« AnteriorContinuar »
quence take off every degree of their Love from the Creature; and colle&t together, and settle the whole Force and weight of it upon God, that so he may be All in All. This is the Measure of Divine Love in Heaven, and this ought to be the Measure of it upon Earth.
With Angels therefore and Arch-Angels, and with all the Company of Heaven, let us unclasp our Arms from the Imbraces of the Creation, and adore and love the Lord our God with our whole Heart, Soul and Mind. Let not God any longer divide with the Creature (which is not a fit Companion for fo Divine a Guest) but let him reign an absolute Monarch in our Hearts, and ingross our whole Love, especially since that whole is so little. Love is the great Bias which God has put into our Natures to carry us towards himself. And thither let it carry us, and there let it fix and lodge our Souls, which are then in their greatest Perfection when in the full and intire Love and Enjoyment of God. To whom be all Glory and all Love. . Amen. . .
A Discourse concerning the Natural, #t
and the Moral Vanity of Man. ..
PSA L. xxxix. 6. '.
Or as in the other Translation.
himself in vain.
I Ven Man, who was made and intended by E God for the greatest and most excellent End, and was accordingly furnish'd with all proper Means for the attainment of this End, having an excellent Nature given him, duly temper'd and pois'd between dry Intelligence and blind Appetite, being altogether neither One nor the Other, but inrich'd with Vigour of İnclination, and a Bright Understanding to govern it, with the Light of Reason, and with the Flame of Pashion, having at once the advantage both of Sail and Compass, and so capable both of knowing, chufing, and enjoying his Supreme and Only Goad.
Even Man, who is the very Draught and Transcript of his Creator, and the Masterpiece of all his Lower Creation: Who has Dominion given him over all the Vegetable and Sensitive World; upon whom both Sun and Moon wait, and the Stars in their Courses pay Attendance, to whom the very Angels are Guardians, and for whose fake the Heavenly Bodies both Move and Shine. Who upon his entrance into Being, put his Maker to the Stand, gave Infinite Wisdom a Pause, and raised a Solemn Consultation in Heaven, as being at once the Conclusion and the Compendium of the six days Work.. i
Even Man, who applies his heart to know, and to search, and to seek out Wisdom, and the Reason of things, that Grafts the Accomplishments of Art upon the Stock of Nature, and by the improvement of Study and Education stands upon higher ground, and distinguishes himself as much from the common Pitch of Men, as they are distinguish'd from the .Level of Beasts. Man that is faluted with the Titles of Learned and Wife, that is supposed to understand all Mysteries, and all Knowledg, and (which is more) that does really understand his own Ignorance; that knows much, and that that much is little ; and so is not lifted up with his Knowledg, nor has his Head turn with the Height upon which he stands. Man too that towres and plumes upon his Endowments, that views himself with the mag, nifying end of the Prospettive ; and others with that which Contracts; that has some Wisdom,
and pretends to a great deal more ; that fits down and enjoys his past Attainments, thinking himself too Wise (as others too Dull) for further Improvement : Man, let him be what he will for Eminence, either Really or in Opinion, either by Nature or by Art, as Great and Noble a Creature as he is, and as Great as he takes himself to be, notwithstanding all his real and all his imaginary Grandeur, He walketh in a vain padow, and dis quieteth himself in vain. :
The Words are a very mean and degrading Character of a very high and Noble Creature, enough to mortifie and take him down in the midst of all his Pride and Glory, as presenting to his View (what he seldom has the Happiness to see) a true Pi&ure of himself, and that set in a true and proper Light, pointing out and defcribing a twofold Vanity of Man, the Vanity of his State, and the Vanity of his Life; the one a Moral, and the other a Natural Vanity; which indeed is all the Vanity that a Creature is capable
For 'tis to be consider'd, that the words are a particular instance and reason of a general Proposition. The Psalmist had said just before that every Man living is altogether Vanity, or, Vanity all. over, and then immediately adds as a Reason of so severe a Reflection, For man walketh in a vain. Shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain. As if he had said, there are but two possible ways whereby Man may become Vain : Or, there is but a two). fold Vanity that Man, or any other Creature is
capable of, Vanity of State, and Vanity of Life a that Vanity which relates to the Nature and Be ing,and that which relates to the Demeanour and Conduct of a Creature ; and both these are found in Man. The Vanity of Nature, in that he walk. eth in a Vain Shadow and the Vanity of Conduct, in that he also disquiets himself in Vain. And therefore Map is altogether Vanity..
Altogether Vanity, so we render it, more according to the Septuagint than the Hebrew. In the Hebrew it is Universal Vanity; as if all the Vanity and Misery that is scatter'd up and down among other Creatures, were collected together and fum'd up in Man; so that Man should be, as it were, a little Abridgment or Compendium of Vanity. In the Septuagint it is ta siunaite uz TakéTES, quoad Omnia L'anita, Vanity as to all things, as to every part, and in every respect, in what Pofture, or in what Light soever you place him, or in what Capacity or Relation soever you consider him. And between these two Rendrings there is considerable difference, even as much as there is between saying, that Man is AD V'anity, and that Al of Max is Vanity; One making Vanity to poffefs the Whole of Man, and the other making Man to poffess or ingross the whole of Vanity which indeed is the stronger and bolder expression of the two.
But we need not be very solicitors about this for take it in what sense you will, either that Van is Universal Vanity, according to the Hebrer, or that he is Altogether Vanity according to the