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SERM. I. the Account of accidental Differences; if,
for Inftance, being a Man of a large Compass of Thought and deep Penetration he fhall defpife another, because he is of a duller Apprehenfion or perhaps an Idiot. For it is to be confidered, that the Soul is of the fame Kind in Both, equally great as to all effential Qualities in the one as in the other; and the only Superiority he has confifts perhaps in a finer Contexture of the Brain, or a livelier Flow of the Animal Spirits: which is plain from this; that an Accident or a Disease shall reduce a Man of the most distinguished Senfe to the Condition of a Natural. And it would be just as reasonable to despise a Man, because He could not work as well as we with wretched Inftruments; as to contemn a Man, because He cannot reafon as well with a Body incommodiously formed for Thinking: The Body being an Inftrument to the Soul in Thinking. The Soul of one Man is lodged as it were in a commodious lightsom Manfion, where it can command a spacious Profpect, and take in Variety of Objects; and the Soul of another may be pent up as it were in a dark Dungeon, where there are few or no Inlets of Knowledge.
But when this earthly Tabernacle fhall be SERM. I. diffolved, and the Mind enlarged, they will, both of them, be upon an equal Foot. When that Knowledge which is in Part fhall be done away, and that which is perfect is come; a Man of the dullest Apprehenfion fhall perhaps be in a Moment wiser, than the greatest Scholar after a Life 'laid out in painful Researches can be here. So little Reason is there to lay great Strefs upon those accidental Differences which diftinguish one Man from another; at the fame time that it is Ingratitude to God, as well as falfe Humility, to depreciate human Nature in general.
Pride then is, as the Text expreffeth it, the Thinking too highly of ourselves. It is an over-weening Conceit of our Dignity, founded upon fome real or imaginary Superiority to our Neighbours: which, when it expreffeth itself in an imperious and overbearing Carriage, and a commanding Mien is called Haughtiness; and is generally the Fault of a narrow Education: Whereas Men of an enlarged Converfation give into a more delicate Pride, which can never enjoy itself, but when it is fo artful, as to conceal itself under the Mask of Humility.
The Generality of Mankind confider only the Surface of their Actions, without ever founding the Depths of their Heart, and tracing the inward Workings of the Soul. Indeed we cannot but be fenfible of the violent Emotions and Agitations of any Paffion; but the filler and gentler Movements oft escape our Notice. Thus when Pride be
comes fo enormous, as, in the Words of a judicious Writer *, "to make Men ufe "their Servants, as if they were Brutes, "their Inferiors as Servants, and their "Equals as Inferiors;" Men must be blind to over-look this Vice in others, or even in themselves. But when it conceals itself under ftudied Disguises and Refinements, it will, except we are very attentive, elude our Obfervation. To give fome Instances, a Person is perhaps very liberal: but while he does not examine the Principle of his Liberality, he shall not perceive, that Pride is often the Source of it, that he only makes an Exchange of Money for Glory, and difpenfes his Favours, because he values the Vanity of Giving, more than the Thing, which he gives. Another mif takes the Affability of the Gentleman, or * Hooker's Works, Page 520.
Man of the World, for the Humility of SERM. I. the Chriftian. Whereas he ought to confider, that we oft beat down thofe Vices which are flagrant and glaring, by others which are fecret and out of Sight. Thus we often get the better of Intemperance not by a virtuous Principle, but merely by a paffionate Fondness for long Life, by the Fear of Death or by Avarice. Thus we often facrifice our outward Pride to an inward one. We keep in our Infolence, becaufe a fupercilious and contemptuous Treatment of others would only make us contemptible, But Affability and a Complacency of Behaviour opens us a Paffage to the Hearts of Men, and gains us an advantageous Situation in their Minds. It may be a more artful Manner to engage that Refpe&t which we feem to decline. Men of this Turn may be very affable, not to do Honour to others, but as they take Affability to be an Honour to themselves.
It has been observed, I fuppose, by way of Compliment to the prefent Age, that one Vice at least, viz. that of Hypocrify, seems to be banished from among us: But alas! unless we could diveft human Nature of it's Weakneffes, no Vice will ever be
SERM. I. quite extinct, though it may appear under another Form. Thus a religious Hypo
crify feems indeed in fome Measure to be no more: But in the Room of it, there has started up a genteel and polite Hypocrify, a certain Decency of Behaviour, which, by putting on the Appearances of every Virtue, prevents the Reality of any. What is foul and loathfom in each Vice,Men must keep out of Sight, unless they would be public Nufances: But then they only part with it's outward Deformity, without any Amendment of the Heart. Nay fome, I believe, confound the Ideas of Politeness and Morality. They mistake the Aververfion, which they have in themselves, to whatever is ill-bred, unfeemly and offenfive in any Sin, for a genuine Love of Goodness: They imagine that to be a Virtue, which is only Vice refined.
The more a Man knows of the World, the more fenfible he will be, that he must conceal the odious Part of Pride, unless he would be odious himself. But then he may retire into himself to cherish each favourable and delightful Idea of his own Worth, that fooths and flatters his Vanity, fhutting out all humbling and mortifying Reflections,