Page images
[ocr errors]

or Rabbi, or to have the highest seat or name (Mat. 23. 11, &c.) So hc hach Icarnt not to please himself, but to please others for their good to edification, Rom. 15. 2. Especially if he be a Paftor of the Church, though he do by an excelling ligbt, and love, and good life, keep up the true honour of his calling; yet is he the morc averse to Lord it over the flock, because he knowcth that be must be an example to them : And it is not en example of pride, but of low liness, which Cbrift did give, and be must give ; and therefore both are joyned together, 1 Pet. 5.3, 5.

2. The Proud do make too great a matter of that honour which perhaps may be their duc : They plot for it: they set their hearts upon it. If they are sighied, or others preferred before them, their countenances are caft down, as Cains ; or they are troubled, as Haman ; or they will revenge it, as Cain, and as Joab upon Abner : Touch their honour, and you touch their hearts : Despise them, and you tormend them, or mako them your enemics.

But the Poor in spirit regard their honour, as they do other matters of this world ; that is, with moderation, and fo far as it is conducible to the honour of Religion, or their Country, or to the kervice and busincls of their lives. They will not bc Prodigals of that which they may forve God by: and they will not be over.desirous of that which may be a bait to Pride, and a foare to their souls, though it gratific the ficthly fancy. They will scck it, as if they fought it not; and poffcss it, as if they poffc At it not, remembring how vain a thing man is, and how little his thoughts or breath can do, to make us happy : God is so great in a Believers eye, and man and worldly vanity is so small, that a lowly mind can scarce have room and time to regard the honour which is the proud mans portion ; because he is taken up with honouring his God, and clteeming the honour which confiftech in bis approbation.

Thereforc it is tolerable to him, to be made of norepætation, to be laden with reproaches, to be fpit upon and buffered ; to be made as the scorn and off-scouring of the world, and to bave his name çalt out as an evil doer, so he be not an evil doer indeed, 1 Cor. 4. 13. Luke 6. 22. Whatever you think of him, or whatever you lay of him, he knoweth that it is little of his



conceinment : your favour is not his felicity; nor are you the Judge, whosc sentence mult finally decide his cause. He bumbleib bimself, and therefore can cadure to be bumbled by others. Hechuseth the lowest place himsell, and therefore con endure to be love, i Cor. 4. 3, 4, 5. Luke 14. 11. & 18.14, & 14. 10,

3. The higb-minded arc be thoughe to come of a low descent ; or that their parents or Ancestors were poor : And if their Ancestors were rich and great, that liecle honour doch help to clevate their minds; because they want that perfonal worth which is honourablc indeed, they are fain to adorn themselves with these borrowed feathers.

But the lowly know that is Riches prove such a hinderanca of salvation, and so few of the rich proportionably are saved, as Christ hath told us, it can be no great honour to be the off. spring of che rich: It is a sad kind of bɔatt, to lay (my Anccators are liker to be in Hell than yours; or if any of them be in Heaven, they came thither as a Comel through a necdles cyc.]. We know wc arc all of the common carth, and these our fich will all be levelled, and our noblelt blood will turn to the common putrefaction: We are all the feed of sinful Adam; our Father was an Amorite, and our Mother an Hitrite, Ezek. 16.3. And good men have used humbly to lament their fore fathers pride and wickedness,instead of bossing of their world, ly wealth; as you may read, Neb.9.16, 39. Dan. 9.

4. The bigb.minded arc alhamed to be thought poor them, felves: Because wealtb is the Idol which they most honour; they think that it will mof honour them. Because they scc that molt men admire and honqur it in the world; therefore they being of the world, do judge as the world, and conform themselves to its opinion. Even the poor that is proud, is alhamed of his poverty, and would be fain accounted rich.

But the lowly are not alhamed to say with Peter, Ads 3. 6. Silver and gold bave I none ; while they have better riches to rcjoycc in: They are glad, when wich Paul they can say, We are poor, but making many rich, 2 Cor. 6.10. They will not deny, or cal away any riches (which God doth lend them) because as his Stewards, they muft be accountable for them to their Lord. But they cake it to be no fame to be liker Chrift than Cræfus; or liker his Apoâles than the Prelaics and Care dinals of Rome ; or to be of chose poor that are poor in spirir, who are rich in faith, and heirs of Heaven, James 2. 5. Mattb. 5.3. Nor is it any defirablc honour to have our falvation so mach hindered and hazarded, as the rich have. God, and An. gels, and wisc men, do think never the worse of a good man for being poor.

than harn

5. The bigb-minded are therefore usually addi&ted to some cxcess in ornaments and apparel, because they would be taken to be rich and comely (unleis when their Pride workoth fome other way.) Yca, if they be never fomcan and poor, they would feem by their clothing to be somewhat richer than they arc; or would be rich in hypocrisic, or outward appearance, except ic hinder their relief. They that wear Gift clothing were wont to dwell in the houses of Kings, Matth. 11. 8. but now they dwell in the houses of moft Citizens, Tradesmen, Husbandmen; yea of Ministers themselves; wives, children and servants are commonly lick at once of this discafc: And though it be one of the lowest and foolilhelt games, which Pride hath to play; yet women, and children, and ligheheaded youths, do make up the greater number for this vanity i while the pride of the graver wifer fort, doth turn is felf to greater things.

