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Lord himself, who makes it the way of Rising to Dignity j Mat. 23. 12. He that shall bumble himself fall be Extlted. So his Apostles, yam. 4. 10. Humble your selves in the sight of the Lord, and he Jh'all Lift you up. And 1 Pet. j", 6. Humble your selves under the mighty hand of God, that he may Exalt you in due time. For he is the Judge to put down one, and set up another. And the Distinctions here among Men, will soon be all at an end. But you know not who shall be Higher or Lower For ever. 'Tis best then to sic Lowest, and make thy self even the Servant of aU.
. But, alas, Who follows this Pattern, or observes this Precept of our Lord ? For what do men more struggle, than for Pre. cedence in the World ? And what a work have some, to make Peace, between them that are to pieces about Points of Hernia? Yea, how can some Arrogate to themselves even that of the most High ? Isa. 42. 8. My Glory .will I not give to another. God only is above the Virtue of Humility ; Because nothing is Above Himself. But any man, that counts it Bdciv him, does by that means, but Lose all the Honour which he aspires after. And makes himself theSlave * of a very Vain humour. In such striving 'to be thought Some.body, He makes him'self too well known fora very Impertinent 'Body : The Wbiihipper of an empty Idol,
'which is Nothing: Only enough, to f make Fools venture their Lives and their 'Souls j And rather leave themselves no e place in the World, or in Heaven , than * give Place to any Competitor upon Earth. O Vanity of Vanities! How has this Smoak of Vain-Glory put out their Eyes ! And yet we are Christians: Are we ? And do we remember to what a Lord we belong? How was he Called ? A man Gluttonous, ani a TVine-bibber. Matt. 11. 19. A Samjrita', and one that had a Devil. Joh. 8. 48. Who through Beelzebub the frince of the Devils, did cast out Devils. Luke 11. if. And yet no one heard from his mouth, so much as Thou Lyest, or any thing like it. But when he .was Reviled, he Reviled not again: When he Suffered, he Threatned not. 1 Pet. 2. 25. But from what has been said, 'tis too plain, That for Humility, as well as for Faich, Hope, and Charity, The Gate is so Strait, that Few do enter.
Again, Of Faith, the First part of the Gate.
LEast we should Terrify any from Attempting to Enter, When all our design is to Whet the Minds, and Enflame the Desires of Christians all, to get into their most sweet and Happy Countrey j Let us make now another Experiments To shew that the Gate, which in one respect, for the Eminence and Perfection of these Virtues, is so Strait; Yet through the Omnipotence, the Fidelity and Mercy of the. most High and Gracious God , it may be found Open, and Easy of Access, to such as in earnest do desire and endeavour to Enter. - . .
And to begin with Faith. This (I grant,) teachetheus many such things to be Believed, as are above Sense, and the Reason of men; yea, peradventure , above the natural Capacity even of Angels. But when the same Doctrine of Faith acquaints us withall, That in those things, we are to give Credit unto God that cannot Lye , And not to take 'em upon 7%?, from Men or Angels; The Straits then begin to be Enlarged, and we fee a Passage clear before
us. Had Faith bid me Relieve God to be Three and One, Because jfaiah, Jeremiah) Ezekiel, Peter, ?aul, and Jobn had said so, I should have been at a stand ; and durst not take such things above Reason , upon the bare Word of Men, like my self. But when this Faith assures me, That God has Reveal'd these things ; and the Prophets and Apostles taught 'em from the Mind of God, and just as they themselves were Taught by Him; and did not Preach their Own, but his Word: My Heart then is presently Enlarged, and prepar'd firmly to Believe it.
Now, that it was God himsclf,who spake. by the Prophets and Apostles, He has by so many Signs and Wonders made Evident,: that there's no Room left for any just Unbelief. the great Salvation which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard him: God also bearing' them Witness, both by Signs and Wonders, and with divers Miracles, and Gifts of the holy Ghost. Heb. 2. 4. And then what God speaks, who will call in question? Could he Lye, he would not be God.
But the things propos'd to our Faith, are above Reason ? What then ? They are not above the Power and Wisdom of God. .He is greater than our Heart, and knoweth all' things. 1 John 3. 20. He can do what we cannot Understand. His Essence is more G 5 Sub*
Sublime, than we are able to Conceive.
* And of what belongs to Him , we must
• not take upon us to Determine, any fur'ther than he is pleased to Inform us. But if an Unlettered man will easily Believe Philojofhers and Astronomers,in. many things, concerning the Distance and Magnitude of the Sun and Stars, which seem utterly Incredible, according to vulgar Sense and apprehension:
A Peasant may Believe as much
While Grace fills up uneven Nature. .
That which before was darkened clean
And. then appear d a glorious Sky. . .
Then htm thy Epicycles, foolish man.
Break all thy Spheres, andjave thy head:
faith needs no staff of Flesh, but stoutly can' To Heav'n alone both go and Lead.
Why should not men much rather Believe God himself, in what he is pleas'd to Re'veal and tell us concerning himself, and 'those things of God, which no Man * knows , but the Spirit of God? 1 Cor. .2. 11. When his Wisdom and Power so infinitely exceeds the little Spark of Reason , wherewith he has endowed us ,.