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learning that this age glories of, is but an extract or collection of what we find in those men of greater parts; only we think we have done great matters if we digeft it into fome other method, and prick in here and there a small pittance of our own, or quarrel at something that the ancients delivered in some odd particulars. And yet, even in this essay, self-love plays such a part, that unless there be a great excess and admirable advantage of others that are above us in any learning or knowledge, we are ready to exalt ourselves above our standard, and feem in our own eyes to be at least equal to those that exceed us, or by envy and detraction to bring down others below ourselves, especially if we hit upon fome little caprichio', that we think they saw not.
5. And lastly, consider the great example of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who was the only Son of the glorious God, full of wisdom, knowledge, power, holiness, goodness and truth, and notwithstanding all this, humbled himself, and became of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a fervant, emptied himself, and humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross 2. Christ Jesus brought with him from heaven the doctrine of holiness and righteousness, and in all his fermons there is not any one virtue that he commendeth and commandeth more than Humility and lowliness of mind, nor any one vice that he fets himself more against than pride and haughtiness of mind. In his beatitudes 3, poverty of spirit hath the first promise, and meekness or Humility the third 4. He checks and disparageth the pride of the Pharisees, commands his disciples to run quiet counter to their method ; "He that will
be great among you shall be your servant 5. gain, when theibubble of ambition rose again't the disciples, who shou d be greatest, he checks their pride and ambition with the pattern and commendation of a little ' fancy or whim. + Phil. ii. 5, 6, 7, 8.
3 Maith. i. 35. * Matth. xxiii. 6. 7. • Matth. xviii. 1. Luke ix. Mark ix 34. M 3
child: and as he thus taught he lived. One of the
and took upon him the form of a servant, and was 'made in the likeness of man; and being found in the • fashion of a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross ?'
But, blessed Saviour! was there nothing else for us to learn of thee, but thy meekness and Humility ? was there not something else wherein we were to bear in mind thy image, and write after thy excellent copy? was there not thy holiness, purity, obedience, patience, trust in God, and all that constellation of virtues that appeared in thy doctrine and life?
Surely yes, he was exhibited both as a prophet to teach, and an example to be imitated in all these also, but in his Humility, if we may fay with reverence, before all.
· Matth. xi. 25, 29.
. Phil. i. 5.
1. Because the instance and example of his Humility was the most fignal and wonderful of all the rest of his admirable virtues; that the eternal Son of the eternal God should condescend fo low, as to become a man, born of a woman, and live upon earth such a despised life, and die such an accursed death, is an instance of Humility, not only beyond all example, but an instance that is impossible in nature to be paralleled.
2. Because pride and vain-glory is so unhappily riveted in the corrupt nature of man, and it is so hard a thing to bring hiin to be humble and lowly, notwithstanding all the benefits and advantages of it, that it did not only stand in need of the most explicit doctrine of Christ to teach and commend it, the most unparalleled example of Christ to win men over to it, but also the most plain and direct, and explicit application of that exam ple, by that remarkable and special invitation of our Lord to it, Learn of me, for I am
meek and lowly.' And again by his Apostle, “Let the same mind be in you which was in Christ Jefus,' &c.
3. Because, without Humility to prepare and mellow the hearts of men, it could not be morally poslible for them to receive the faith of Christ. It was pride that made the doctrine of Christ only to be to the Jews a stumbling block, to the Greeks foolishness, but to them that are called, viz. that obey that call of Christ : 'Come unto me all ye that labour and are • heavy laden, &c?.'Learn of me, for I am meek and • lowly in heart, it is Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God 2'
4. Because, without Humility, all the rest of those excellent virtues, that were taught in the doctrine, and exhibited in the example of Christ, had been but unacceptable. A visible holiness, yet accompanied with pride and oftentation, is but a disguise of holiness, and that accurfed hypocrisy that our Saviour condemned in the Pharisees and others 1. Obedience to the law of God, good works, fasting, prayer, yet if done with 1 Matth. xi. 28. 1. Cor. i. 29, 24. Matth. vi. 16.
pride, oftentation, and vain-glory, are dead and unacceptable l. Charity, alms, and beneficence, if done with pride and oftentation, and to receive glory of men, loseth its worth and reward 2. So that Humility and lowliness of mind is the substratum and groundwork, the necessary ingredient into all acceptable duties towards God or men.
1 Matth. xxiii. 5.
2 Matth. vi. 12,
MODESTY AND REASONABLENESS OF
GEN, XXVIII. 20.
AND JACOB VOWED A VOW, SAYING, IF GOD WILL
BE WITH ME, AND WILL KEEP ME IN THE WAY THAT I GO, AND WILL GIVE ME BREAD TO EAT, AND RAIMENT TO PUT ON, SO THAT I co ME AGAIN TO MY FATHERS HOUSE IN PEACE, THEN SHALL THE LORD BE MY GOD, &c.
THE only thing that I intend to consider upon this place of holy Scripture, is the modesty and reasonablenefs of Jacob's Desire. He doth not desire greatness of wealth, or honour, or power, or splendor, or great equipage in this world; but all that he desires in reference to this world, is, 1. That the comfortable presence and the sense of the favour and love of God should be with him : If Godwill be with me. 2. That the protection of the Divine Providence may be continually over him; and will keep me in the way that I go: 3. That he would supply him, not with curiosities or delicates, but with necessaries; and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on.
And the truth is, this should be the rule and measure of every good man, in reference to this life, and the enjoyments of it, and the defires of them, until he come to his Father's house in peace; that house wherein there are many mansions, that the great Father, of whom all