66 THE CONDUCT OF

often arguing against his own sense, imposes false- hoods on others, is not far from believing himself. This takes away the great distance there is betwixt truth and falsehood; it brings them almost together, and makes it no great odds, in things that approach so near, which you take; and when things are brought to that pass, passion or interest, Szc. easily, and with- out being perceived, determine which shall be right.

S ECT. XXXIV.-—INDIFFERENC Y.

I HAVE said above, that we should keep a perfect in- rhiferency for all opinions, not wish any of them true, or try to make them appear so; but being indiiferent, receive and embrace them according as evidence, and that alone, gives the attestation of truth. They that do thus, 2'. e. keep their minds indifferent to opinions, to be determined only by evidence, will always find the understanding has perception enough to distin- guish between evidence or no evidence, betwixt plain and doubtful; and if they neither give nor refuse their assent but by that measure, they will be safe in the opinions they have. \Vhich being perhaps but few, this caution will have also this good in it, that it will put them upon considering, and teach them the ne- cessity of examining more than they do; without which the mind is but a receptacle of inconsistencies, not the storehouse of truths. They that do not keep up this indiiferency in themselves for all but truth, not supposed, but evidenced in themselves,put colour- ed spectacles before their eyes, and look on things through false glasses, and then think themselves ex- cused in following the false appearances, which they themselves put upon them. I do not expect that by this way the assent should in every one be propor- tioned to the grounds and clearness wherewith every truth is capable to be made out, or that men should be perfectly kept from error : that is more than human nature can by any means be advanced to; I aim at no such unattainable privilege: I am only speaking of what they should do, who would deal fairly with their