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fures of Virtue and Religion, we fhall look upon all our bodily pleasures as the little Toys and Fooleries of our Infant State, with which we pleafed our childish Fancies when we knew no better. And whereas had we been deprived of them then, we fhould have cried and bemoaned our felves, as little Children do when they lofe their play-games, and reckon our felves undone and miferable upon the Experience we have had of the Nobler and more Generous pleasures of Religion, we shall be able to defpife thefe little, poor Entertainments of our Infancy; to take our leave of them without a Tear in our Eyes, and to live eternally without miffing them. For, our minds being for the main reconciled to Rational and Spiritual pleasures, we fhall put off all Remains of bodily Luft with our Bodies, and fo flie away into the fpiritual world with none but Pure and Spiri tual Appetites about us; where meeting with an infinite Fulneẞ of Spiritual Joys and Pleasures, of which we had many a foretaste in the Body, our predifpofed Mind will prefently clofe with, and feed upon them, with fuch an unspeakable Content and Satisfaction, as will ravish it for ever from the Thoughts of all other Pleasures. So that now we fhall not only be able to fubfift without Fleshly Delights, but to defpife and fcorn them; our Faculties being treated every moment with far nobler Fare, and better Joys.
V. Another of thofe Virtues which belong to a man confidered meerly as a Rational Animal, is HUMILITY; which confifts in a modeft and lowly opinion of our felves, and of our own Acquifitions, Merits, or Endowments; Or, in not G 4 valuing
valuing our felves beyond what is due and just, upon the account of any Good we are poffeffed of, whether it be Internal or External. For Pride, or an over-weening Self-Conceit is the Bane of all our Virtue and Happiness. It caufes us to overlook our Defects, and thereby hinders us from making further Improvement; and it poffeffes us with an opinion that we deferve more than we have, and thereby renders us diffatisfied with our prefent Enjoyments. For by how much any man. over-values himself, by fo much he under-values what he enjoys, becaufe while he compares what he enjoys with the fond opinion that he hath of himfelf, he always finds it short of his Defert, and fo can never be fatisfied with it. Yea, fuch is the crofs and capricious Humour of a proud Spirit, that the more it poffeffes, the bigger it fwells with the opinion of its own Defert; and the more· it is opinionated of its own Defert, the leẞ it is fatisfied with that which it poffeffes and enjoys. For when a man is exceeding apt to flatter and cokes himself, he will catch at any pretence to exalt his own Merit and Defert, and be ready to measure it, not only by what he is, but by what he has too; and then reckoning his outward Poffeffions to be the Rewards or Products of his Inward Worth, the more he has, the more he will ftill imagine he deferves to have. So that his Opinion of his own Defert will still run on fo faft before his Enjoyments,that though they should follow it never fo clofe, as the Hinder wheels of a Chariot do the Fore ones, yet it would be impoffible for then to overtake it; And fo long as he conceives his Enjoyments to be behind his Defert, he will be
always Difcontented, and diffatisfied with them; and while he continues of this Humour, the utmost Bliss and Glory that Heaven affords would not be able to fatisfie him. For if he were fet equal in Glory with the highest Saint, he would be fo puffed and exalted by it in his own Conceit, that he would fancy he merited the Glory of an Angel; and if from thence he were advanced to the Throne of an Arch-Angel, he would flatter himself into a conceit that he deserved the Glory and Dignity of a God: And fo long as he fancied his Advancement to be below his Merit, he would never be contented with it,how high soever it were, but be continually vexing and repining that he was raised no higher.
And this I verily believe was the Temper of the Devil, and that which finally ruined and undid him. For when he was an Angel of Light, he was doubtless placed by the Father of Spirits, in fuch an Order or Degree of Dignity as became the perfection of his Nature. But he, reflecting on his own Indowments, and the Glorious Condition wherein he was placed, began first to fwell with an arrogant and overweening conceit of himself, and to fet too high a value upon his own Angelical Graces and Perfections; and, as the natural Effect of this, to imagine that he was not high enough advanced in the Scale of the Heavenly Hierarchy, and that his Station in the Commonwealth of Angels was beneath the Grandeur and Dignity of his Nature. This made him look up with envious Eyes upon the Glorious Orders above him, into whofe fublime Rank he being forbid to afpire by God, the Prince of Spirits, he proceeded
proceeded by Degrees to malign and hate both Him and Them. And this he firft expreffed by entring into a Conspiracy against him with fome of his Fellow-Angels, whom he found most apt to be wrought upon by him; together with whom he made an open Revolt, forfook the Blessed Abodes, as not enduring to abide any longer amongst thofe Bleffed Orders whom he fo inveterately hated and envied; and fo with his revolted Legions defcends into this Aery Region, where ever fince he hath perfifted in open Hoftility against God and Heaven. And accordingly it is faid of Him and his Accomplices, that they kept not their first Station, that is, they would needs have a higher Station in Heaven than that wherein God had placed them; which because they could not obtain, they left their own Habitation,i.e. forfook Heaven,their Native Country and Abode, and came down into these lower parts of the World, upon Design to strengthen their Party against Heaven by feducing Mankind into the fame Revolt with themselves, Jude 6.
Thus 'twas the Devils Pride you fee, that made him Envious, his Envy that made him Spiteful and Malicious, all which together made him a Devil. And thus it would be with us, if we could be admitted into Heaven whilft we are under the Power and Prevalence of Pride and SelfConceit. For while we think better of our felves, than God does, we fhall never be contented with his Retributions, who will be fure to deal with every man according to his works; and that exceffive value we fhall have of our felves, will caufe us to undervalue the Degree and Rank of Glory
Glory and Happiness wherein we shall be placed by the juft Rewarder of Souls, as a Station much beneath our imaginary Excellency and Perfection. And hence we shall proceed to think hardly of God, and to repine against him as a partial and unequal Diftributer of his Favours, and to envy and Malign thofe that were placed higher in Glory than our felves; and fo at laft, out of an implacable Vexation and Difcontent, to leave our Habitations, as the Devils did, and fly away to their Revolted party. So impoffible is it for a Soul that is under a prevailing Habit of Pride and Self-Conseit to be happy either here or hereafter.
And therefore to remove this Obftacle, Chriftianity imposes the Practice of Humility, as a neceffary means of our Happiness; and requires us to put on humbleneß of mind, Col. iii. 12. to be clothed with humility, 1 Pet. v. 5. to walk with all lowlines and meekneß,Eph.iv. 1,2. and in lowlines of mind to efteem others better than our felves,Phil.ii.3. In a word, to follow the Example of our Blessed Lord, who was meek and lowly, Matt. xi. 29. and in honour to prefer one another, Rom. xii. 10. The fenfe of all which is, that we should labour, as much as in us lies, to think very meanly and modeftly of our felves, and not to be discontented if others think meanly of us too; i. e. that we should neither be proud nor vain-glorious,neither too much exalted in our own opinions, nor endeavour to infinuate into others a higher opinion of us than we do really deferve: In fhort, that we should fo effectually reprefent to our felves the little Reafon we have to be proud of any Perfonal Accomplishment, whether it be of Body, or Mind, to strut,