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imaginable, namely, the refult of thy virtue and merit ; yet itill it is but a fhadow, a reflexion of that virtue or worth, which if thou art proud of, thou embasest and degradelt into vanity and oftentation; and canft thou think it reasonable to be proud of the fhadow, where thou oughteft not to be proud of that worth that caufeth it?
Again, thou hast power, art in great place and authority; but thou art miftaken in this, the power thou haft is not inherent in thyfelf: One of the meaneft of thofe, whom it may be thou oppreffeft, is inherently as powerful as thee, and could, it may be, over-match thee in ftrength, wit or policy; but the power thou haft is (next under the difpenfation of the Divine Providence) from thofe men that, either by their promifes, faith, or voluntary afsistance, have invested thee with this power. This power is nothing inherent in thee; but it depends upon the fidelity or affiftance of others, which if they either by perfidiousness to thee, or refiftance against thee, or withdrawing their affiftance from thee, fhall call again home to themfelves, thou art like Sampfon having loft his locks, thy 'ftrength will go from thee, and thou wilt become 'weak, and be like another man ". And how have the hiftorics of all ages, and our own experience, fhown us by very frequent examples, men unexpectedly, and upon many moments and occurrences feemingly moft finall and inconfiderable, been tumbled in a moment from the most eminent and high degree of power into a most despised and defpicable condition? Power hath very oftentimes, like Jonas' gourd, been externally fair and flourishing, when at the fame time there lies a worm at the root of it unfeen, but in a moment gnaws afunder the roots and fibres of it, and it withers; and for the most part, the more extenfive and immenfe human power grows, the fooner it falls to pieces, not only by the Divine Providence checking and dejecting it, Judg. xvi. 17.
but by a kind of natural result from its own exor bitance and excefs; for the greater it is, the more difficult it is to manage; it grows top-heavy, and the bafis grows too narrow and weak for its own burden. Befides it is the common mark of envy and difcontent, which watcheth fedulously all occafions to unhorfe it, and oftentimes prevails. When power proves too grievous and overburdenfome, it loofeth the end for which it is con ferred, and makes people defperate and impatient. Entia nolunt male gubernarie. If it be managed with prudence and moderation, it is the greatest benefit to human fociety: but it is the burden of him that hath it if it be managed tyranically and exorbitantly it fills the mafter full of fears, the people full of rage, and feldom proves long lived. And what reafon haft thou to be proud of what is most certainly thy burden, or thy danger, or both?
Again, thou haft strength, or beauty, or agility of body. Indeed this thou haft more reafon to call thy own, than any of the former: but yet thou haft no caufe to pride thyself in it; thou canst not hold it long at best, for age will decay that ftrength, and wither that beauty, and death will certainly put a period to it; but yet probably this ftrength or beauty is not fo long lived as thyfelf, no nor as thy youth; a difeafe, it may be,, is this very moment growing upon thee, that will fuddenly pull down thy ftrength and rafe? thy beauty, and turn them both into rottennefs and loathfomeness: Nay, let any obferve it that will, that ftrength, and that beauty that raifeth pride in the heart, is of all other fhorteft lived, even upon the account of that very pride: for the oftentation and vain-glory of ftrength puts it forth into def perate and dangerous undertakings, to the ruin of the owner; and the pride of beauty renders the owner thereof fond of the praise of it, and to ex
'Subjects are impatient of oppression. destroy. VOL. 1.
pofe it to the view of others, whereby it becomes a temptation to luft and intemperance, both to the owner of it, and others, and in a little while becomes at once its own ruin and fhame.
But it may be thou haft wit and judgment, a quick and ready understanding, and haft improved them by great study and obfervation, in great and profound learning. This, I confels, is much more thy own, than any of the former endowments; but most certainly, if thou art proud of any of thefe, thou art not yet arrived to the highest improvement of understanding, namely, wifdom; folly and madness may be confiftent with a witty, nay, a learned man, but not with a truly wife man. And this thy pride of thefe endowments or acquefts, ftill pronounceth and proclaimeth thee a fool, for all thy wit, and all thy learning. For confider with thyfelf, 1. That thy wit and learning are but pitiful narrow things, in refpect of the amplitude of the things that are to be known. Maxima pars eorum quæ fcimus, eft minima pars eorum quæ nefcimus. Take the moft learned obfervant philofopher that ever was in the world, he never yet was fully acquainted with the nature of thofe things that are obvious to ordinary obfervation, and near to him; never was the man yet in the world that could give an accurate account of the nature of a fly, or a worm in its full comprehenfion, no not of a fpire of grafs; much lefs of himself and his nobler faculties; much lefs yet of those glorious bodies that every day and night object themfelves out to our view. What a deal of uncertainty, imevidence, and contradiction do we find in the determination of the choiceft wits and men of greatest learning, even in things that are obvious and objected in their outfide, to all their fenfes ? So that the greatest knowledge that men attain to in the things of nature, is little elfe but a fpecious piece of ignorance dreffed up with fine words, formal methods, precarious fup
The greatest part of that which we know is the smallest part of that which we know not. ? offer.
