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threatening to drown the land; but when it is come to its appointed limits, the weak sand, as if its fury were turned into fear, retires into its own channel; that proud king was tamed by frogs and Alies, and at last drowned with his army in the Red Sea. Sennacherib so high flown with the conceit of his irresistible strength, that he challenged heaven, “who is your God ? that he should be able to deliver you out of my hands ?” found there was a just power above, that in one night destroyed his mighty army, and afterward cut him off in his idolatry. Nebuchadnezzar the head of gold in the figure representing the empires of the world, was for his pride turned a grazing among the beasts, and by his fall was the argument of the insultation, “ thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning; how art thou cut down to the ground that didst weaken nations ?” Isa. 14. 12, 13, 14. Herod for usurping divine honour was deyoured by worms. In every age there are instances of God's terrible wrath upon the proud.

Pride is very odious in the sight of men : therefore it often borrows the mask of humility to obtain its ends : but it is always odious to God, who sees the most intimate workings of it in the beart. A proud man is an enemy to the more excellent and worthy: he is pleased with the vices and infelicities of others, as they afford an advantage to exalt himself above them, and grieved at their virtues and happiness which render them more valuable than himself.

Pride is the parent of contention : it exasperates the sense of a small offence, puts an edge upon anger, and has often afforded tragical subjects, that have filled the scenes with tears and blood. Humility produces patience: for it makes a man lower in his own eyes, than he is in the opinion of others. Pride treats others with contempt and censure, and thereby provokes them to turn reverence into despising, and love into hatred : when a proud man falls into misery, he is the least lamented.

That the cure of this lust is very difficult, will be evident by a variety of considerations.

Pride is the sin to which angels and men in their best state were peculiarly liable. The angels intermitting the vision of the divine glory, and reflecting upon their excellencies, were intoxicated with self-admiration. It is strange to amazement, that they should so suddenly unlearn their natures, and disclaim their Maker, who had prevented them with his excellent benefits, and raised them to that bright eminence above other creatures. Man in the state of unstained innocence, when all perfections of body and mind entered into his composition, with all his luminaries and graces, was corrupted by pride. “ You shall be like gods," was the temptation that corrupted him. Prodigious disorder! His pride begins when his true glory ends : and his humility ends when his shame begins.

In the depraved nature of man, pride is the radical reigning sin, that first lives and last dies. It is called “the pride of life.” Pride springs up in the heart of a child, and continues to extreme age. Other vices have their seasons, which being expired they wither and decay. Carnal pleasures change their natures, and become distasteful; but pride flourishes and grows in every age. Eccl. 12. Now it is usually in vain to give counsels of wisdom to those who are sunk into folly, the proper season is to instruct and caution, when it may be preventive of folly.

The difficulty of the cure is increased, in that like a hectic fever, it is not easily discerned till it is almost incurable. Some vices are odious from the visible matter of them, intemperance, uncleanness, and injustice, by defrauding and oppressing others; but pride is often excited and drawn forth by the same things wherein virtues are exercised, and distinguished only by the end, which is often coneealed from our own sight. The pharisee is a signal instance of this. A man may visibly despise the pomp and vanities of the world, and this may raise his esteem in the minds of real saints; and the outward practice of goodness will be productive of the praise of goodness in others: this will afford a strong temptation of pride. All the operations of virtues, even the exercise of humility, that are the matter and argument of praise, may be incentives of pride ; and those diseases are extremely dangerous, which are nourished by that food that is necessary to support life. The old serpent when he cannot seduce men by carnal temptations, which are easily discovered, inspires with so soft a breath the opinion of their own virtues, that they are insensibly tainted.

The desire of external honour and power beyond what they

deserve to be desired, and what is due to the persons desirous of them, is not easily discovered : partly, in that the aspiring after dignity is, in the universal consent of men, an argument and indication of a sublime spirit ; whereas the modest refusal of it, exposes to infamy, as if the refuser had a leaden soul, whose body is rather its sepulchre than its instrument: and the heart is the arch deceiver, the most partial parasite, and its natural falseness is fomented by the artificial flatteries of servile spirits. Every man is a stranger to himself; as the eye sees things without, but is blind as to seeing itself. Men study to know more of others than of themselves, and therefore know less.

In curing the diseases of the soul, we are directed by the method of curing the diseases of the body; which is sometimes by medicines contrary to their nature, and sometimes by those which are like to it. The feverish heat is not only quenched by cooling juleps, but by cordials that fortify the vital heat, which consumes the peccant humours that foment the fever.

1. Consider those things which may allay the tumour of pride and vanity. Reason is the perfection of man, and the knowledge of God and ourselves is the perfection of reason: from hence proceeds the magnifying God, and vilifying ourselves.

