Saturday, April 21, 2007

Four ears

Paul exhorts, “Try all things, and retain that which is good.”
From every sect and community of Christians take any thing that is good, that advances holy religion and the divine honor. For one hath a better government, a second a better confession, a third hath excellent spiritual arts for the conduct of souls, a fourth hath fewer errors; and by what instrument soever a holy life is advantaged, use that, though thou grindest thy spears and arrows at the forges of the Philistines; knowing thou hast no master but Christ, no religion but the Christian, no rule but the scriptures, and the laws, and right reason; other things that are helps are to be used accordingly.
Be wise in choosing our company, reserved and wary in our friendships, and unreserved in our charity; that we never do a thing we know we must repent of; that we do not admire too many things, nor any thing too much.
And according to the proverb, always listen to him who, “hath four ears, - reason, religion, wisdom, and experience;”
to stop the beginnings of evil, to pardon and not to observe all the faults of friends or enemies; of evils to choose the least, and of goods to choose the greatest, if it be also safest;

ever to be thankful for benefits, and profitable to others, and useful in all that we can.
If we observe these things, we shall do advantage to ourselves and to the religion; and avoid those evils which fools and unwary people suffer for nothing, dying or bleeding without cause and without pity.

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