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Serm.^« l°fty, neither do I exercise myself in X. great matters, or in things too high for me: And the Wise Son of Sirach, Ecclus. iii, 21. Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy Strength: But what is command-' ed thee, think thereupon with reverence j for it is not needful for thee to fee with thine eyes the things that are in secret: Be not curious in iinnecejj'ary matters, for more things, are fijewed unto thee, than men understand: For many are deceived by their own vain opinion, and an evil suspicion has overthrown their judgment. The on-* ly caution here necessary to be given, is that this entire humble Submission of our own judgment, is due to God only, in the Words of his own immediate and express Revelation; the paying the like deference to any humane doSirine or human explication of doctrine whatsoever, without thoroughly examining it and understanding it perfectly; is not Humility, but Ignorance and Sloth. And This may suffice upon the 1Jl particular, what True Humility is, and wherein it consists.
Lux. XIV. 11.
For whosoever exalteth himselfshall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
N a former Discourse upon S E R M. these Words, I have endea- XI. voured to show distinctly ^VN^ What the Virtue of true Humility is, and wherein it confists. It remains that I proceed at this Time, to propose some Arguments to perswade men to the Practise of it.
SErM.And ifl, The Scripture frequently lays XI. before us, the natural -ill consequences of Pride; and the Advantages arising from true Humility, even in the natural Course and Order of Things.
Pride makes men foolish, and void of caution j and This puts them upon doings things that bring them to Dishonour: When Pride cometh, then cometh Shame; hut with the lowly is Wifdom, Prov. xi. 2,
I T makes men negligent, and improvident of the future; and this often throws them into sudden calamities; The Turning away of the Simple, (in the original it is, the Ease, the Negligence, of the Simple\) Jhall Jlay them; and the Prosperity of Fools Jhall destroy them, Prov. i. 32.
I T makes men rash and peevish, obstinate and insolent; and This seldom fails to bring down ruin upon them: Pride goeth before dejlruEiion, and an haughty Spirit before a Fall; Better it is to be of an humble Spirit with the lowly , than to divide the Spoil with the Proudt Prov. xvi. 18.
It involves men perpetually in StrifesSErM. and Contentions j and These always mul- XI, tiply Sin, and are inconsistent with true ,jr>4'Si Happiness; He loveth transgression, that loveth firife; and he that exalteth his Gate, feeketh DefruSlion, Prov. xvii, 10.
It disobliges mens best Friends, and gives their Enemies perpetual Advantages against them j and This often draws great inconveniencies upon them: Before deJlruBion the Heart of Man is haughtyi and before Honour is Humility, Prov. xviii. 12.
I T makes men vain and lovers of Flattery, 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: A man's Pride Jhall bring him low, but Honour Jhall uphold the humble in Spirit, Prov, xxix. 23.
I T makes men impatient of good Advice and Instruction, and That renders them incorrigible in their Vices; Seefl thou a man wife in his own Conceit?
S E R M. there is more Hope of a Fool, than of him: X*' fflx sluggard is wiser in bis own conceit, than seven men that can render a reason, Prov. xxvi. 12, 16; and xxviii. 26, He that trujleth in his own Heart, is a Fool; but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Lastly, I T fills men full of vain-glorious Designs, imploying all their Thoughts in self-confident Imaginations; and This makes them incapable of Religious improvements, and to have no relish of true Wisdom: 'The full Soul loatheth the honey-comb, Prov. xxvii. 7; and xxv. 27, It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search their own glory, is not glory.
These are the elegant Observations of wife Solomon, upon the natural inconveniencies and difadvantages of Pride. In the other parts, of Scripture we find likewise, several Remarks of the fame kind. That Pride hinders men from examining impartially, into the Truth of Religion , How can ye believe, fays our Saviour, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour which cometh from God :. . only?