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and confirm the argument so as I know not: and therefore if it be truth you persuade, it were altogether as good, and I am sure much more easy, to let the man you persuade, enter at the first and broadest gate of the true proposition, than after having passed through a great many turnings and labyrinths, at last come but to the same place where he might first have entered. There are some witty men that can answer any thing; but suppose they could not, yet it would be impossible that men should be tied in all cases to speak nothing but demonstrations.

3. Some men are to be wrought upon not by direct argument, but by artifices and back-blows; they are easy enough to believe the truth, if they could; and therefore you must, to persuade them, remove their prejudices and prepossessions; and to this purpose, it will not be necessary to bring those things which are proper to the question, but things accidental and extrinsical. They who were prejudiced at our blessed Saviour because he was of Galilee, needed no other argument to make them to believe in him, but to confute that foolish proverb, "Out of Galilee comes no good:" and yet he that from thence thinks the question of his being the Messias sufficiently concluded, is very far from understanding the effect and powers of argument.

4. The hinderances of belief are seated in several faculties, in our fancy, in our will, in our appetite: now in these cases there is no way to persuade, but by arguing so as to prevail with that faculty. If any man should say that our blessed Saviour is not yet come in the flesh, upon a foolish fancy that he believes not, that God would honour such a wicked nation with so great a glory, as that the Saviour of the world should be born of them; he needs no argument to persuade him to be a Christian, but by having it proved to him, that it was not only likely, but really so, and necessary it should be so, not only for the verification of the prophecies of him, but for divers congruities in the nature and circumstances of things. Here the argument is to confute the fancy only, not the reason.

5. Sometimes the judgment is right, but the affections are perverse; and then, not demonstrations, but popular arguments are not only lawful, but useful, and sufficient. For reasons of abstracted speculation move not the lower man.

Make the people in love with your proposition, and cause them to hate the contrary, and you have done all that they are capable of. When some divines in Germany were forced for their own defence to gain the people to their party, they disputed against the absolute decree of reprobation, by telling them that their adversaries' doctrine did teach that God did drag the pretty children from their mothers' breasts, and throw many of them into the eternal portion of devils: this moved the women, who follow reason as far as they can be made in love with it, and their understanding is oftentimes more in their heart than in their head. And there are thousands of people, men and women, who believe upon no other account than this, neither can they be taught otherwise. When St. Paul would persuade the Jews to reason, and from laying violent hands upon him; he was not to attempt it by offering undeniably to prove that he did well by going to the Gentiles, since God had rejected the Jews, excepting a remnant only: but he persuaded them by telling them he did nothing against the law of Moses and the temple.

6. There are some fondnesses, aud strange adherences to trifles in most people, humours of the nation, love of the advantage of their families, relations to sects or dignities, natural sympathies and antipathies, in a correspondency to which, all those arguments which are dressed, are like to prevail, and cannot otherwise do it. For when a man's understanding is mingled with interest, his arguments must have something of this, or else they will never stir that: and therefore all our arguments cannot be freed from such allays.

7. In all the discourses of men, not only orators, but philosophers, and even in their severest discourses, all the good and all the wise men of the world heap together many arguments, who yet cannot suppose them all certain; but yet they therefore innocently use them, because, as there are several capacities of men to be dealt withal, so there are several notices of things; and that may be highly concluding, which, it may be, is not well represented, and therefore not fancied or observed by him that uses it; and to another it becomes effective because he does.

8. The Holy Spirit of God himself in his intercourses with men is pleased to descend to our capacities, and to use arguments taken from our own principles, and which prevail

more by silencing us, rather than demonstrating the thing. Thus St. Paul in his arguments for the resurrection uses this; "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." There are some, even too many nowa-days, and many more then, who would have granted both the antecedent and the consequent; but because the Corinthians disavowed the consequent, they were forced to admit the antecedent. And at last, thousands of persons could never be drawn from their error, if we might not make use of arguments, weak like their capacities, and more proportionable to their understanding than to the question.

There are two cautions to be added to make the rule perfect:

1. That if the disciple relying upon his master's authority more than his own ability to judge, ask the doctor, whether upon his knowledge and faith that argument does evict the question; if the doctor himself does not believe it, he must then put no more force upon it by his affirmation and authority, than he thinks it does in nature bear; but must give prudent accounts of the whole question in compliance to the present necessity of the demander.

