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ing the ordinary forms of vulgar persons, yea of the most beneficial nature. Elatus erat animus tuus propter pulchritudinem, Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, saith Ezekiel, xxviii. 17.
(4.) The fourth are the Sinew-proud, which presume upon their own strength and vigour. Elatum cor robore, says the same Ezekiel, xxviii. 5. As Goliath, who dares, in the confidence of his own arm, challenge the whole host of God; and scorns the dwarfs and shriinps of Israel.
(5.) The fifth is the Skill-proud, puffed up with the conceit of knowledge; as knowledge is indeed of a swelling nature. There is much affinity betwixt knowledge and pride: both came out of one country; for pride is also natione cælestis, as Jerome well : and, since she cannot climb up thither again, she will be mounting as high as she can towards it. Every smatterer thinks all the circle of arts confined to the closet of his breast; and, as Job speaks of his haughty friends, that all wisdom lives in him, and dies with him. Hence is that curiosity of knowing vain quirks of speculation : Hence, singularity of opinion, hating to go in the common track: hence, impatience of contradiction : hence, contempt of the mediocrity of others. Out of this impatience, Zidkijah could smite Micaiah on the ear; and, as buffeting him double, say, Which way went the Spirit of God from me to thee? Out of this contempt, the Scribes and Pharisees could say, Turba hæc, This Laity, that knows
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But, besides these five, a man may be proud of any thing; yea, of nothing; yea, of worse than nothing, Evil. There may be as much pride in rags, as in tissues. Diogenes tramples upon Plato's pride; but, with another pride. And we commonly observe, that none are so proud as the foulest. In what kind soever it bé, the more a man reflects upon himself, by seeking, loving, admiring, the more proud he is, the more damnable is his pride. . But, as in all other cases pride is odious to God; so, most of all, in point of religion, and in those matters wherein we have to do with God. A proud face, or a proud back, or a proud arm, or a proud purse are hateful things: but a proud religion is so much worse, as the subject should be better. Let this then be the just HQITydlov or test” of true or false religion: That, which teacheth us to exalt God most and most to depress ourselves, is the true: that, which doth most prank up ourselves and detract from God, is the false. It was the rule of Bonaventure, whom the Romanists honour for a Saint, Hoc piarum mentium est, &c. “This is the part of pious souls, to ascribe nothing to theinselves, all to the grace of God:”. so as, how much soever a man aštributes to the grace of God, he shall not swerve from piety in detracting from nature; but if he substract never so little from the grace of God and give it to nature, he endangers himself, and offends.
In the safety of this proof, our doctrine triumphs over the Ro. mish, in all those points, wherein it opposeth ours. Ours stands ever on God's side; exalting his free grace and mere mercy, as the causes of our salvation: theirs, dividing this great work betwixt God and themselves, God's grace and man's free-will; and ascribing that to merit, which we to mercy. Herein Popery is pure Pharisaism, and comes within the verge of Spiritual Pride; Solomon's 182. Insolent meir, that will be climbing to heaven by ladders of their own making, with Acessus in Jerome! What other issue can they expect from the jealous God, but a fearful precipitation ? Neither doubt I but this is one main ground of the angel's proclamation in the Apocalypse, Cecidit, cecidit Babylon; It is fallen, it is fallen, Babylon the great city. .
2. Thus, from the Sin, which is Pride, we descend to the PUNISHMENT, which is Ruin: A man's pride shall bring him low. How can a bladder sink? Yet pride, though it be light in respect of the inflation, is heavy in respect of the offence. The guiltiness is as a millstone to which it is tied, that will bear it down to the bottom of the deep. As therefore there is a reflex action in the sin; so is there in the Punishment: it shall ruin itself. No other hands shall need to be used in the judgment besides her own. As the lightning hath ever a spite at the high spires and tall pines, striking them down or firing them, when the shrubs and cottages stand untouched: so hath the God that made it, at a self-advanced greatness; whether out of a scorn of rivality, or a just punishment of theft : for the proud man both in a cursed emulation makes himself his own deity, and steals glory from God to set out himself. For both these, TELTEww.DrCetei, saith our Saviour; he shall be brought down, saith Solomon.
Down, whither? to the dust, to hell; by others, by God himself; temporally here, eternally hereafter. Insomuch as Æsop himself, (we have it in Stobæus,) when he was asked what God did, answers, Errelsu deprimit, extollit humilia.