God is the eternal Jehovah, “ and there is none besides him.” He alone has an independent and infinite existence. All other things are from his efficiency : every spark of life, and degree of being is from him. Without the least strain of his power he made the world, and as easily upholds it. All created things have but an appearance and show of being, in him alone is the solidity and stability of being for ever. He dwells in light unapproachable, not only to mortal eyes, but to the immortal angels. He is the only wise, and good, and immortal Being. In the present state, great and small are not words of absolute but comparative signification, with respect to the various conditions of men ; as one pearl is called great respectively to another, though small in itself: but there is none absolutely great but God, who is truly infinite. In heaven, where the blessed spirits have the most immediate and fullest view of the Deity, “ the Lord alone is exalted.”

2. Consider that the whole world intellectual and sensible, compared to God, is but as the drop of the bucket, and the dust of the balance :" and what part are we of that drop and dust? If we consider men in the state of primitive nature, it is an evident principle written in their hearts, with characters of the clearest light, that it is their most reasonable duty, entirely to renounce themselves, and to devote themselves to the glory of God: but if we consider them as creatures and sinners, that can assume nothing as their own, but their sins and miseries, the penal consequents of them; this will humble us below the brutes, who never transgressed the order of their creation. We are less than the least “ of all God's mercies," and our sins deserve the heaviest of his judgments.

Consider the men that most excel others, are as naked of natural good, as destitute of moral and spiritual good as others. “Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights :" and as those are the best gifts that come from him in that notion, so they are most depending upon him, and are continued by irradiations from him. There is a difference between the impressions of sounds, and the emanations of light in the air. Sounds are propagated by successive motion from one part of space into another, after the first cause, the sounding instrument is silent. But a line of light extended through the air, depends entirely and necessarily upon the original point of light from whence it proceeds. The rays of light that fill the air, in the first instant that the sun withdraws from the horizon, all vanish. Thus all spiritual gifts depend continually upon the influxive presence of God. Now how can we be proud of his most precious gifts, of which we make a forfeiture and cannot possess without humility? The most eminent advantages which some have above others, are the shining marks of his bounty. How absurd is it for one to boast of wealth, who daily lives upon alms ? The more we receive, the higher are our obligations, and the more heavy will be our account. The mind is darkened with the thickest dregs of ignorance that no light can penetrate, that arrogates the honour of his free favours, and bountiful hand to the creature.

To be more instructive, let us consider what are the usual incentives of pride, and we shall discover that ignorance and vanity are always mixed with them.

Women, by men's wretched idolizing them, are vainly proud of their beauty, and more jealous lest their faces be deformed than their souls. Now what is flesh and blood, but a mixture of earth and water? What is beauty, a superficial appearance, a flower blasted by a thousand accidents ? How soon are the colours and charms of the face vanished ? How often does it betray them to those sins, that are signally punished with the foulest deformity and rottenness? The most beautiful are not less mortal than others: they must shortly be the prey of death, and pasture of worms, and can such a fading toy inspire pride into them ? · Some are swelled with the conceit of their riches : but this is very unreasonable, for no external accession can add real value to a person, fools only worship a golden calf. If any air of pride rises in a rich possessor, it may as justly provoke God to recal his blessings as he liberally bestowed them. · Others presume upon the nobility of their extraction; but whoever our more immediate parents be, if we ascend in our thoughts, we must come to our grand progenitor Adam, the son of the earth, and fountain of mankind. All are streams from him ; if some slide along in the low grounds, and some are received in marble repositories, they all flow from the same original. How often do the honourable tarnish the colour and lustre of their blood by degenerous actions ? How often are the rich and great forsaken of their dependants, and only attended by a train of miseries, maintained by their expences ? Such revolutions are not more strange than eclipses are to the moon.

Some are raised to the height of secular honour; and there is nothing sends up more hot, fuming, and intoxicating spirits, than sovereign power. Humility in a state of the highest honour, is a very rare virtue. But there are many things, which duly considered, will lower the train of pride even in kings. The pre-eminence of external order, is seldom joined with the pre-eminence of inherent excellencies. How many wear royal crowns, that are slaves to their lusts, and govern others who cannot govern themselves ? Besides, there is no height and eminence upon earth, but is encompassed with precipices and perils. The throne leaves some, and all must leave the throne. The greatest monarchs, and the most proud of their greatness, must descend into the grave, without their sceptres and Aatterers, and be confined to a dark solitude, where they shall have no other state or carpets, but the worms to cover them, and corruption under them. There is but one kingdom that cannot be shaken, and one immortal King. In the next world, they must

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