But the lowly who are not ashamed to be poor, are not ilhamed of poor apparel : Though thcy are not for uncleanlincs, nor for an affc&cd fingularity, for oftentation of humi. lity ; yes they had rather go below their rank, than above it, as taking Pride to be a gicafer name and burt than poverty: I thcir clothing be convenient to their health and use, and not offenlive to others, it suffi.esh them : and a parch, or a rent, or a garment that is old, will not make them blush: they have learnt, 1 Pet. 3. 3. [1Vbofe adorning, let it not be Ibat outWard, of plating the bair, or of wearing of gold; or of putting on of apparel; but sbe bidden man of the beart, in ibat which in not corruptible, even of a meck and quiet spirit, whicb is in the Sigbt of God of great price.

6. The bigh-minded have high thoughts of worldly pomp, and wealth, and grcanels ; and think of such as 'excel in thesc, with great clieem and reverence : They bow to the man that Mmm 2

hath the gold Ring, and the gay apparel, while they Night the bift and wiselt that are poor : Tbey bless tbe Covetous wbom the Lord abborrerb, Pfal. 10.3. And they think if they be poor and low themselves, how brave a thing is it to be high and rich: And had far raiher be rich than gracious, and be higher in the world, than to have a lowly mind.

But the humble have learnt of Chrilt to be meck and lowly, Matth. 11. 29. and are ftill learning it of him more and more: They had rather have Pauls beart, that counted al tbings as tofs ard duug for Christ, and learned to abound and to suffer want, and in every state to be content, than to b: lifted up with worldly Vanity. They know that it is better to be of a bumble fpirit will the lowly, ebanto divide tbe spoils wirb tbe proud, Prov. 16. 19. And as the brother of love degree (being a sanctified Believer that can use all for God) mult rejoyce when he is exiled; so muft the brother of high degree, when he is made low, Jams. 9, 10. They pitty a Dives in his purple and filk, more than a Lazarus at his gates in rags. They wilh not too cagerly for fo dangerous an exaltation, from which they see so many terribly calt down. They much more honour a poor Believer, than a pompous Ginner. For in tbeir eyes & vile person is comtemned; but they bonour them Ibat fear the Lord, Pfal. 15.4.

7. The higb-minded arc alhamed of low cmployments : Il they b: seen doing such work as is accounted base, or proper to poor inferiour persons, they think they are dishonoured: If the proud sort of the Paflors of the Church, had been fent as Paul and the Apostles, to travel about the world on foot, and to preach the Gospel in their humble sell

. denying terms, they would have said that this was an unsufferablc drudgery; and Christ must have provided morcencouraging rewards of learning, or else hc (hould have been no Master of theirs. Yca a fer. vani chat is proud, will disdain the 'lowest' works of your fervice, as if it were a disgrace to stoop so low.

But the lowly do learn of Christ another leffon. He stoopt to wath and wipe the feet of his Disciples, to teach them what to do toward one another. Not as the Pope doth once a year walh some poor mens feet, by a Scenical ceremony. (For Piety and Clarity are both turned into imagery and ceremdoy by Sitan, when he would de@soy them) but feriously to inftrua

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

his Ministers themselves, what lowlinefs they must use towards one another, and to all the flock. Chrift went on foot to preach the Gospel, and so did his Apoftles; not to oblige us to do so when weakness doth forbid us; nor to deny the bencfit of a horse, when we may have it, but to teach us that neiches Pride should make us alhamed to go on fooi, nor lazy. ness make it fcem intollerable, when we are called to it. When Christ would app-ar in ftare at Jerusalem, he rode upon a borrowed Ass, to fulfill the Prophecy, Zocb: 9.9. Beboldohy King cometh unto tbee, week and fitting upon an Ass, Matth. 21.5. Peul rcfufcd not (with other Preachers) to labour at the trade of a Tent-maker, Ads 18. 3. And Timothy was not ashamed to bring him his cloak and parchments, fo great a Journcy, 2 Tim. 4.13. Nothing is avoided by the lowly as a theme, but that which is difplcaling to God, and disagreceble co his Christian duty : But not that which ho can call the service of God, and which God accepteth and will reward.

8. The bigh-minded are affedemed of be company and familiarity of the poor (unless when they seek for applause by popula rity :) And they 'greatly affed the favour and company of tharich, James'5, 4, 6. Therefore Solonton fařth, that iberich bath many friends, Prov. 14.20, When tbe poor is bated of bio neighbour.

But the lowly chuse to converse with the low. For so did Christ who was our pattern': and it is his Liw (Rom. 1-2. 16. Mind not high rbings, bit condescend 10 men of lowo eft ste. Chrift was not alhamed to call us brethren Heb 3:11. nor will die be alhamed fo to call the left of his true Disciples before God and Angels at the dreadful day, Mattb.25:40. & 28. They are thc molt honourable company, who are likest to Cbrift, and are the wiseft, and the bolieft; and not chofe who arc likeft to his crucifiers and enemies, and have their portion in this world.

9. Pride is usually attended with vain curiofily: curiosity in ornaments, in falhions, in diftreflings, in attendance, 'infurniture, in rooms, and in abundance of (mall inconfiderable circumstances. The proud (who go this lower way) do makc a great matter of so many fuch trities, that their minds have no room for the greated things. They do not only trouble them


Mmm 3

« PreviousContinue »