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of all Saints: not that he then was fo, SERM. but that he had been a Persecutor of the XI. Church of God. That Humility is the only means to entitle us to the Divine Alsistance 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 be shall direčt thy Paths ; Be not wife in thine own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil; This is the Advice of Solomon, Prov. iii. 5. And the Pfalmift declares, Pf. xxv. 9. Them that are meek will God guide in judgment; and such as are gentle, them will be 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
Ser m.our Hearts to the Obedience of Christ. XI. And the wife Son of Sirach advises,
E cclus. ii. 17. My Son, go on with
thy business in Meekness, so Malt thou be te beloved of him that is approved; The
greater thou art, the more humble thyself, and thou shalt find Favour before the
Lord; Many are'in high places, and of re* nown, but mysteries are revealed unto the
Meek; And our Saviour himself professes,
Lord of Heaven and Earth, because thou " haft bid these things from the wife and prudent, and bast revealed them 'unto Bābes; Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in tby 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 cbased; and he that humbleth” himself pall be exalted.
Of Poverty of Spirit.
MATT. V. 3.
for Theirs is the Kingdom of
God. SVARAR HE Beatitudes, or Declarati-SERM: O s ons of Blessedness, with which XII.
To our Saviour begins his Ser-w ka m on upon the Mount ; tho'
h er they seem each of them to be a recommendation of some fingular Vire tue, and to contain each of them fingly a Promise that such a particular Virtue * 'S 2
Ser M. shall have its distinet, proper, and pcculiar XI. Reward; yet This is not so to be under
stood, as if any of these Virtues singly specified, were to be taken separately, exclusive of Other Virtues ; or as if any of the Rewards here, distinctly mentioned, were to be looked upon as conferred feparately, 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 , fo 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 fingular · Beauty and Elegancy, as well as with
great Variety and Instructiveness of ex-Ser M. pression, that, in the former part of each XII. Beatitude, he describes our Christian Duty under the character of some particular eminent Virtue ; and, in the latter, he fets forth to us, under the likę number of different distinct Viesus, the Glories of his heavenly Kingdom : Representing, in the latter part of each Beatitude, the, Happiness of That eternal State, under fuch 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 : Bleffed are the poor in Spirt, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. When his pre-, fent State is represented as a temporary Mourning, then his future State is the Comforts and the Joys of Eternity: Bleffed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. When his Virtue is described under the Notion of Meekness, in oppos