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and applause, and fucceffes, and glory, to be poor, empty, infipid things, yet he may have and enjoy a fixed, permanent, everlafting ftate of bleffednefs and glory with the ever glorious God, the bleffed Redeemer, the holy angels, and the fpirit of just men made perfect.

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OF

HUMILITY:

ITS OPPOSITE VICES, BENEFITS, AND MEANS TO ACQUIRE IT.

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

GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, AND GIVETH
TO THE HUMBLE.

GRACE

PRIDE and Humility are two oppofite habits or difpo

fitions of the mind: and therefore the difcuffion and examination of the latter, will of itfelf give us a dif covery of the former; and the difcovery of the benefit and advantage of the virtue of Humility, will give us alfo an account of the mischiefs and inconveniences of pride, that is, its oppofite 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 excefs, which is pride, and in the defect, baseness of mind.

Pride arifeth from an over-valuation of a man's felf, or a want of a due fenfe of his dependency upon Almighty God. And though all pride be an extreme foolish distemper of the mind, yet fome kind of pride is far more unreasonable and vain than other: namely, that kind of pride that ariseth from fuch objects that are lefs valuable in themselves, or lefs his own that grows proud of them.

It is a foolish thing for a man to be proud of the endowments

dowments of his mind: as wit, memory, judgment, prudence, policy, learning; nay, of a man's goodnefs, virtue, juftice, temperance, integrity: for though these be moft a man's own, yet he hath them by the bounty and goodness of that God, to whom he owes his being; What baft thou which thou hast not received? Thefe are matters indeed to ftir up the gratitude to the giver of them, but not fufficient grounds to make thee proud. Again, though the things themfelves 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 palfy, or apoplexy, may rob thee of all thefe endowments, and thou mayeft poffibly over live thy wit, thy parts, thy learning; and if thou escapest these concuffions, 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 fure to keep while he lives, and must lofe at last in a great measure when he dies, even by reafon 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 fpoils, or very much debafeth, and disparageth them both in the fight 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 leaft much lefs valuable. The more a man values himself for those things, the lefs he is valued by others; and it is a thoufand to one that this foolish vain humour of pride mingles fome odd, fanciful, ridiculous, or unfavory ingredient in the actions or deportments of fuch men, though of eminent parts and abilities; fo that they receive more reproach or cenfure by their pride, than they receive applaufe by their parts: for as God refifts the proud, fo doth mankind alfo; and their very pride give their adverfaries advantage.

And

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

Again; yet more vain and foolish is that pride that is raifed 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 applaufe, of fucceffes in actions, of titles, gay clothes, many attendants, great equipage, precedency, and fuch little acceffions and yet it is admirable to obferve the vanity of the generality of mankind, in this refpect: there is fcarce a man to be found abroad in the world, who hath not fome elation of mind, upon the account of thefe and the like petty, vain, inconfiderable advantages; in all profeffions, as well ecclefiaftical 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, almoft every perfon hath fome hobbyhorfe 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 fpreads itself into numerous branches; fuch as are contempt and fcorn of others; contention and animofity against thofe that in any degree crofs them; ambition, envy, against any that are above them; vain-glory and oftentation, hunting after applaufe; defire 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, befides the disturbance that it makes abroad, it is and intolerable difeafe of the foul that is poffeffed therewith, renders his life miferable, and puts him in

the

1

the power of every man to be his tormentor: If a poor mán, a Mordecai, deny but his cap or his knee, it makes Haman ftark fick and half mad1. All his honour and glory, and favour, went for nothing, fo long as Mordecai fat in the gate, and did him no reverence. Any small neglect or affront, any crofs in expectation, any little inconfiderable difappointment in what he fets his mind upon, diforders him even to distraction.

The other extreme is, bafenefs and for didnefs of mind, which though it carries the fhadow of Humility, yet it is indeed quite another thing. And though fometimes, as in pride, fo in this of bafeness 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 pleafures or lufts, this doth make him prostitute himfelf to any base fordid means, or compliances, to compafs and attain thofe ends: There is nothing fo bafe or unworthy, that fuch a man will not undertake or do, to the attainment of what he thus defigns; fuch are the base flattery of men in power, ugly compliance with their humours, though moft naufeous and unfavory; creeping and cringing, even almost to adoration of them; making pitiful addreffes to their meaneft dependants, even as low as pages and footboys, performing the most unwarrantable offices for them; and many times an external difguife, a fhape of lowlinefs and humility in gefture, fhape, habits and deportment, till they can attain their ends; like the monk, that was always looking upon the earth in a fhape of humility, till he was chofen abbot, and then changed his figure, and being queftioned for his fudden change by one of his convent, anfwered, 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 bafenefs of mind is many times alfo the

VOL. I.

'Esth. v. 19.

K

effect

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