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to the same purpose, and with the same efficiency and persuasion, as is all that which is natural. And the conscience properly dictates nothing else, but prime natural reason, and immediate revelation; whatsoever comes after these two, is reached forth to us by two hands, one whereof alone is ministered by conscience. The reason is this: because all that law by which God governs us, is written in our hearts, put there by God immediately, that is antecedently to all our actions; because it is that by which all our actions are to be guided, even our discoursings and arguings are to be guided by conscience, if the argument be moral: now the ways by which God speaks to us immediately, are only nature and the Spirit: nature is that principle which taught all men from the beginning until now; all that prime practical reason which is perfective of human nature, and in which all mankind agrees. Either the perfections, or the renovations, or the superadditions, to this are taught us by the Holy Spirit, and all this being written in the conscience by the finger of God, is brought forth upon all occasions of action; and whatsoever is done against any thing so placed, is directly and violently against the conscience: but when from thence reason spins a longer thread, and draws it out from the clue of natural principles or express revelation, that also returns upon the conscience, and is placed there as light upon a wall, but not as the stones that are there: but yet whatever is done against that light, is also against conscience, but not so as the other. Just as it is in nature and accident. To eat poison and filthiness is against every man's health and stomach; but if by an idioovyngacía, a propriety of temper' or an evil habit, or accidental inordination, wine, or fish, makes a man sick, then these are against his nature too, but not so as poison is, or stones. Whatever comes in the conscience primarily, or consequently, right or wrong, is brought forth upon occasion of action, and is part of her dictate: but as a man speaks some things of his own knowledge, some things by hearsay; so does conscience; some things she tells from God and herself, some things from reason and herself, or other accidental notices: those and these do integrate and complete her sermons, but they have several influence and obligation according to their proper efficiency. But of this I. shall give full accounts in the second book.
3. Conscience bears witness of our actions; so St. Paul, "their conscience bearing witness:" and in this sense, conscience is a practical memory. For as the practical knowledge or notices subjected in the understanding, makes the understanding to be conscience; so the actions of our life, recorded in the memory and brought forth to practical judgments, change the memory also into conscience. Tou yag γένους τῶν ἀνθρώπων ταύτῃ διαφέροντος τῶν ἄλλων ζώων, ᾗ μόνοις αὐτοῖς μέτεστι νοῦ καὶ λογισμοῦ· φανερὸν, ὡς οὐκ εἰκὸς παρατρέχειν αὐτοὺς τὴν προειρημένην διαφορὰν, καθάπερ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων ζώων· ἀλλ ̓ ἐπισημαίνεσθαι τὸ γιγνόμενον, καὶ δυσα ρεστεῖσθαι τοῖς παροῦσι. “ Man differing from brute beasts by the use of reason, it is not likely he should be a stranger to his own actions as the beasts are: but that the evil which is done, should be recalled to their mind with the signification of some displeasure." So Polybius discourses of the reason and the manner of conscience.
4. Every knowing faculty is the seat of conscience; and the same faculty, when it is furnished with speculative notions, retains its natural and proper name of understanding, or memory; but as the same is instructed with notices in order to judgments practical, so it takes the Christian name of conscience. The volitive or choosing faculty cannot, but the intellectual may. And this is that book, which at doomsday shall be brought forth and laid open to all the world. The memory, changed into conscience, preserves the notices of some things, and shall be reminded of others, and shall do that work entirely and perfectly, which now it does imperfectly and by parts, according to the words of St. Pault; "then shall we know as we are known," that is, as God knows us now, so then shall we see and know ourselves. "Nullum
theatrum virtuti conscientia majus u," shall then be highly verified. Our conscience will be the great scene or theatre, upon which shall be represented all our actions good and bad. It is God's book, the book of life or death. According to the words of St. Bernard x; " Ex his, quae scripta erunt in libris nostris, judicabimur; et ideo scribi debent secundum exemplar libri vitæ, et si sic scripti non sunt, saltem corrigendi 8 Lib. 6. Schweig. ii. 465. u Cicero 2. c. 25. Tuscul. Rath. p. 202. * De Inter. Dom. lib. 2. cap. ult.
r Rom. ii. 15.
t1 Cor. xiii. 12.
sunt:" "We shall be judged by that which is written in our own books" (the books of conscience); " and therefore they ought to be written according to the copy of the book of life; and if they be not so written, yet they ought to be so corrected."
5. Consequently to these the conscience does
Accuse or Excuse.
So St. Pauly joins them as consequent to the former; "their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts in the meantime accusing or excusing one another."-" Si optimorum consiliorum atque factorum testis in omni vita nobis. conscientia fuerit, sine ullo metu summa cum honestate vivemus:" "If our conscience be the witness that in our life we do good deeds, and follow sober counsels, we shall live in great honesty and without fear.”—Δικαστὴν Θεὸς ἐπέστησε τὸν δικαιότατον ἅμα καὶ οἰκειότατον, τὸ συνειδὸς αὐτὸ, καὶ τὸν ὀρGov óyov, said Hierocles"; "God hath constituted a most righteous and domestic judge, the conscience and right reason:” Καὶ αὑτὸν ἑαυτῷ, ὃν πάντων μάλιστα αἰδεῖσθαι προεπαιδεύOnuεv, "Every man ought most of all to fear himself, because it is impossible but we should know what we have done amiss; and it concerns us also to make righteous judgment, for we cannot escape ourselves."—Mndéπote undèv aioxpòv ποιήσας ἔλπιξε λήσειν· καὶ γὰρ ἂν τοὺς ἄλλους λάθῃς, σαυτῷ γε GUVELD GEIS, said Isocrates: "Etsi à cæteris silentium est, tamen ipse sibimet conscius est posse se merito increpari," so Apuleius renders it. Though others hold their peace, yet there is one within that will not."
