"The Apostle says, that they use the testimony of conscience, who have the law written in their hearts."

— Taylor, Jeremy (bap. 1613, 1667)

Place of Publication
Printed by R. Norton for R. Royston
1660, 1676
"The Apostle says, that they use the testimony of conscience, who have the law written in their hearts."
Metaphor in Context
8. Our mind being thus furnished with a holy Rule, and conducted by a divine guide, is called Conscience; and is the same thing which in Scripture is sometimes called the heart*; there being in the Hebrew tongue, no proper word for Conscience, but in stead of it they use the word [HEBREW] the heart; Oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth, that is, thy conscience knoweth, that thou thyself hast cursed others, so in the New Testament, Beloved, If our hearts condemn us not, then have we peace towards God, viz. If in our own consciences we are not condemned. Sometimes it is called Spirit*, the third ingredient of the constitution of a Christian; the Spirit, distinct from Soul and Body. For as our Body shall be spiritual in the Resurrection, therefore, because all its offices shall intirely minister to the spirit, and converse with spirits, so may that part of the soul, which is wholly furnished, taught, and conducted by the Spirit of grace, and whose work it is wholly to serve the spirit, by a just proportion of reason be called the Spirit. This is that which is affirmed by S. Paul, The word of God sharper than a two-edged sword, dividing the soul and the spirit; that is, the soul is the spirit separated by the word of God, instructed by it, and, by relation to it, is called the spirit. And this is the sence of Origen, Testimonio sane conscientiae uti Apostolus dicit eos qui descriptam continent in cordibus legem, &c. The Apostle says, that they use the testimony of conscience, who have the law written in their hearts. Hence it is necessary to enquire what that is which the Apostle calls conscience, whether it be any other substance than the heart or soul? For of this it is otherwhere said that it reprehends, but is not reprehended, and that it judges a man, but itself is judged of no man: as John saith, If our conscience condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God. And again, S. Paul himself saith in another place, Our glorying is this, even the testimony of our conscience; because therefore I see so great a liberty of it, that in good things it is always glad and rejoices, but in evil things it is not reproved, but reproves and corrects the soul it self to which it does adhere; I do suppose that this is the very spirit, which by the Apostle is said to be with the soul, as a pedagogue and social governor, that it may admonish the soul of better things, and chastise her for her faults, and reprove her: Because no man knows the things of a man but the spirit of a man which is in him; and that is the spirit of our conscience, concerning which, he saith, That spirit gives testimony to our spirit. So far Origen.
(p. 3)
Taylor, Jeremy. Ductor Dubitantium, or, The Rule of Conscience in all her General Measures Serving as a Great Instrument for the Determination of Cases of Conscience. London: Printed by R. Norton for R. Royston, 1676. <Link to EEBO>
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.