a man; and are to the lives of men, as exhortation is to doctrine; they thrust him forward to action, whose understanding and conscience was pre-engaged.

Of the Use of Examples in the Old and New Testament.

39. But then if it be inquired,— What use examples are of beyond the collateral encouragement to action, and which are safe to be followed ?-I answer:

40. (1.) That in cases extraordinary, where there is no rule, or none that is direct or applicable with certain proportions to the present case, then we are to look for example, and they are, next to the rule, the best measures to walk by. But this is of no use in any matter, where God hath given a law; but may serve the ends of human inquiry in matters of decency and personal proportions, when men are permitted to themselves and their intercourse with others. For the sures of human actions are either the åylov, xo? 6 that which is holy and that which is just;" blessed Lord hath given full rules and mea

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by which we may know what examples are imitable and fit to be proceeded in ?

The positive Measures of Example, and which may be safely

followed ?

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47. (1.) In this, the answer hath but little difficulty, not only because of the cautions already given in the negative measures, but because the inquiry is after examples in cases where the rule is not clear and evident, not understood, or not relied upon; and they being in some sense used only in the destitution of a rule, may, with the less scruple, be followed, because if there be no rule clear enough to guide the action, neither will there be any to reprove the example: therefore, that which remains, is this:-

48. (2.) That example is safe, whose action is warranted by God's blessing. Thus the piety of the Egyptian midwives was imitable, in that they refused to kill the Lord's people at the command of Pharaoh; for it is said, “ Therefore God did build them houses;” it was mingled with an officious lie, but that was but accidental to their action, and no part of its constitution, and therefore not relative to the reward: but whatsoever God says he rewards with a blessing, that, in equal circumstances, may be safely imitated. I do not say whatsoever is blessed or is prosperous, is imitable; for it may be prosperous, and yet unblessed in one regard, and accursed in another; or successful to-day, and blasted to-morrow; or splendid in this world, and damned in the next; or permitted for the trial of God's servants, or the extinction of their sins; or the very thriving of it may be the biggest curse, and nurse up the sin into its monstrous ugliness, and is no other but like the tumour of an ulcer; it swells indeed, and grows very great, but it is a sore all the way, and is a contradiction to prosperity; and sin never thrives, unless it be in the most catachrestical and improper way of speaking in the world: but I say, when it is said, or plainly enough signified in Scripture, that God did bless the man for so doing ; that for which he was blessed, that I say is only imitable. And on the other side, though an action be described in story without its mark of good or bad, it is a great condemnation of the action, if the event was intolerable, and the proper

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