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of all Saints: not that he then was so,SErM. but that he bad been a Persecutor of the XI. Church of God. That Humility is the^^ only means to [entitle us to the Divine Assistance and continual Direction, and the best Help to a right Understanding in matters of Religion; (meaning always by Humility, not a blind and careless Submission to the Notions of Men, but an entire giving up ourselves to the Will of God;) Trust in the Lord with all thine Heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding, In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he jhall direSl thy Paths; Be not wife in thine own eyes j Fear the Lord and depart from evil; This is the Advice of Solomon, Prov. ui. 5. And the Pfalmist declares, Pf xxv. 9. Hem that are meek will God guide in judgment; and such as are gentle, them will he learn his way; And St Paul directs, 2 Cor. x. 5. to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the Knowledge of God, and to bring into Captivity every Thought to the Obedience of Christ; Not our Understandings to the Opinions of Men; but our Wills, the Thoughts and Designs of Vol. III. S our
SirM.our Hearts to the Obedience of Christ. XI. And the wife Son of Sirach advises, Eccluf. iii. 17. My Son, go on with thy business in Meekness, so shalt thou be :% beloved of him that is approved; The --'I greater thou art, the more humble thyself, :t»~vnd thou shalt find Favour befbre the 'Lord; Many are'in high plates, and of reTwwn, but myjleries are revealed unto the |> Meek; And our Saviour himself profesies, VSt Matt. xi. 25. I thank thee, 0 Father, ZLcrd cf Heaven and Earth, because thou hast hid these things from the -wife and prurient, and hafl revealed them unto Babesj Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy 'fight. These are the Arguments the Scripture makes use of, to perswade us to the Practice of Humility; And they are -all briefly summed up in 'the Words of the Text, Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbkth himself shall be exalted.
SERMON SERMON XII
Of Poverty os Spirit.
Matt. V. 3.
HE Beatitudes, or Declarati-SErm; ons of Blessedness, with which -^H. our Saviour begins his Ser-^^'^ mon upon the Mount j tho* they seem each of them to be a recommendation of some Jmgular Virtue, and to contain .each of them singly a Promise that such a particular Virtue - S 2 shall
Se R M.shall have its distinSt, proper, and peculiar Reward: yet This is not so to be undefstood, as if any of these Virtues singly specified, were to be taken separately, exclusive of Other Virtues j or as if any of the Rewards here distinctly mentioned, were to be looked upon as conferred separately, and divided from the Other Constituents of the Happiness of Heaven: But by a very usual and Well-known manner of speaking, wherein a Part is figuratively put for the Whole; as, in Other places of Scripture, Faith or Hope or Charity, or Repentance, or the Love or Fear of God, do frequently stand for the Whole Duty of a Christian; and the single particulars of seeing God, or being with God, or of living for ever, are intended to include in general All the Blessings and Happiness, All the Glories and Injoyments, of the Heavenly State, so Here likewise our Saviour, in each Beatitude, must be understood in general to annex the promise of the Happiness of Heaven, to the universal Practice of our whole Christian Duty. And 'tis with singular Beauty and Elegancy, as well as with *' great great Variety and Instructiveness of ex- S E R M. preflion, that, in the former part of each Beatitude, he describes our Christian Duty under the character of some particular eminent Virtue j and, in the latter.„ he sets forth to us, under the like number of different diftinfl Fiezvs, the Glories of his heavenly Kingdom: Representing, in the latter part of each Beatitude, the Happiness of That eternal State, under such a particular Figure, and in such a particular Light, as is most agreeably correspondent to that particular Notion of Virtue, under which he had in the former part represented our Christian Duty. Thus, when the Life of a Christian is expressed under the character of being poor in Spirit, then his Reward is the Riches of the Kingdom of Heaven: Blessed fire the poor in Spirt, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. When his present State is represented as a temporary Mourning, then his future State is the Comforts and the Joys of Eternity: Blef-. fed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. When his Virtue is described under, the Notion of Meekness, in oppos