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i COR. xiij. 4, 5. -Charity, vannteth not it self, is not puffed up, Doth not behave it Self unseemly,
Come now to the Fourth Property
Self; i e'zom & Tregzepolislos: A word not used in ancient Greek Authors, and so there is some doubt both concerning the origination and signification of it. Some conceive it to be derived from the Latin word perperam, arid fo memapdeats should signifie perperam agere, to do things amiss or absurdly. But this signification seems to be too large for this place. The Syriack Version renders it by a word that signifies to raise Tumults, or to cause Disturbance; and after that Version we should express it, Charity doth not tumultuate. But Hesé chius makes irágprop d'ents to be the same
with yote maigsats, to be lifted up, in which sense, or in a sense very near thereunto, some of the Greek Fathers have used the word. Much in this sense our Translators taking it, have rendred it, Charity vaunteth not it self. In this sense most of the best Interpreters understand it here. It imports therefore an arrogant and vaunting Behaviour, whereby a Man makes a vain-glorious Oftentation of what he is, of what he hath, or of what he hath done to the utmost, adorning and setting forth himself with all Advantages. Here all the difficulty is in shewing how this signification of the word suits this place, and the Apostle's present intention : for the word, as here used by the Apostle, must fignifie something that is contrary to Love. But if we consider the matter, we shall find that there are divers things in this vaunting Carriage most contrary to the nature of Charity. And this both in respect of what it implies in the Person vaunting himself, and in respect of the effects that it hath upon others, unto or before whom he vaunteth himself. In respect of him who vaunteth himself, it implies,
1. Abundance of Pride and Self-love. These are the root of vaunting. A Man is too much pleased with himself, and with his own things, and through his Pride and Self-love fets too high a rate upon himfelf, and upon what he hath : and having entertained so good an Opinion of himself, he much affects that others should be of his mind, and think as well of him as he dotle of himself. ' Hereupon he greedily catcheth at all occasions of displaying his fupposed Excellencies, and representing them in the best dress that he can put upon them. And 'tis well if in setting forth' himself, he doth not over-do, and make Thew of a great deal more than is agreeable to Truth ;
for that's the disposition of such arrogant and vain-glorious Vaunters, usually they are not satisfied that you know all that for which they are to be commended and admired, unless they also make you apprehend it to be a great deal more than 'tis. A vaunter of himself, when he dwells upon the acceptable and delightful subject of his own Praises, is often transported beyond Truth as well as Modesty; and almost as seldom keeps within the bounds of the one as of the other.
2. Another thing which vaunting too often carries along with it (if not always) is an undervaluing and despising of others. Self-admiration and contempt of others, are two things that cannot easily be separated. Let any Man have an high esteem of himself, and an affectation of the same esteem with others, and it cannot easily be but that he should as much undervalue :0thers, as he doth overvalue himself.
3. Another usual concomitant of vaunting is Insultation. He that vaunteth himself, indeavours to lift up and advance himself above others, and having as he thinks gotten above them, insults and vapours over them. Vaunting of your self, what is it, but in effeet a clapping your wings and crowing over your Inferiours, or such as you would have to be fo?
Now all these are directly opposite to the nature of Charity. For Love is an humble condescending Grace that willingly stoops to its Inferiours, and equals her self with them, yea, prefers them before her self. Love is not apt to undervalue others, but gladly sees and acknowledgeth what they are or have, and gives them their due, ever
making good measure, and allowing all Men rather more than less than what in strictness belongs unto them. If Charity at any time.err, her proper error is in Rating Men above what in truth they are, rather than under : So far is she from contemning any or infulting over them.
2. Vaunting is contrary to Charity in respect of the effects that it hath
upon others, unto or before whom a Man vaunteth himself.
I mean, if they be destitute of those things of which a Man vaunteth : Those effects are Shame and Crief.
1. Shame. For while a Man vaunteth himself in respect of those good things which another hath not, he seemeth to upbraid him with his wants ; which no Man can well be apprehenfive of without some confusion of Face.
2. Grief. For these two, Shame and Grief go together. 'Tis Natural that a Man should be grieved for that which makes him ashamed. But here also Charity is of a contrary Nature. Love would be very tender of saying or do ing any thing that might make imprefsions of Shame or Grief upon another,