pofitions, and competent confidence. Confider, 2. How brittle and unstable a thing thy wits, thy parts, thy learning is. Though old age may retain fome broken moments of thy wit and learning thou once hadft, yet the floridness and vigour of it must then decay and gradually wither, till very old age make thee a child again, if thou live to it: but befides that, a fever or a palfy and an apoplexy may greatly impair, if not wholly deface and obliterate thy learning, deprive thee of thy memory, of thy wit and understanding: never be proud of fuch a privilege or endowment, which is under the mercy of a difeafe, nay of a diftemper in thy blood, an aduft humour, an hypocondriacal vapour, a cafual fume of a mineral, or a fall, whether thou fhalt hold it or lofe it. 3. But yet farther, mark it while thou wilt, (and it may be thou wilt fooner perceive it in another than in thyfelf) wit and learning in any man, never in any cafe receives more foils, more difadvantage, more blemishes, more impairs 1, than by pride: He that is proud of his own knowledge, is commonly at his non ultra 2, and rarely acquires more, fcorns inftruction, and ftops the further advance of his faculties, knowledge or learning, and undervalues, and therefore neglects, what he might learn from others. Again, pride cafts unfeemlinefs, indecency, and many times even a ridiculoufnefs upon the greateft parts and learning: It is like the dead fly in the apothecary's confection, that makes the whole unfavory. How common and rife is this unhappy cenfure, that attends the commendation of fuch a man's wit and learning; Indeed he is a pretty man, a good fcholar, of fine parts, good understanding, but he knows it too well; his pride, felf-conceitednefs, oftentation, vain-glory, fpoils it all, and renders the man under the juft re'pute of a fool, and ridiculous, notwithstanding all 'his clerkship and learning.' But yet further, pride, by a kind of phyfical and natural confequence, very oftentimes robs men even of that wit and learning 'injuries. arrived at the height of his knowledge. scholarship. M 2 wherein
wherein they pride themfelves, by carrying up into the brain thofe exalted, hot, choleric humours and fumes, that break the ftaple and right temper and texture of the brain. More learned men grow mad and brain fick with the pride of that learning they think they have attained, than in the purfuit and acqueft of it. Therefore beware of pride, of thy wit, learning, or knowledge, if thou intend to keep it, or to keep the just esteem or reputation of it. On the other fide, Humility and lowlinefs of mind is the best temper to improve thy faculties, to add a grace to thy learning, and to keep thee mafter of it: It cools and qualifies thy fpirits, blood and humours, and renders thee fit to retain what thou haft attained, and to acquire more.
4. In all thy reflection upon thyfelf, and what thou haft, never compare thyself with thofe that are below thee in what is worthy or eminent, but with thofe that are above thyfelf. For inftance, in point of learning or knowledge, thy partiality and indulgence to thyfelf will be apt to put thee upon comparing thyfelf with those that are ignorant, or not more learned than thyfelf, as we fee ordinarily ideots or fools, or men of weak intellectuals, delight to converse with those they find or think more foolish than themselves; and not with those that are wifer, that they may please themselves with a thought that they are the wifeft in the company but compare thyfelf with those that are more learned or wife than thyself, and then thou wilt see matter to keep thee humble. If thou thinkest thou art a pretty proficient in philofophy, compare thyfelf with Ariftotle, with Plato, Averroes, Themiftius, or Alexander Aphrodifæus, or any great luminaries in philofophy. If thou thinkeft thou art a pretty proficient in fchool-learning, compare thyfelf with Aquinas, Scotus, Suarez: If thou thinkeft thou excelleft in the mathematics, compare thyfelf with Euclid, Archimides, Tycho, &c. and then thou wilt find thyfelf to. be like a little candle to a ftar. The most of the