Besides the odiousness of a proud man amongst men, commonly God is even with him here. How many have we known, that have been fastidious of their diet, which have come to leap at a crust, to beg their bread, yea, to rob the hogs with the Prodigal! How many, that have been proud of their beauty, have been made, ere they died, the loathsome spectacles of deformity! That of Isaiah strikes home; Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-out necks and wanton eyes, &c.: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughter of Zion; Isaiah ii. 16, 17. How many, that, from the height of their overweening, have been brought to Benhadad's halter, or have been turned to graze with Nebuchadnezzar! The Lord roots up the house of the proud ; Prov. Sv. 25,
But, if they escape here, as sometimes they do, hereafter they shall not: for, the proud man is an abomination to the Lord; Prov. xvi. 5. God cannot enilure him; Psalm ci. 5. And what of that? Tu perdes superbos, Thou shalt destroy the proud ; Psalm cxix. 21. The very heathens cievised the proud giants struck with thunder from heaven. . And if God spared not the angels, whom he placed in the highest heavens, but for their pride threw them down headlong to the nethermost hell; how much less shall he spare the proud
dust and ashes of the sons of men, and shall cast them from the height of their earthly altitude to the bottom of that infernal dungeon! “ Humility makes men angels; pride made angels devils ;" as that Father said: I may well add, makes devils of men. 'AnuSovelas &TIS ÈXQuye dinjiv, says the heathen poet, Menander; “ Never soul escaped the revenge of pride," never shall escape it. So sure as God is just, pride shall not go unpunished.
I know now we are all ready to call for a bason, with Pilate, and to wash our hands from this foul sin. Honourable and Beloved, this vice is a close one: it will cleave fast to you; yea so close, that ye can hardly discern it from a piece of yourselves : this is it, that aggravates the danger of it. For, as Aquinas notes well, some sins are more dangerous propter vehementiam impugnationis, “ for the fury of their assault;" as the sin of Anger: others, for their correspondence to nature; as the sins of Lust: others, propter laten. tiam sui, “ for their close skulking” in our bosom; as this sin of Pride. Oh, let us look seriously into the corners of our false hearts, even with the lanthorn of God's Law, and find out this subtle Devil; and never give peace to our souls, till we have dispossessed him. Down with your proud plumes, () ye glorious Peacocks of the World: look upon your black legs, and your snakelike head: be ashamed of your miserable infirmities: else, God will down with them and yourselves, in a fearful vengeance. There is not the holiest of us, but is this way faulty: oh, let us be humbled by our repentance, that we may not be brought down to everlasting confusion: let us be cast down upon our knees, that we may not be cast down upon our faces. For God will make good his own word, one way; A man's pride shall bring him low.
II. The sweeter part of this ditty follows, which is of MERCY: Mercy, which hath two strains also; the Grace, the Reward,
1. 'The GRACIOUS DISPOSITION (for a Virtue properly it is not) is Humility, expressed here in the subject, The humble in spirit. Not he, that is forcibly humbled by others, whether Gad or man: so a wicked Ahab may walk softly and droop for the time, and be never the better: what thank is it, if we bow when God sets his foot upon us? but he, that is voluntarily humble in spirit, And yet there are also vicious kinds of this self-humility,
(1.) As first, when man, having only God supra se, and therefore owing religious worship to him alone, worships angels or saints, that are but juxta se. It is the charge, that St. Paul gives to his Colossians, Let no man deceive you in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels: much less then of stocks and stones. These very walls, if they had eyes and tongues, could testify full many of these impious and idolatrous cringes and prostrations. So as if wood or stone could be capable of pollution, here was enough; till this abused frame was happily washed by the clear streams of the Gospel, and re-sanctified by the Word and Prayer. This is a Superstitious Humility.
(2.) When a man basely subjects himself to serve the humours VOL, V,
of the great, by gross supparasitation, by either unjust or unfit actions and offices; yielding himself a slave to the times, a pander to vice. This is a Servile Humility. .
(3.) When a man affects a courteous affability and lowly carri, age, for ostentation, for advantage; or, when a man buries hunself alive in a homely cowl, in a pretence of mortification; as if he went out of the world, when the world is within him. “ To be proud of Humility,” as a Father said well," is worse than to be superciliously and openly proud." This is a Hypocritical Humility.
(4.) When, out of pusillanimity or inordinateness, a man prostitutes himself to those unworthy conditions and actions of sinful pleasure, that misbeseem a man, a Christian. This is a Brutish Humility.
