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like Æsop's Crow, in these borrowed Feathers, which we could neither give to our felves, nor merit of God, but are wholly owing for to the Divine Bounty; so to inculcate upon our Minds the Folly and Ridiculousness of being proud of any Outward Goods we posless, such as fine Cloaths, great Estates, or Popular Reputation, all which are so far from either making or speaking us wiser or better nien, that they are too often the Fruits and Testimonies of our Folly and Knavery; And, in fine, that we should lo impartially reflect upon the many Follies and Indiscretions, Errors and Ignorances, Irregularities of Temper, Defects of Manners, and Deviations from Right Reason, that we are guilty of, as to shame our selves out of all those proud and arrogant Conceits that do so swell and impoftumate our Minds.

And when by these, and such like 'humbling Reflections we have laid our felves low in our own Eyes, and so far abased our Pride and SelfConceit as to be effectually convinced of the Folly of it, and throughly perswaded to abhor and hate it, to watch and strive against it, and to be habituated for the main to mean and lowly thoughts of our selves; though we should not here arrive to an absolute Perfection in Humility (having none here to converse, or compare our felves with but such as our felves, such as are many of them our Inferiours, many our Equals, and many but few Degrees our Superiours ) yet, as soon as we go off from this lower Form, in which we may seem so . considerable, into the Class and Society of those Glorious Inhabitants above (in whose bright

Presence

Presence we fall appear but like so many GlowWorms in the midst of a Firmament of Stars ) all the little Remains of Pride and Self-Conceit in us, will immediately vanish from our Minds. For if at the sight of an Angel the Beloved Apostle could not for bear prostrating himself; how proftrate and lowly must we be, when we see not only the whole Choir of Angels together, but God himself too, the Prince and Father of Spirits ! For even here we find that the nearer we approach God, the more we shrink and lefsen in our own Eyes; and if in the presence of Angels we are but Dwarfs, in the presence of God we shall be Nøthings. But Oh! when we shall not only discern how infinitely he out-shines us in Glory, but shall also continually feel by the most sensible Communications of his Goodness how we hang upon him, and derive every Breath and Joy and Glory from him; how our Being and Well-Being are the meer Alms and Pensions of his Bounty; how every Grace and Beauty in us is but the Reflection, and that a faint one too, of his out-stretched Rays; when, I say, we shall feel all this, as we shall do. in Heaven every moment, by a quick and sensible Experience, how must it nceds wean us from all self-arrogating Thoughts, and perfeâly abase and humble us in our own Eyes ! And when this is done, our minds will be perfectly tempered and prepared for the Enjoyment of a perfect Happinesss For now, such a modest opinion we shall have of our selves, that whatsoever Degree of Glory we are placed in, we fhall look upon it as far beyond our Desert, and upon that account, be unspeakably satisfied and contented with it, and freely

acknowledge acknowledge it to be a thousand Degrees beyond what we could desire or hope for. And so far Thall we be from grudging at, or envying those above us, that out of an humble sense of our own Unworthiness we shall readily prefer them before our selves, and freely acknowledge that we are only so many Degrees inferiour to them in Glory, as they are superieur to us in Divine Graces and Perfections. Upon which we shall not only acquiefce, but heartily rejoyce in their Advancement and be abundantly pleased that their Reward is as much greater than ours, as we do acknowledge their Virtue to be. In a word, so far shall we be from repining and murmuring at God for not rewarding us as liberally as others, that we shall be thorowly sensible that'he hath been bountiful to us infinitely beyond our Desert or Expectation ; that 'twas not out of a fond Partiality, or blind Respect of persons that he raised others to higher Degrees of Glory than our selves, but out of a Principle of strict Justice that exactly balances and adjusts its Rewards, according to the Degrees of our Defert and Improvement. The sense of which will not only compose our minds into a perfect Satisfaction, but also continually excite us to those Beatifical Acts of Love and Praise,Thanksgiving and Adoration. . Thus Humility, you see, tunes and composes us for Heaven, and only casts us down, like Balls, that we may rebound the higher in Glory and Happiness.

Thus you see how all those Virtues, which apa pertain to a man considered as a Reasonable Animal conduce to the Great Christian End, viz. The Happiness of Heaven. 'Tis true indeed the

immediate

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immediate produd of this sort of Virtues is only at least chiefly, privative Happiness, or the Happiness of Reft and Indolence, which consists in not being miserable, or, in a perfect ceffation from all such Acts and Motions as are hurtful and injurious to a. Rationał fpirit. For, as I have shewed you in the Beginning of this Section, the proper office of Humane Virtue consists in so regulating all our Powers of Action, as that we do nothing that is hurtful or injurious to our Rational Nature; and this, you plainly see, these Five aforenamed Virtues do most effectually perform. But besides this Privative,there is, as I shewed you, a Positive part of Happiness, which consists not in Rest, but in Motion ; in the Vigorous Exercise of our Rational Faculties upon such Objects as are most suitable to them; And to the obtaining of this part of our Happiness, there are other kinds of Virtues necessary to be practised by us, of which I shall difcourse in the two following Sections. But though the immediate Effect of these Humane Virtues we have been difcoursing of, be only the Happiness of Reft, yet do they tend a great deal farther, even to the Happiness of Motion and Exercise. For it is impoffible fo to suppress that Active Principle within us, as to make it totally furcease from Motion; and therefore as every intermission of its sober and regular Actings does but make way for wild and extravagant ones; so every abatement of its hurtful and injurious motions, makes way for beatifical ones; And so the Humane Virtues by giving us reft from those Motions that are affli&tive to our Natures, incline and dispose us to fuch Motions and Exercises as are most pleasant and grateful to it.

SECT.

SECT. II.

Concerning those Divine Virtues which belong to a

Man considered as a Reafonable Creature, related to God, mewing that these also are.comprehended in the heavenly part of the Christian Life; and that the practice of them effe&tually conduces to our. future happiness.

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I proceed now to the second kind of Virtues, viz. Divine, to which I told you we are obliged in the capacity of reasonable Creatures related to God; who being not only endowed with all pos. fible perfections, with infinite Truth and Justice, Wisdom and Justice, and Power with all that can render any being most highly reverenced, admired, loved and adored; who being not only the Author of our Being, and Well-being, as he is Creator and Preserver of all things, but also our Sovereign Lord and King, as he is God Almighty, the supreme and over-ruling Power of heaven and earth, hath upon all these accounts a just and unalienable claim to fundry duties and homages from his Creatures; all which I shall reduce to these fix

particulars :

1. That we should frequently think of, and contemplate the beauty and perfection of his na

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ture.

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2. That upon the account of these perfections we should humbly worship and adore him.

3. That we fhould ardently love, and take como placency in him.

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4. That

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