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Conscience with the power and cases thereof Devided into V. bookes. Written by the godly and learned, William Ames, Doctor, and Professor of Divinity, in the famous University of Franeker in Friesland. Translated out of Latine into English, for more publique benefit.; De conscientia. Et ejus jure, vel casibus. English.
Ames, William, 1576-1633.
STC 552; ESTC S114737
affections about worldly things Luke 8. 14. 3 A spirituall satiety or fulnesse that is a presumption of our own sufficiency and a resting in that degree and measure to which we have attained Phil. 3. 13 14. 4 Sloth Feare and carnall wisdome Iud. 1 19. 21. 27 28. 29 30. 31 32. 33. 5 Familiarity with the world or the commonesse of sinne abounding in others Mat. 24. 22. 6 The practice of such things as our conscience alloweth not Rom. 14. 20. 21. 7 Indulgence to our selves in our own corruptions 1 Cor. 5. 6. 2 Corinthians 7. 11. Ephes. 4. 29. 30. 23. Secondly we ought often and seriously to meditate upon the love and mercy of God toward us Pro. 25. 21. 22. 24. Thirdly we ought to meditate daily of our imperfections Phil. 3. 13 14. 25. Fourthly we ought to be diligent in the use of all those meanes which God hath appointed for the begetting of grace in us 1 Thess. 5. 16. 20. 26. Fifthly we ought to associat with them that have the zeale of God Pro. 22. 24 25. 27. 17. Among such we must especially desire those Ministers whose tongues have beene touched with a coale from the Altar Esay 6. For by notorious and lamentable experience even in reformed Churches that is found to be true which the author heretofore praised writ long since The words of life in the lips of many Doctors preachers are dead in regard of the vertue and efficacy For they doe so coldly and dully preach the words of God that they seem even to be dead in their lips Whence it comes to passe that as they themselves are cold and dead even so doe they leave their hearers cold and dead and I would to God they did not make them so I knew a man that for this cause left the City Paris For he said that he was made colder and colder daily with the Lectures and Sermons in Paris And that he was affraid if he should stay longer there he should be quite frozen to death stiritually Wherefore he got him to certaine zealous persons as unto hot coals that conversing among them he might nourish and increase his heat The fifth Question is whether zeal is to be judged according to the sence thereof and the manner of exercising 27. Ans. Not alwayes For zeale is greater essentially in regard of the things about which it is conversant or accidentally in regard of some circumstances which happen and doe not alwayes remaine the same For example married folks loving one another dearly are sometimes more affected upon the very marriage then in that constant society of life which afterward followes But this is by accident because of the novelty of the thing But in very deed they may afterward rejoyce as much or more 28. So also the faithfull in the first conversion may finde often greater motions of their affections then afterward because of the novelty of the thing though there be afterward an increase in the true zeale of God Some such thing is affirmed even of the Angells Lu. 15. 7. 29. In old age or in some such like decay of strength although there may be the same zeale or more then was before yet it is not put forth in some in the same manner that it was in in their younger dayes 30. Variety of education may bring a great diversity in the manner of exercising ones zeale when yet there may be an equall zeale in respect of the essence of it The sixth Question is whether one and the same thing may be lawfully a matter of zeale and laughter 31. Ans. That this may be appeareth in the example of Eliah 1 Kings 18. 27. with 19. 10. 14. But yet not in the same respect For zeale hath for its object something either honest or filthy but laughter is caused by the apprehension of an unexpected thing that lightly pleaseth without the consideration of honesty or filthinesse CHAP. 7. Of peace and tranquillity of Conscience BEcause the concomitant object of obedience is a quiet Conscience Concerning peace of Conscience The first Question is how peace of Conscience doth depend upon our obedience 1. Ans. It depends not upon our obedience as upon the principall cause but rather upon that justification which we have by Christ Jesus Romans 5. 1. Heb. 10. 22. 1 pet 3. 21. 1 Cor. 4. 4. 2. They which goe about to rest in themselves or in their own works can never finde any solid tranquillity in their Consciences both because of the diverse falls and because of the manifold imperfections which adhere to the endeavours of the best men while they live in this World And hence it is that those that are popish must needs be vexed with perpetuall doubts both in life and death because of the opinion which they have of the Righteousnesse and Merits of their works which are yet by their owne confession uncertaine 3. Secondly it depends upon our obedience 1. as upon that whereby the contrary is removed or as upon that which removes the impediment 1 Sam. 25. 31. 1 Ioh. 3. 18. 21. 2 As upon the procââ¦eant cause or secondary reason thereof 2 Cor. 1. 12. 4 Now this is so to be understood as that the tranquillity of Conscience in regard of those actions which are agreeable to the Law of God is to be conceived to depend upon obedience in regard of the thing it selfe But that tranquillity which respects our state before God it to be ââ¦scribed ââ¦o otherwise to our obedience as to the cause but only in respect of the certainty of our perceiving of it and that our obedience respecteth the thing it selfe as the signe and effect thereof hence that phrase so ofââ¦ used by Iohn By this we know and such like Ioh 2. 3. 5. 29. 3. 10 14. 19. 4. 13. 5. Peace of Conscience also depends upon obedience as upon the conservant cause For righteousnesse not impuââ¦ed nor inherent but of the life and conversation is the brest-plate of a believer whereby he is guarded and defended and is perfectly safe and quiet Eph. 6. 14. 1 Ioh. 3. 7. 1 Cor. 4. 3. Hence it is that that righteousnesse which consists in obedience is called the righteousnesse of a good Conscience Acts 24. 10. 6. Now obedience doth preserve and maintaine peace of Conscience not only as a signe of our reconciliation with God but also as a continuation and an exercise of that life which is acceptable and pleasing unto God Col. 1. 10. Thess. 4. 1. Heb. 12. 28. Not that there is any such perfection in our obedience as can satisfy the Law of God but because that after our persons by faith in Christ become acceptable to God then by vertue of the same faith for Christs sake our obedience though weake and polluted is accepted before God 1 Pet. 2. 5. The second Question is what is that obedience by the presence whereof the Conscience may enjoy peace 7. Ans. First an absolute perfection is