All these self-humiliations are thankless and faulty. It will be long enough, ere the Superstitious, Servile, Hypocritical, Brutish Humility shall advance us other than to the scaffold of our execution.
The True Humility is, when a man is modestly lowly in his own eyes, and sincerely abased in his heart and carriage before God.
And this self-humiliation is either in respect of Temporal or Spiritual things.
Of Temporal: when a man thinks any condition good enough for him; and therefore doth not unduly intrude himself into the preferments of the world, whether in Church or Commonwealth When he thinks meanly of his own parts and actions, highly and reverently of others: and therefore, in giving honour, goes before others; in taking it, behind them.
Of Spiritual: when he is vile in himself, especially in respect of his sins; and therefore abhors himself in sackcloth and ashes: when the grace that he hath, he can acknowledge, but not over-rate; yea, he takes it so low as he may do without wrong to the giver: when, for all blessings he can awfully look up to his Creator and Redeemer, ascribing all to him, referring all to him, depending for all upon him; so much more magnifying the mercy of God, as he is more sensible of his own unworthiness.,
This is the true, though short character of Humility. A plain grace, ye see, but lovely.
2. From which let it please you to turn your eyes to the BLESSING allotted to it: which is so expressed in the Original, that it may either run, The humble in spirit shall enjoy honour', as in the former Translation; or, Honour shall uphold the humble in spirit, as in the Jatter. In both, Honour is the portion of the humble: for thie raising of him, in the one; for the preserving of him, in the other.
Honour, from whom? From God, from Men. Even the good man of the house will say, Friend, sit up higher. For, though with vain men he is most set by that can most set out himself; yet, with the wiser, the more a man dejects himself, the more he is honoured. It cannot stand with the justice of the truly-virtuous, to suffer a man to be a loser by his humility: much less will God abide it.
A broken heart, O God, thou wilt not despise, saith the Psalmist; and, Pullati extolluntur salute, The mourners are exalted with safety,
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saith Eliphaz, in Job v. 11. The Lord lifteth up the meek, saith David, out of good proof; and needs must he rise, whom God lifteth.
What should we need any other precedent of this Virtue, or other example of this Reward, than our Blessed Saviour himself? all other are worthy of forgetfulness in comparison: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, &c. and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.
O God, what an incomprehensible Dejection was here! that the living God should descend from the highest glory of heaven, and put upon him the rags of our Humanity; and take on him, not the man only, but the servant, yea the malefactor: abasing himself to our infirmities, to our indignities; to be reviled, spat upon, scourged, wounded, crucified: yea, all these are easy tasks to that which follows; to be made a mark of his Father's wrath in our stead; so as, in the bitterness of his soul, he is forced to cry out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? What heart of man, yea what apprehension of angels, can be capable of fathoming, the depth of this Humiliation ?
Answerable to thy dejection, O Saviour, was thine Exaltation: as the conduit-water rises at least as high as it falls. Now is thy name above every name; that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, in earth, under the earth. Neither meanest thou to be our Saviour only, but our Pattern too. I do not hear thee say, “ Learn of me, for I am Almighty, I am Omniscient;” but, Learn of me that I am meek. If we can go down the steps of thine Humiliation, we shall rise up the stairs of thy Glory. Why do we not then say, I will be yet more vile for the Lord? Oh cast down your crowns, with the twenty-four Elders (Apoc. iv. 10.) before the throne of God: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up; James iv. 10.
Indeed there is none of us, but hath just cause to be humbled; whether we consider the wretchedness of our nature, or of our estate. What is the best flesh and blood, but a pack of dust, made up together into a stirring heap; which, in the dissolution, moulders to dust again?
When I consider the heavens, and see the sun, the moon, and the stars as they stand in their order; Lord, what is man, that thou re. gardest him? what a worm! what an ant! what a nothing! who, besides his homeliness, is still falling asunder: for, even of the greatest and best-composed, is that of the Psalm verified, Universa vanitas omnis homo, Every man is all vanity.
Alas, then, what is it we should be proud of?
Is it Wealth? What is the richest metal, but red and white earth? and that, whereof too we may say, as the Sons of the Prophets of their hatchet, Alas, Master, it was but lent. What speak I of this, when our very breath is not our own! The best praise of coin is, that it is current; it runs from us; yea, it is volatile, as