Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/74

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B. All that is required, both in faith and manners, for man’s salvation is (I confess) set down in Scripture as plainly as can be. Children obey your parents in all things: Servants obey your masters: Let all men be subject to the higher powers, whether it be the King or those that are sent by him: Love God with all your soul, and your neighbour as yourself: are words of the Scripture, which are well enough understood; but neither children, nor the greatest part of men, do understand why it is their duty to do so. They see not that the safety of the commonwealth, and consequently their own, depends upon their doing it. Every man by nature (without discipline) does in all his actions look upon, as far as he can see, the benefit that shall redound to himself from his obedience. He reads that covetousness is the root of all evil; but he thinks, and sometimes finds, it is the root of his estate. And so in other cases, the Scripture says one thing, and they think another, weighing the commodities or incommodities of this present life only, which are in their sight, never putting into the scales the good and evil of the life to come, which they see not.

A. All this is no more than happens where the Scripture is sealed up in Greek and Latin, and the people taught the same things out of them by preachers. But they that are of a condition and age, fit to examine the sense of what they read, and that take a delight in searching out the grounds of their duty, certainly cannot choose but by their reading of the Scriptures come to such a sense of their duty, as not only to obey the laws themselves, but also to induce others to do the same. For commonly men of age and quality are followed by their inferior neighbours, that look more upon the example of those men whom they reverence, and whom they are unwilling to displease, than upon precepts and laws.

B. These men, of the condition and age you speak of, are, in my opinion, the unfittest of all others to be trusted with the reading of the Scriptures. I know you mean such as have studied the Greek or Latin, or both tongues, and