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violent, necessary, or natural, but when it is chosen. This makes a right and sure conscience, because the grace of God hath a universal influence into all the course, of our actions. "For he that said, Do not kill, said also, Do not steal:" and if he obeys in one instance, for that reason must obey in all, or be condemned by himself, and then the conscience is right in the principle and fountain, though defiled in the issue and emanation. For he that is condemned by his own conscience, hath the law written and the characters still fair, legible, and read; but then the fault is in something else; the will is corrupted. The sum is this:
8. It is not enough that the conscience be taught by nature, but it must be taught by God, conducted by reason, made operative by discourse, assisted by choice, instructed by laws and sober principles; and then it is right, and it may be sure.
When two Motives concur to the Determination of an Action, whereof one is virtuous, and the other secular, a right Conscience is not prejudiced by that Mixture.
1. HE that fasts to punish himself for his sins, and at the same time intends his health, though it will be very often impossible for him to tell himself which was the final and prevailing motive and ingredient into the persuasion, yet it is no detriment to his conscience; the religious motive alone did suffice to make it to be an act of a good conscience; and if the mixture of the other could change this, it could not be lawful to use, or in any degree to be persuaded by, the promises of those temporal blessings which are recorded in both Testaments, and to which there is a natural desire, and proper inclination. But this also is with some difference.
2. If the secular ingredient be the stronger, it is in the same degree as it prevails over the virtuous or religious, a diminution of the worthiness of the action; but if it be a secular blessing under a promise, it does not alter the whole kind of the action.. The reason is this: Because whatever God hath promised, is therefore desirable and good, because
he hath promised it, or he hath promised it because it is of itself good, and useful to us; and therefore whatever we may innocently desire, we may innocently intend: but if it be mingled with a religious and spiritual interest, it ought not to sit down in the highest place, because a more worthy is there present, lest we be found to be passionate for the things of this life, and indifferent for God and for religion.
3. If the secular or temporal ingredient be not under a promise, and yet be the prime and chief motive, the whole case is altered: the conscience is not right, it is natural inclination, not conscience, it is sense or interest, not duty. He that gives alms with a purpose to please his prince, who is charitable and religious, although his purpose be innocent, yet because it is an end which God hath not encouraged by propounding it as a reward of charity, the whole deliberation is turned to be a secular action, and passes without reward. Our blessed Saviour hath, by an instance of his own, determined this case. When thou makest a feast, call not the rich, who can make thee recompense; but call the poor, and thou shalt have reward in heaven." To call the rich to a feast is no sin; but to call them is to lose the reward of charity, by changing the whole nature of the action from charity to civility, from religion to prudence.
4. And this hath no other exception or variety in it, but when the mixture is of a thing that is so purely natural, that it is also necessary: thus to eat upon a festival-day to satisfy a long hunger, to be honestly employed to get a living, do not cease to be religious,-though that which is temporal, be the first and the greatest cause of the action or undertaking. But the reason of this difference, if any be apprehended, is because this natural end is also a duty, and tacitly under a promise.
5. Quest. It is usually required, that all that enter into the holy offices of the ministry, should so primely and principally design the glory of God; that all other considerations should scarce be ingredients into the resolution and yet if it be inquired how far this is obligatory, and observe how little it is attended to in the first preparations to the order, the very needs of most men will make the question. material.
But I answer to the question, in proportion to the sense of the present rule.
6. (1.) Wherever a religious act by God's appointment may serve a temporal and a spiritual, to attend either is lawful; but it is still more excellent, by how much preference and greater zeal, we more serve the more excellent. Therefore although it be better to undertake the sacred function wholly for ends spiritual, yet it is lawful to enter into it with an actual design to make that calling the means of our natural and necessary support. The reason is:
7. Because it is lawful to intend what God hath offered and propounded. The end which God hath made, cannot be evil, and therefore it cannot be evil to choose that instrument to that end, which by God's appointment is to minister to that end. Now since "God hath ordained that they who preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel," it cannot be unlawful to design that in order to this.
