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4. Concerning the second, that is, a virtual judgment, that is a natural inclination passing forth into habit or custom, and delight in the actions of some virtues; it is certain that it is one part of the grace of God, and a more promoted and immediate disposition to the virtue of its kind than the former. Some men are naturally very merciful, and some are abstemious, and some are continent: and these in the course of their life take in every argument and accidental motive, and the disposition swells, and the nature is confirmed. But still it is but nature. The man, it may be, is chaste, because he hates the immodesty of those addresses which prepare to uncleanness; or he loves his quiet, or fears the accidents of his enemy-crime; or there was a terror infused into him by the sight of a sad spectacle, the evil reward of an adulterous person:
quosdam mochos dum mugilis intrat.-(Juv. x. 317.) Concerning this kind of virtual judgment, or confirmed nature, I have two things to say:
5. (1.) That this virtual judgment can produce love or hatred to certain objects, ineffective complacences or disrelishes respectively, proper antipathies and aversations from a whole kind of objects; such as was that hatred that Tamerlane had to Zercon, or some men to cats. And thus much we cannot deny to be produced by the operation and simple apprehension of our senses by pictures and all impressions of fancy: "Cum opinamur difficile aliquid aut terribile, statim compatimur: secundum imaginem autem similiter nos habemus k." We find effects and impresses according to the very images of things we see, and by their prime apprehensions and therefore much rather may these actus imperati,' or more natural and proper effects and affections of will be entertained or produced respectively. Men at first sight fall in love with women, and that against their reason, and resolution, and counsel, and interest, and they cannot help it; and so they may do with some actions of virtue. And as in the first case they are rather miserable than vicious; so in this they are rather fortunate than virtuous; and they may be commended, as we praise a fair face, or a strong arm, an athletic health, or a good constitution; and it is indeed a
* Vide Aristot. de Anima lib. 2. text. 154.
very good disposition and a facilitation of a virtuous choice. But,
6. (2.) This virtual judgment, which is nothing but nature confirmed by accidents, is not a state of good by which a man is acceptable to God. Neither is it a sufficient principle of a good life, nor indeed of the actions of its own kind. Not of good life, because it may be in a single instance; and it can never be in all. The man that is good-natured, that is naturally meek and loving, goes the furthest upon this ac count; but without the conjunction of other virtues, it is a great way off from that good state, whither naturally it can but tend and incline: and we see some good things are made to serve some evil; and by temperance, and a moderate diet, some preserve their health, that they may not preserve their chastity: and they may be habitually proud, because they are naturally chaste: and then this chastity is no virtue, but a disposition and an aptness only. In this sense that of St. James may be affirmed, "He that offends in one, is guilty of all;" that is, if his inclinations, and his accidentally-acquired habits, be such as to admit a mixture, they are not genuine and gracious: such are these that are the effects of a nature fitted towards a particular virtue. It must be a higher principle that makes an entire piety; nature and the habits growing upon her stock, cannot do it. Alexander was a continent prince, and the captive beauties of Persia were secured by it in their honours; but by rage he destroyed his friend, and by drunkenness he destroyed himself.
But neither is this virtual judgment a sufficient principle of the actions of its own kind; for this natural strength is nothing but an uneasiness and unaptness to suffer by common temptations: but place the man where he can be tempted, and this good disposition secures him not, because there may be something in nature bigger than it.
7. It remains then, that to the constitution of a right and sure conscience, there is required a formal judgment, that is, a deliberation of the understanding, and a choice of the will, that being instructed, and this inclined by the grace of God: "Tantoque laudabilior munificentia nostra fore videbatur, quod ad illam non impetu quodam, sed consilio trahebamur, said Secundus: then it is right and good, then when it is not I Lib. 1. ep. 8. §. 9. Gierig, vol. 1. p. 33.
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
When two Motives concur to the Determination of an Action, whereof one is virtuous, and the other secular, á 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.