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mility of Christ. They fought the good opinion and respect of the world ; how then was it possible, they fhould leave all and follow him, whose kingdom is not of this world, and that came in a way so cross to the mind and humour of it? and that this was the meaning of our Lord Jesus, is plain: for he tells us, what that honour was, they gave and received, which he condemns them for, and of which he bid the disciples of his humility and cross beware. His words are these (and he speaks them not of the rabble, but of the doctors, the great men, the men of honour among the Jews) · They love (says he) the uppermost rooms at « feasts * ;' that is, places of greatest rank and respect;
and greetings,' that is, salutations of respect, such as pulling off the hat, and bowing the body, are in our age; in the market-places ',' viz. in the places of note and concourse, the public walks and exchanges of the country). And, lastly, · They love (says Christ) to be (called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi :' one of the most eminent titles among the Jews. A word comprehending an excellency equal to many ticles : it may stand for your grace, your lordship, right reverend father, &c. It is upon these men of breeding and quality, that he pronounces his woes, making these practices some of the evil marks, by which to know them, as well as some of the motives of his threatnings against them. But he leaves it not here; he pursues this very point of honour, above all the rest, in his caution to his disciples; to whom he gave in charge thus: But be not ye called ! Rabbi, for one is your master, even Christ, and all < ye are brethren. Neither be ye called masters; but • he that is greatest among you shall be your seryant: ( and whosoever shall exalt himself, shall be abased.' Plain it is, that these passages carry a severe rebuke, both to worldly honour in general, and to those members and expressions of it in particular, which, as near as the language of scripture and customs of that age will permit, do distinctly reach and allude to chofe of our * Mat. xxii. 6. Mark xii. 3.8. Luke xi. 43,
own time; for the declining of which, we have suffered so much scorn and abuse, both in our persons and cstates : God forgive the unreasonable authors of it!
§. XXXIII. The apostle Paul has a saying of great weight and fervency, in his epistle to the Romans, very agreeable to this doctrine of Christ; it is this: "I be« feech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, « that ye present your bodies a living facrifice, holy, ac<ceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service:
and be not conformed to this world, but be ye trans• formed by the renewing of your mind, that. ye may
prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect
will of God?' He writ to a people in the midst of the ensnaring pomp and glory of the world : Rome was the seat of Cæsar, and the empire: the mistress of invention. Her fashions, as those of France now, were as laws to the world, at least at Rome: whence it is proverbial;
Cum fueris Romæ, Romano vivito more.
But the apostle is of another mind : he warns the Chriftians of that city, that they be not conformed;' that is, that they do not follow the vain fashions and customs of this world, but leave them : the emphasis lies upon This, as well as upon Conformed : and it imports, that this world, which they were not to conform to, was the corrupt and degenerate condition of mankind in that age. Wherefore the apostle proceeds to exhort those believers, and that by the mercies of God, (the most powerful and winning of all arguments)
that they would be transformed;' that is, changed from the way of life, customary among the Romans ; s and prove what is that acceptable will of God.' As if he had said, examine what you do and practise ; see if it be right, and that it please God: call every thought, word, and action to judgment; try whether they are wrought in God or not; that so you may prové
Rom. xii, 1, 2.
or know what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God?