Of the same consideration it is, when a question being disputed between two parties, the standers-by expect the truest and most proper account of things. In this case, all openness and ingenuity is to be used according to our own sense of things, not according to what may comply with any man's weakness; and the not doing so is want of ingenuity, and the worthiness of Christian charity, and a perfect deceiving them who expect and desire such things as ought to be finally relied upon.

2. In all arguments which are to prevail by the weakness or advantages taken from the man, he that goes about to persuade, must not say any thing that he knows to be false; but he must comply and twist about the man's weakness, so as to be innocent all the way. Let him take him that is weak and wrap him in swaddling-clothes, but not encompass him with snakes: but yet this hath one loose and permission that may be used.

11. (3.) It is lawful for a man, in persuading another to a truth, to make use of a false proposition, which he that is to

* 1 Cor. xv. 14.

be persuaded, already doth believe: that is, a man may justly dispute upon the supposition, not upon the concession and granting of an error. Thus St. Paul disputed with the Corinthians, and to induce them into a belief of the resurrection, made use of a foolish custom among them in use, of being baptized for the dead. For the Christian church hath but two sacraments, baptism, and the Lord's supper; at the beginning some of the Christians used baptism, and in succeeding ages, they used to celebrate the Lord's supper for the dead, and do to this day in the church of Rome. Upon this fond custom of theirs, St. Paul thus argues: 'If there be no resurrection, then it is to no purpose that you are baptized for the dead; but that is to purpose (as you suppose), therefore there is a resurrection.' Thus prayer for the dead, and invocation of saints, according to the principles taught in the primitive church, might have been made use of against each other. If all men are imperfect till the day of judgment, and till then enter not into heaven, then you cannot with confidence make prayers for them, who, for aught you know, need your help more: but if all that die well, that is, if all that die in the Lord, do instantly enjoy the beatifical vision, and so are in a condition to be prayed to, then they need not be prayed for. As for the middle place, they in those ages knew no such thing, as men have since dreamed of. As God in such cases makes use of a prepared wickedness, though he infers none, much less does he make any to be necessary and unavoidable; so may good men and wise make use of a prepared error, a falsehood already believed; but they must neither teach nor betray any one into it.

The objections mentioned in the state of this question, are already answered in the stating the propositions.

But now arises another question, and the solution will follow upon the same grounds.

12. Quest. Whether it be lawful, for a good end, for preachers to affright men with panic terrors, and to create fears that have no ground; as to tell them, if they be liars, their faces will be deformed; if they be perjured, the devil will haunt them in visible shapes; if they be sacrilegious, they shall have the leprosy; or any thing whereby weak and ignorant people can be most wrought upon?

I answer briefly :

13. There are terrors enough in the New Testament to affright any man from his sins, who can be wrought upon by fear and if all that Moses and the prophets say, and all that Christ and his apostles published, be not sufficient, then nothing can be. For I am sure nothing can be a greater or more formidable evil than hell; and no terrors can bring greater affrightment, than those which are the proper portion of the damned. But the measures of the permission and liberty that can be used, are these:

14. (1.) A preacher or governor may affright those that are under him, and deter them from sin, by threatening them with any thing which probably may happen. So he may denounce a curse upon the estate of sacrilegious persons, robbers of churches, oppressors of priests, and widows and orphans; and particularly, whatsoever the widow or orphan in the bitterness of their souls do pray, may happen upon such evil persons; or what the church in the instruments of donation have expressed: as, to die childless; to be afflicted with the gout; to have an ambulatory life, the fortune of a penny, since for that he forsakes God and his religion; a distracted mind or fancy, or any thing of this nature. For since the curses of this life and of the other are indefinitely threatened to all sinners, and some particularly to certain sins, as want is to the detainers of tithes, a wandering fortune to church-robbers; it is not unreasonable, and therefore it is lawful to make use of such particulars, as are most likely to be effective upon the consciences of sinners.

15. (2.) It is lawful to affright men with the threatening of any thing, that is possible to happen in the ordinary effects of Providence. For every sin is against an infinite God, and his anger is sometimes the greatest, and can produce what evil he please; and he uses to arm all his creatures against sinners, and sometimes strikes a stroke with his own hand, and creates a prodigy of example to perpetuate a fear upon men to all ages.

But this is to be admitted with these cautions;

1. It must be done so as to be limited within those ways, which need not suppose a miracle to have them effected. Thus to threaten a sinner in England, that if he profanes the holy sacrament, a tiger shall meet him in the church

y Malachi, iii. 8, &c. Psal. lxxxiii. 13.

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