Obrazy na stronie

and applause, and successes, and glory, to be poor, empty, insipid things, yet he may have and enjoy a fixed, permanent, everlasting state of blessedness and glory with the ever glorious God, the blessed Redeemer, the holy angels, and the spirit of just men made perfect.

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PROV. III. 34. JAM. IV, 6. 1 PET. V. 5.



Pride and Humility are two opposite habits or dispo. fitions of the mind : and therefore the discussion and examination of the latter, will of itself give us a dircovery of the former; and the discovery of the benefit and advantage of the virtue of Humility, will give us also an account of the mischiefs and inconveniences of pride, that is, its opposite vice.

In the examination of the true nature of Humility, we must take notice that there are two extremes, and between these the virtue of Humility is placed.

The two extremes are in the excess, which is pride, and in the defect, baseness of mind.

Pride ariseth from an over-valuation of a man's self, or a want of a due sense of his dependency upon Almighty God. And though all pride be an extreme foolish distemper of the mind, yet some kind of pride is far more unreasonable and vain than other : namely, that kind of pride that ariseth from such objects that are less valuable in themselves, or less his own that grow's proud of them. It is a foolish thing for a man to be proud of the endowments of his mind: as wit, memory, judgment, prudence, policy, learning ; nay, of a man's goodness, virtue, justice, temperance, integrity: for though these be most a man's own, yet he hath them by the bounty and goodness of that God, to whom he owes his being ; Wbat bast thou which thou bast not received? These are matters indeed to stir up the gratitude to the giver of them, but not sufficient grounds to make thee proud. Again, though the things themselves be excellent, and more thine own than any other outward thing, yet thou art but a temporary owner of them ; a violent fever, or a fit of palsy, or apoplexy, may rob thee of all these endowments, and thou mayest polQibly over live thy wit, thy parts, thy learning; and if thou.escapest these concussions, yet if thou live to old age! a thing that naturally all men defire, that will abate, if not wholly antiquate, thy wit, learning, parts ; and it is a foolish thing for a man to be proud of that which he is not sure to keep while he lives, and must lose at last in a great measure when he dies, even by reason of that very pride which accompanies them here. Again, that very pride, which accompanies those excellent parts and habits, is the very thing that either spoils, or very much debaseth, and disparageth them both in the sight of God and man; it is like the dead fly in the confection, the worm at the bottom of the gourd, that taints and withers these excel. lencies, and renders them either contemptible or at least much less valuable. The more a man values himself for those things, the less he is valued by others ; and it is a thousand to one that this foolish vain humour of pride mingles some odd, fanciful, ridiculous, or unsavory ingredient in the actions or deportments of such men, though of eminent parts and abilities; so that they receive more reproach or cen. sure by their pride, than they receive applause by their parts: for as God refifts the proud, fo doth mankind also; and their very pride give their adversaries advantage.



And as pride of parts, and habits of the mind, is a foolish thing; so pride of bodily endowments is yet more foolish and vain ; because it is raised upon a thing of a baser allay than the former ; such as are beauty, ftature, strength, agility; for though these are a man's own, yet they are things that are not only fubject to more casualties than the former, but they are but of an inferior nature.

Again ; yet more vain and foolith is that pride that is raised upon things that are either purely adventi. tious or foreign, or in the mere power of other men, as pride of wealth, of honour, of applause, of fucceffes in actions, of titles, gay clothes, many attendants, great equipage, precedency, and such little accessions : and yet it is admirable to observe the vanity of the generality of mankind, in this respect : there is scarce a man to be found abroad in the world, who hath not fome elation of mind, upon the account of these and the like petty, vain, mconsiderable advantages; in all professions, as well ecclesiastical as fecular ; in all ranks and degrees of men, from the courtier to the page and footboy ; in all ages, as well old as young, almost every person hath fome hobbyhorse or other wherein he prides himself.

And this humour of pride doth rarely contain itfelf within the breast of that perfon wherein it lodgeth, (though it went no farther it is foolish enough) but spreads itself into numerous branches ; fuch as are contempt and scorn of others; contention and animosity against those that in any degree cross them; ambition, envy, against any that are above them; vain-glory and oftentation, hunting after applause; desire and delight in flattery and adulation of them ; impatience of controul, or contradiction, or difappointment of what they effect; detraction from the worth or value of others.

And, besides the disturbance that it makes abroad, it is and intolerable disease of the foul that is pofseffed therewith, renders his life miserable, and puts him in


the power of every man to be his tormentor: If a poor man, a Mordecai, deny but his cap or his knee, it makes Haman stark fick and half mad 1. All his honour and glory, and favour, went for nothing, so long as Mordecai fat in the gate, and did him no reverence. Any small neglect or affront, any cross in expectation, any little inconsiderable disappointment in what he sets his mind upon, disorders him even to distraction.

The other extreme is, baseness and fordidness of mind, which though it carries the shadow of Humility, yet if is indeed quite another thing. And though sometimes, as in pride, so in this of baseness of mind, the complexion and temperament may have an influence, yet it is most commonly upon another account ; namely, when a man is forlornly given over to the love of wealth or honour, or of bodily pleasures or lusts, this doth make him prostitute himself to any base fordid means, or compliances, to compass and attain those ends : There is nothing so base or unworthy, that such a man will not undertake or do, to the attainment of what he thus designs ; such are the base flattery of men in power, ugly compliance with their humours, though most nauseous and unsavory ; creeping and cringing, even almost to adoration of them; making pitiful addresses to their meanest dependants, even as low as pages and footboys, performing the most unwarrantable offices for them; and many times an external disguise, a shape of lowliness and humility in gesture, shape, habits and deportment, till they can attain their ends like the monk, that was always looking upon the earth in a shape of humility, till he was chosen abbot, an then changed his figure, and being questioned for his sudden change by one of his convent, answered, in his former posture he was only looking for the keys of the abbey, but now he had found them he needed not the former posture.

And this baseness of mind is many times also the

' Esth. v. 19.




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