Sidor som bilder

too : and for men to practise things that are unseemly, either in their demure look or in their uncouth garb; as if to be contemptible and despicable in this way, were the perfection of the christian state. Against these two mistakes, the fourness and morosity of mal-contents, and the superstitions of the factious, I have observed that the prophet faith, do not glory, but doth neither deny the things as gifts of God, nor disallow our having of them, neither doth he take away the use of them, nor deny advantage by them.

But Secondly, It is, glory not, glory not. I will give you an account of that, in four particulars which are denied.

1. We ought not upon occasion of our wit or parts, or of our power and interest, or of our wealth and revenue, we ought not to think ourselves fufficient, and that we are provided for. That is challenged in the parable, Luke xii. 19. to my foul, thou haft much goods laid up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry ; he was a fool for saying so, much goods laid up; that is not the use of these things, for a man to account himself well accommodated, furnished to all purposes. 2. We ought

this occasion to have any proud reflections upon our own excellencies, as Nebuchadnezzar did, Dan. iv. 30. Is not this great Babylon which I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty ? 3. We are not to have mental satisfaction, acquiescence in them, as if they were ultimate, which is the miscarriage of Babylon, Rev. xviii. 7. How much she hath glorified herself and lived deliciously, so much torment and farrow

I will say

not upon




give her ; for she faith in her heart, I sit a queen and am Ro widow, and all see no forrow. Considering these things, things within the mind, health in the body, things about us; we ought not to think we are accomplished by them. 4. We ought not to have any of these things, or use them in the place of God: the prophet Jeremiah gives us an account of that, Jer. xvii. 11. As a partridge fitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not : fo he that getteth riches and not by right, fvall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool. And the psalmist gives us an account of that, Psal. xvii. 14. From the men of the world, which have their portion in this life. Psal. x. 4. God is not in all his thoughts. Luke xii. 21. So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God. These four things are excluded by glory not ; we must not think ourselves sufficient, or that we are provided ; we must not proudly reflect upon ourselves, and think these our excellencies ; we must not have fatisfaction, acquiescence in them, as if we had nothing farther to look after ; we must not have them instead of God; but as instruments, and for the honout and service of God.

Thirdly, In the next place I shall give you an account why there may be a temptation from these things to glory. Firft, There may be a shew of reason for glorying in wisdom, upon a five-fold account. I. Because wisdom is the excellency of a spirit, the excellence and accomplishment of spirits, 'tis the perfection of the interior man. 2. It is in itself a real

It is to be permanent and continue as long as fouls do, yea to be further perfected; whereVol. IV.


truth. 3.


as the things of the body fail when the body fails. 4. It doth really recommend a man without any abatement ; that he is a wise and understanding man, it is a real commendation. 5. It is the proper improvement of the natural faculty.-- In the second place there is much less colour for glorying in bodily strength, and that for seven or eight reasons. Sickness

may soon take it away; a man falls downward in a moment, but recovers leisurely. Yea perhaps a man may retain a great measure of bodily health and strength, yet in a fickness his disease will burn the more, as fire in green-wood ; fickness may soon take this away : fickness which may begin from what is necessary and unavoidable, as eating, drinking, sleeping, exercise : which are the necessaries of life, and things most useful for the body, yet fickness may be occafioned from any of these ; yea fickness may suddenly surprize us ; and for ought we know, the beginning of a disease may be upon us already ; and though we do not feel it, yet it may seize upon us next moment : therefore there is no glorying in bodily perfection ; which is called might and strength. 2. There is no glorying in bodily strength, because an accident may soon deprive men of it ; a casual fall, a wound, a fraction, the very change of air, the change of weather, any thing unkindly, any indigeftion, any thing unseasonable : any of these things may dispossess a man of his bodily strength or health. 3. Take it with all its advantages, it doth not recommend rational intellectual natures ; because the beasts which are below us, excell us in it, the ox, in strength, the horse, in swiftness : and in all the perfections of


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

our senses both internal and external, we are excelled by certain animals ; despicably mean creatures do excell us in all of them. 4. The dullest spirits of all, oftentimes have the strongest and healthiest bodily conftitution : yea this is the misery of it, nimble fouls, well improved minds, quick, nimble and active; they are too active for the body, that it can: not thrive and prosper under them. You may take it for granted, that the wisest of men in general, and the fittelt for intellectual employments, have the weakest bodily conftitution ; therefore it is not a thing to be rested on. 5. It is but a respective thing ; for might is no might in compare with mightier : if this be a strong man, if he meet with one that is stronger, he is weak in comparison with him. 6. There is no security for the things of the body, either against treachery or assassination, or a sudden surprize; for we are wont to say, he is master of another man's life, that doth despise God and the law : for it is the utmost a government can do, to require a life for a life ; which can neither certainly protect nor make recompence, because it cannot restore. 7. and lastly, Might is nothing but ufurpation and insolence, if it be against or divided from right : therefore this is no matter of glorying.

And what are the great conquerors

of the world ? He that conquers nations and kingdoms, he is but a great disturber, if he have not right on his side as well as might. Wherefore bodily strength or might, is not a solid foundation of glory.-- Thirdly, Nor riches or wealth. And for this I will offer to you abundance of suggestions. 1. Thele things are things without us; and the philosopher in


[ocr errors]

S 2

computing of enjoyments, says, we do not call them our own things, that are without us. 2. They are uncertain ; for riches make to themselves wings and fly away, Prov. xxiii. 5. 3. They are perishable and wasting commodities, worfe by loss of weight, worse by loss of virtue, &c. 4. They are the conquerors, if they prevail; they are our own but in part before. 5. We cannot truly be said to have them even while we have them ; for we must necessarily trust, and cannot have them always in our hands, nor always in our sight. The friend by falfhood, and the thief by Night and craft, and the man of might by his power ; in respect of all these, we are in danger. 6. They who have these things, have them for others. Eccl. v. 11. When goods encrease, they are encreased that eat them ; what good then is to the owner thereof, saving the beholding them with his eyes ? 7. Riches are but at the best, as Plutarch) faith, a multitude of inftruments. They are but tools, they are but materials, they are medial, they are not final, they are not ends. 8. They are often for the owner's hurt, Eccl. v. 13. There is a fore evil which I have seen under the sun, viz. riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. 9. They are perilous and dangerous to pofterity, for those that they leave behind them. For it is too often seen, that they who never had either the care or wit to get a penny, will never have the skill to keep a pound; easily come, easily go ; that wastes easily in the hand, that never knew the getting. 10. None of these things do mend any man's mind; and a man's inner man is the man ; they do not tend to the reforming of any vice, or to the informing of a


« FöregåendeFortsätt »