8. (2.) If our temporal support and maintenance be the first and immediate design, it makes not the whole undertaking to be unlawful. For all callings, and all states, and all actions, are to be directed or done to the glory of God; according to that saying of St. Paul, "Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God:" and that one calling should be more for God's glory than another, is by reason of the matter and employment; but in every one, for its portion still, God's glory must be the principal: and yet no man questions but it is lawful for any man to bring his son up to the most gainful trade, if in other things there be no objection; and therefore why this may not be the first moving consideration in the susception of, or designation to, the calling ecclesiastical, cannot have any reason in the nature of the thing: for if in all things God's glory must be the principal end, and yet in some callings the temporal advantage is the first mover, then it may be so in all, the intention of God's glory notwithstanding: for if it hinders not in that, it hinders not in this. But yet,
9. (3.) It is a great imperfection actually to think of nothing but the temporal advantages, of which God hath in that calling made provisions; but I say, it is not always a sin to make them the first mover in the designing the person to that calling.
10. But therefore this is only tolerable in those persons, who at great distance design the calling; as when they first study to make themselves capable of it, then it is tolerable, because they are bound to provide for themselves in all just ways, and standing at so great distances from it, cannot be hold the beauties which are in interiori domo;' the duty which is on them, is to do that which is their proper work; that is, to fit themselves with abilities and skill to conduct it, and therefore their intention must be fitted accordingly, and move by the most powerful and prevailing motive, so it be lawful. He that applies himself to learn letters, hath an intention proportionable to his person and capacity when he first enters, and as he grows in powers, so must he also in purposes; so that as he passes on to perfection, he may also have intentions more noble and more perfect: and a man in any calling may first design to serve that end that stands next him; and yet when he is possessed of that, look on further to the intention of the thing, and its own utmost capacity. But therefore,
11. (4.) Whoever does actually enter into orders, must take care that his principal end be the glory of God, and the good of souls. The reasons are these:
12. (1.) Because no man is fit for that office, but he that is spiritual in his person, as well as his office: he must be a despiser of the world, a light to others, an example to the flock, a great denier of himself, of a celestial mind, he must mind heavenly things; with which dispositions it cannot consist, that he who is called to the lot of God, should place his chief affections in secular advantages.
13. (2.) This is that of which the Apostle was a glorious precedent, "We seek not yours, but you; for the parents lay up for the children, not children for their parents ":" meaning, that between the spiritual and the natural paternity, there is so much proportion, that when it is for the good of the children, they must all quit their temporal advantages; but because this is to be done for the spiritual, it follows, this must be chief.
14. And this I suppose is also enjoined by another apostle, "feeding the flock of God, not for filthy lucre's sake," àλλà gouws, that is, but "of a prompt, ready mind ";" a
mind moved by intrinsic arguments of fair design, not drawn by the outward cords of vanity and gain.
15. (3.) The work of the calling being principally and immediately for the good of souls, and for the glory of God, it cannot be pursued as the nature of the work requires, if that be not principally intended, which is principally to be procured; all that which is necessary in order to it, must also be taken care of: thus the ministers of religion may attend their health, and must look to their necessary support, and may defend themselves against all impediments of their offices in just and proportionable ways: but because all these have further purposes, although they standing nearest may be first regarded by an actual care, at some times, and in some circumstances, and by actual attention; yet habitually, and principally, and constantly, the glory of God, and the good of souls, must be in the heart, and in the purpose of every action.
16. But the principality and pre-eminence of this intention are no otherwise to be judged of, either by ourselves or others, than by these following significations.
(1.) No man can in any sense principally, that is, as he ought, intend the good of souls, who enters into the sacred ministry without those just measures of preparation and disposition, which are required by the church, and the nature of the thing itself; that is, that he be well instructed in the Holy Scriptures, and be fit to teach, to exhort, to reprove. For he who undertakes a work, which can serve God's end and his own in several capacities, and is not sufficiently instructed to serve the ends of God,-it is apparent that what he undertakes, is for his own end.
17. (2.) His intentions cannot be right, who by any indirect arts does enter, for that which does not begin at God, cannot be for God: "Non enim ambitione, vel pretio, sed probatæ vitæ et disciplinarum testimonio, ad honoris et sacerdotii insignia oportet promoveri," said the emperor Theodosius. He therefore who simoniacally enters, fixes his eye and heart upon that which he values to be worth money, not upon the spiritual employment, between which and money there can be no more proportion, than between contemplation and a cartrope; they are not things of the same nature; and he that comes into the field with an elephant,