§. XXXIV. The next scripture-authority we appeal to, in our vindication, is a passage of the apostle Peter, in his first epistle, writ to the believing strangers throughout the countries of Pontus, Galacia, Cappados cia, Asia, and Bithynia; which were the churches of Christ Jesus in those parts of the world, gathered up by his power and spirit: it is this, • Gird up the loins
of your mind; be sober, and hope to the end, for ' the grace that is to be brought unto you at the reve"lation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not - fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts of ( your ignorance .' That is, be not found in the vain fashions and customs of the world, unto which you conformed in your former ignorance: but as ye have believed in a more plain and excellent way, fo be sober and fervent, and hope to the end: do not give out; let them mock on; bear ye the contradiction of finners constantly, as obedient children, that you may receive the kindness of God, at the revelation of Jesus Christ. And therefore does the apostle call them < strangers (a figurative speech) people estranged from o the customs of the world, of new faith and manners; and so unknown of the world:' and if such strangers, then not to be fashioned or conformed to their pleasing respects and honours, whom they were estranged from : because the strangeness lay in leaving that which was customary and familiar to them before. The following words (ver 17.) proved he used the word strangers in a spiritual sense ; : Pass the time of your sojourning ( here in fear;' that is, pass the time of your being here as strangers on earth in fear : not after the fashions of the world. A word in the next chapter farther explains this sense, where he tells the believers, that " they are a peculiar people ;' to wit, a distinct, a singular and separate people from the rest of the world; not any longer to fashion themselves according to their
* John üü, 21, 22.
1 Pet. i, 13, 14.
customs customs : but I do not know how that could be, if they were to live in communion with the world, in its respects and honours; for that is not to be a peculiar or separate people from them, but to be like them, because conformable to them. .6 be great among you, let him be your minister; and r whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your
$. XXXV. I shall conclude my scripture-testimonies againit the foregoing respects, with that memorable and close passage of the apostle James, against respect to persons in general, after the world's fashion: My <brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, < the Lord of glory, with respect of persons : for if r there come unto your assembly, a man with a gold " ring, in goodly apparel; and there come in also a
poor man, in vile raiment, and ye have respect to him " that weareth the gay cloathing, and say unto him,
fit thou here in a goodly place (or well and seemly, " as the word is) and say to the poor, stand thou there, ! or sit here under my foomtool; are ye not then parrtial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil
thoughts [that is, they knew they did amiss]? If I ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, - Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well; < but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit fin, and s are convinced of the law as transgressors d. This is so full, there seems nothing left for me to add, or others to object. We are not to respect persons, that is the first thing: and the next is, if we do, we commit sin, and break the law : at our own peril be it. And yet, perhaps, fome will say, that by this we overthrow all manner of distinction among men, under their divers qualities, and introduce a reciprocal and relational respect in the room of it: but if it be so, I cannot help it, the apostle James must answer for it, who has given us this doctrine for Christian and Apostolical. And yet one, greater than he told his disciples, of whom James was one, viz. • Ye know that the prinrces of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, &c. < But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will
fervante : that is, he that affects rule, and seeks to be uppermost, shall be esteemed least among you. And to say true, upon the whole matter, whether we regard those early times of the world, that were antecedent to the coming of Christ, or soon after, there was yet a greater simplicity, than in the times in which we are fallen. For those early times of the world, as bad as they were in other things, were great strangers to the frequency of these follies : nay, they hardly used some of them, at least very rarely. For if we read the scriptures, such a thing as my lord Adam, (though lord of the world) is not to be found; nor my lord Noah neither, the second lord of the earth; nor yet my lord Abraham, the father of the faithful; nor my lord Isaac; nor my lord Jacob: but much less my lord Peter, and my lord Paul, to be found in the bible : and less your holiness, or your grace. Nay, among the Gentiles, the people wore their own names with more simplicity, and used not the ceremoniousness of speech that is now practised among Christians, nor yet any thing like it. My lord Solon, my lord Phocion, my lord Plato, my lord Aristotle, my lord Scipio, my lord Fabius, my lord Cato, my lord Cicero, are not to be read in any of the Greek or Latin stories, and yet they were some of the sages and heroes of those great empires. No, their own names were enough to distinguish them from other men, and their virtue and employment in the public were their titles of honour. Nor has this vanity yet crept far into the Latin writers, where it is familiar for authors to cite the most learned, and the most noble, without any addition · to their names, unless worthy or learned : and if their works give it them, we make conscience to deny it them. For instance: the fathers they only cite thus; Polycarpus, Ignatius, Irenæus, Cyprian, Tertullian, Origen, Arnobius, Lactantius, Chrysostom, Jerom,
ce: the fathe Cyprian,
• Mat. XX. 25, 26, 27.