Nec facile est placidam ac pacatam degere vitam,
Qui violat facteis communia fœdera pacis.
Perpetuo tamen id fore clam diffidere debetc.
It is hard to be concealed from God and man too, and although we think ourselves safe for a while, yet we have something within that tells us, οὐκ ἔστι λάθρα τι ποιοῦντα, he that does any thing is espied, and cannot do it privately. Quicum in tenebris?' was the old proverb: Who was with you in the dark?'-And therefore it was that Epicurus affirmed it to be impossible for a man to be concealed always. Upon z Cicero pro Cluentio.
y Rom. ii. 15.
a Needham, p. 158.
↳ Lange, p. 5.
c Lucretius. v. 1155. Eichstadt, p. 242.
the mistake of which he was accused by Plutarch and others, to have supposed it lawful to do any injustice secretly; whereas his design was to obstruct that gate of iniquity, and to make men believe that even that sin which was committed most secretly, would some time or other be discovered and brought to punishment; all which is to be done by the extraregular events of providence, and the certain accusations and discoveries of conscience.
6. For conscience is the looking-glass of the soul, so it was called by Periphanes in Plautus ;
Non oris causa modo homines æquom fuit
Sibi habere speculum, ubi os contemplarent suum;
And a man looking into his conscience, instructed with the word of God, its proper rule, is by St. James compared to "a man beholding his natural face in a glass;" and that the Apostle describes conscience in that similitude, is to be gathered from the word 'upurov λóyov, verbum insitum,'' the ingrafted word,' the word of God written in our hearts,which whoso looks on, and compares his actions with his rule, may see what he is: but he that neglects this word and follows not this rule, did indeed see his face, but hath forgotten what manner of man he was, that is, what he was framed in the works of the new creation, when he was newly formed and "created unto righteousness and true holiness." 7. This accusation and watchfulness, and vocal, clamorous guards of conscience, are in perpetual attendance, and though they may sleep, yet they are quickly awakened, and make the evil man restless. Τοὺς ἀδικοῦντας καὶ παρανομοῦν· τὰς ἀθλίως καὶ περιφόβως ζῆν τὸν πάντα χρόνον, ὅτι κἂν λαθεῖν δύνανται, πίστιν περὶ τοῦ λαθεῖν λαβεῖν ἀδύνατόν ἐστι· ὅθεν ὁ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἀεὶ φόβος ἐγκείμενος οὐκ ἐᾷ χαίρειν, οὔτε θαῤῥεῖν ini Tois wagoũa, said Epicurus; which is very well' rendered by Seneca," Ideo non prodest latere latentibus, quia latendi c In Epidico. act. 3. sc. 3. 1. Schmieder, p. 294. d James, i. 21. 23, 24. e Diog. Laert.
'In the passage, which is quoted by Bishop Taylor, Seneca does not so much render as comment upon Epicurus: the words of Seneca are," Eleganter itaque ab Epicuro dictum puto, Potest nocenti contingere ut lateat, latendi fides non potest.' Aut si hoc modo melius hunc explicari posse judicas sensum ;Ideo non prodest latere peccantibus, quia latendi etiam si felicitatem habent, fiduciam non habent." Seneca, ep. 97. Ruhkopf, vol. 3. p. 246.-(J. R. P.)
etiam si felicitatem habent, fiduciam non habent:" "They that live unjustly, always live miserably and fearfully; because although their crime be secret, yet they cannot be confident that it shall be so:" meaning, that because their conscience does accuse them, they perceive they are discovered, and pervious to an eye, which what effect it will have in the publication of the crime here and hereafter, is not matter of knowledge, but cannot choose but be matter of fear for
Publicus, et pœnas metuet, quascunque mariti
Martis, ut in laqueos nunquam incidate.
If any chance makes the fact private, yet no providence or watchfulness can give security, because within there dwells a principle of fear that can never die, till repentance kills it. And therefore Chilo in Laertius said upon this account, that loss is rather to be chosen than filthy gain; because that loss brings sorrow but once, but injustice brings a perpetual fear and pain."
Anne magis Siculi gemuerunt æra juvenci,
The wife that lies by his side, knows not at what the guilty man looks pale, but something that is within the bosom knows; and no pompousness of condition can secure the man, and no witty cruelty can equal the torment. For that also, although it be not directly the office of conscience, yet it is the act and effect of conscience; when itself is injured, it will never let any thing else be quiet.
To loose or bind,
8. Is the reflex act of conscience. Upon viewing the records, or the ouvrnpnois, the legislative part of conscience, it binds to duty; upon viewing the act, it binds to punishment, or consigns to comfort; and in both regards it is called by Origen, "affectuum corrector, atque animæ pædagogus," "the corrector of the affections, and the teacher of the soul."Which kind of similitude Epictetus, in Stobæus, followed e Juven. Sat. 10. 311. Ruperti, p. 176. f Perf. Sat. 3. 39, Koenig. p. 41.