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for fo our Saviour describes the pride of the Pharisees. Finally, it consists in using great gentleness even to those that have offended : Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye, which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Without practising it towards superiors, there can be no government; without exercising it towards equals, .. there can be no friendship and mutual charity. "St. And with regard to inferiors, there are proper arguments' to deter us from pride, upon account of every particular advantage we may seem to have over others, whether in respect of our civil stations in the world, or of our natural abilities, or of our religious improvements. Humility therefore Its useful will keep us from despising any, and incline us to ness. learn all we can; nor to set any value upon knowledge not attended with a suitable practice; to regard all mankind as our fellow-creatures, and esteem them as God has appointed; and to acknowledge, that by the law of our creation we cannotcomfortably subsistindependent of our fellows. Humility thus tempered will dispose one to the chearful performance of the duties of humanity to all men : so if they are above him, he will chearfully render them their duties; tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour; and if he stands in a superior rank, he will readily condescend to men of low estate. Thus it is as great a contradiction to say, any one is a proud Christian, as it would be to say, such a one is a wicked saint. All the gospel, its precepts, its great examples, its glorious profpects, tend to humble the pride of man; and whoever will come after Christ must, in this respect, deny himself. It is possible that we may obtain the character of humble people with men, from a modest outside, and negligence of garb, a condescending carriage, and lowly speeches; while God, who searches the heart, may see pride reigning there under these disguises, and that such plausible appearances are ins tended to support a haughty and overbearing heart: therefore no single branch of goodness deserves more attention, to judge of the state of our fouls, than humility; for if we grow in knowledge, and are puffed up with pride, we lose
more in goodness, than we gain in profit; if we improve in other excellencies, and exceed in the conceit of ourselves, we make those things nothing in the light of God, which would otherwise become valuable, offered up to him, by an humble, lowly, and meek fpirit. For
Knowledge puffeth up; and he never knew himself rightOf self-con- ly, who never suspected himself. We feldom have ceit.' that charity which covers a multitude of faults in our neighbours; and we much seldomer want that self-love which covers a multitude of faults in ourselves. Many would sooner bear a reflection upon their morals, than upon their understanding: the serpent was early sensible that this was man's weak side, when he used that artifice to seduce our first parents: if they would follow his counsel, they should be as gods, knowing good and evil. The deceiver gained his point; man fell into disgrace with his God, and not only propagated fin and death to his posterity, but, as a peculiar legacy, he seems to have filled them with a vein conceit, that they enjoy that knowledge which was then promised by the devil. Hence under this strong delusion no branch of pride more
we needs a curb, tho'none hath less to support it, than Curbed.
04. conceitof our own abilities. Consequently, tj moderate the conceit of our own sufficiency, we mustendeavour toattain toa senseof theimperfection of our nature. It is true, there is a dignity in our nature in comparison of the lower creation : but the faculties given us are limited at the best; and many things are above them which we cannot grasp, things too wonderful for us, and not to be attained by us. For
To an humble mind God's word is a sufficient reason of Rusiva faith, which should teach us not to be wise above efileem of what is written in matters of pure revelation ; not God. to venture to publish our own inventions to account how such things are, nor to be positive in them; because such things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God, any farther than he has been pleased to make them known by his word. This will make us confeis our own liableness to mistake, even where we think we have formed a right judgment. In considering the power of prejudice, or readiness to make hasty judgments, the plausiblecolours that
may be put upon error, we have reason, in most judgments we form, to carry this cautionary thought, It is poslīble we may be overseen. There is no person but must confess, that he hath actually been mistaken in former judgments, even in some where he was very positive and sure; which is a good reason why we should carry the thought of our fallibility about with us in other cases. • We should retain a moderate apprehension of our knowledge, when we compare it with the attainments
And of man. of others. It is true, every good man judges him- Antoji self in the right in every sentiment hemaintains: forif he was convinced it was an error, he would giveitup: andit follows, that he thinks those of a contrary judgment mistaken, as long as he judges himself in the right; yet this should not puff him up above measure; he only judges his own knowledge superior to those with whom he compares his own; but at the same time confesses, that in this life we all know but in part: and so, though some know less, others know more than himself: though he may be better acquainted with some particulars, yet he grants that others may exceed in other parts of learning ; that he may have made less improvement of greater advantages than they have made of fewer opportunities; and that he owes it more to the providence or grace of God than to himself, that he is distinguished from the most stupid and ignorant. None are so apt to run into It breeds gross mistakes and infirmities, or so hard to be mistakes. made sensible of them, as he that over-values his own parts and wisdom: he, that hath no patience to examine any thing justly, counts it a disparagement to suspend his judgment; hs understands all things at first sight, and by instinct; and if he judges rightly, he hath good fortune; but if not, it is impossible to convince or reclaim him ; for he is im- Is impapatient of opposition, disdains counsel, and cannot tient. bear the least contradiction, or endure to be gainsaid ; he scornsallinstruction and rebuke, and takes it for an affront if you yield not to him in every thing he advances; and so swelled with an overweening efteem of his own abilities, never so much as once dreams that it is possible he may be deceived and deluded. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit?
there is more hope of a fool than of him. Finally, this selfIl bardens conceit hardens a man in his fins, and makes him a finner deaf to instructions, whilst he thinks thus of himfelf, that even his defects are beauties, and he can excuse, if not commend, his own ugliness.
SUNDAY XIII. Part II. - III. Opposite to humility is the fin of Pride, which is of pride the thinking too highly of ourselves. It is an overand what weeningconceitof our dignity, founded upon some # is. real or imaginary fuperiority to our neighbours; of which fin men readily condemn others, and easily excufe themselves, through self-conceitor opinion of their ownwifdom. For, if we would examine the innermost receffes of the mind, I doubt we should often find, that our own pride is the cause why we tax others with it. Men elate with the thoughts of their own sufficiency are ever imagining, that others are wanting in their regard to them, and therefore very apt to conclude, that pride must be the cause why they with hold from them that respect, which in their own opinion they have an unquestioned right to. Hence it is, that their character seldom escapes the brand of vanity, who have the fortune to be possessed of those accomplishments, which would make their detractors vain. We cannotendure any one to lay down, usurp, or force customs, humours, or manners, as if we had no judgment of our own to govern and order our own affairs. Pride springs from a partial view of ourselves, a view of the bright side of ourselves, without balancing against it our numerous imperfections and defects; how little good we can perform without the grace of God; and how little we actually do perform even with it. And yet many, who call this Its danger pride in another, presume themselves wise enough and fo.ly. to set patterns or give laws to every body else. For pride makes men foolish, and void of caution; and this puts them upon doing things that bring them dishonour. It makes men negligent, and improvident for the future; and this often throws them into sudden calamities: it makes men rath and peevith, obstinate and infolent. Other men's follies and vices are always insupportable to those that are intirely de
voted to their own. The fuller of imperfections any man is, the less able he is to bear with the imperfections of his fellowcreatures ; and this feldom fails to bring down ruin upon them: it involves men perpetuallyin strifes and contentions; and these always multiply fin, and are inconsistent with true happiness: itdisobligesmen's best friends, and gives theirenemies perpetualadvantages against them; and this often draws great inconveniencies upon them: it makes men vain, and lovers of Mattery; rejecting those about them who would do them most kindness, and liking those best who do them the greatest injury; and this causes them to be insensible of their own disease, till they suddenly fall under contempt: it makes men impatient of good advice and instruction; and that renders them incorrigiblein their vices: it fills men full of vainglorious designs, employing all their thoughts in self-confident imaginations; and this makes men incapable of religious improvements, and to have no relish of true wisdom.
This makes men quarrel with God and his worship. Every objection against the being of a deity and provi- Oppolus dence is raised by pride and an arrogant opinion of God. . our own understanding; as if nothing could be true or rea, sonable, but what is within our fight and penetration. Pride is that ruling quality, which, of all others, seems to take the fastest holdofus. Proudand haughty scorneris his name, says Solomon. A proud man is very hardly brought to digest the humble duties of the cross, or to adinit a belief of the mysteries of christianity: the one is too low for him, and he cannot stoop to the practice of them; the other are too high for his understanding, and he desires to be excused from entertaining any proposition as true, which he does not perfectly comprehend. If he cannot give himfelf a certain plain account, in what manner, and to what end, God didathing; he wise ly resolves that therefore he did it not at all. If he has not as clear an idea of every term in an article of faith, as he has of those in a mathematical proposition; it is presently unphilofophical, absurd, and foolish; invented by those whose inte*reft it is to puzzle men's understandings, that they may have their wills and affections at their service. The proud man pretends to see that some, who set up for greater purity and