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af but resign up ourselves, and all our cares, to the good pleasure

of God, and the disposal of his wise providence; and leave it

to him, who made the world, to govern it ; for no doubt he es understands it much better than we.


I. Humility, or submission to the will of God. II. Dependence

on God.' III. Of Pride. IV. Of Sincerity. v. Honour due to God. VI. In his House. VII. By Prayer. VIII. In bis Ministers. IX. In keeping the Lord's day. X. In observing the Feasts and XI. Fasts, of the Church.


di IT TUmility and lowliness of mind is an entire resignation

N1 to the will of God; and dependence upon

him in all dangers that relate either to our bodies or Humility, his fouls: consisting in the true knowledge of our

felves, and the understanding our own weak and sinful con-
dition, taking to ourselves the shame and confusion due to our
follies; and giving God the glory of all the good we receive,
or are enabled to do. For he who desires to be truly humble,
and cloathed with humility, must avoid the publication of his
own praises, or to beg the praises of others, by giving them a
handle to commend him : must not place too much pleasure
and satisfaction in hearing the good things that are said of him,
because they are often rather the effect of civility, than what
we deserve : Must do nothing on purpose to draw the eyes
and good opinion of men, but purely to please God: Must
bear the reproaches, the injuries and affronts of bad men
with patience and meekness, the reproofs of friends with
thankfulness : Must not contemn others, tho' inferior to him
in some advantages of body or mind, but be ready to give them
that honour and praise they justly deserve : Must pity and
strive to reform the sins and follies of his fellow-christians, it

being the effect of God's grace that he is not overcome by the Es lame temptations : Muft carry himself with great respect to




all superiors, with courtesy and affability to all inferiors, and submit to the lowest offices for the service of his neighbour: Must receive from the hands of God all afflictions and trials without murmuring against his justice, as an offender under the hand of justice. So that

The submission of a christian consists in a firm Submislica to God's perswasion of mind, that nothing happens to us

but by the will and permission of God. That he Disposals and loves us better than we do ourselves, and knows commands.

balance the best methods of making us happy. And that therefore we should be content in every state and condition of life, let whatever befal us, how contrary soever to our own inclinations; and how much soever contradicting those proposals of happiness and enjoyment which we have framed within our own breasts. And,

II. The dependence of a christian upon God, Dependance consists in expecting in all dangers temporal and on God.

spiritual, by a serious and diligent discharge of our own duty, relief of his almighty power,

wer, which is able to help us; and from his infinite goodness which has promised to affist us : And therefore not to disquiet ourselves with the dismal foresight of dangers and calamities that may never happen; or if they do, may, by the aliistance of God's Holy Spirit, turn to our real benefit

Both which parts of christian humility are pers How per- fected by a contempt of the world. And the confected.

tempt of the world is shewn by looking on all worldly enjoyments as little and inconsiderable, in comparison of that happiness which God hath prepared for those that love him. In being content with that portion of the good things of this life, which the wise providence of God hath allotted to our share ; without purchasing the enjoyment of them by the committing of any wilful lin; without being anxiously concerned for the increase of them, or extreamly depreffed when they make themselves wings and fly away : in a moderate use of all those lawful pleasures, which relate to the gratification of our senses, and Heshly appetites; as becomes persons, who expect their portion, not in the plea{ures of this world, bụt in the happiness of the next; în ą


low esteem of riches and honour ; being ready to forsake them whenever they come in competition with the perfor

mance of our duty to God: in bearing the afflictions and caen lamities of this life with patience and constancy; looking un

to Jesus, who for the joy that was set before him despised the cross; and consequently in fixing our minds upon our chiefest

good, and earnestly desiring and longing for the enjoyment at thereof.

Which humble, resigned, and depending frame of mind, is the proper disposition for devotion, and the pa

rent of religious fear. 'Tis the feed-plot of all It's fruits. On christian virtues. It makes us ready to receive the revelations

of God's will to mankind, and as careful to practise what he enjoins. It makes us greatest in the kingdom of God, either

as that supposes us to be members of Chrilt's church here upGod on earth, or our being members of the church triumphant,

an in possession of eternal happiness hereafter. for It restrains the immoderate desire of honour, by teaching en us not to exalt ourselves, nor to do any thing through strife mici qr vain-glory. It makes us rejoice in the excellencies of our the brethren, and, in fine, sincerely congratulates those abilities even that entitle them to a greater share of value and esteein than Ho we can pretend to. 1 The difficulty of this virtue proceeds from that self-love,

which is planted in our nature, and when indulBon- ged, will be too apt to deceive us in the judgment Opport

all we form concerning ourselves. And art From humility proceed many other christian virtues ; it makes us ready to believe what God reveals, and

Acknowto pay our due obedience to him, from the sense ledgeth of our own meanness and his excellency: and by God's glo removing the great hindrance of our faith; which ry.

isavanity to distinguish ourselves from the unthinking crowd. Lb How can we believe, when we receive honour one of an

other, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? It makes us put our hope and confidence in God,

Our own because being weak and miserable of ourselves,

? corruption. without him we can do nothing. It increases our love to God, by making us sensible how unworthy we are of

Opposite to



the least of those many favours we receive from him. It teaches

us to rejoice in the prosperity of our neighbour, by Teacheth the infusing the most favourable opinion of his worth. love of our

our It disposes us to relieve those wants, and compaffioneighbour.

nate those afflictions which we ourselves have deferved. It makes us patient under all the troubles and calamities of life, because we have provoked God by our sins.

Neither prayers nor fasts will find acceptance, It's use and unless they proceed from an humble mind, and

our best works will stand us in little stead, if they are stained with pride and boasting of our own strength..

III. The folly of which fins appears, in that we The folly of value ourselves, very frequently upon things that pride and vain-glory. add no

add no true worth to us, that neither make us bet

ter nor wiser; that are in their own nature perishable, and of which we are notowners but stewards. Or if the things be valuable in themselves, they are God's immediate work in us; and to be proud of them is the furest way to lose them.

Hence to overlook our defects hinders us from How pre- making any further improvement, and the being vented.

posleffed with an opinion we deserve more than we have, eats out all the pleasure of our present enjoyments. Befides, the proud man misses the very end he aimed at, for instead of honour and applause, he meets with contempt and Thame. Therefore

The way to avoid pride and to attain to humiliOvercome.

ome ty, is to remember that all the advantages, we enjoy either of body or mind, above others, are not the effect of our merit, but of God's bounty: That those whom we are apt to contemn, are valuable in the sight of God, the only fountain of true honour: That by having consented to fin, we have committed the most shameful action imaginable, the most contrary to justice and right reason, and to all sort of decency; and that as long as we are cloathed with flesh and blood, we are still liable to the fame offences against the majesty of heaven and earth: To suppress all proud and vain thoughts when they first arise in our minds, and especially never to suffer them to take possession of our imagination: To

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keep a constant watch over our words and actions, that we may check the first inclinations to pride and vain-glory. And.

IV. Again, without sincerity it is impossible for us to make our obedience acceptable to God, integrity of mind

Of fincerity. being the highest character and commendation of a good man. It implies both the reality of our in- Why neceltention in God's service, or our performing it truly lary. for God's fake, as we pretend to do; and also the uncorruptnels of it, or our performing it for his fake more than for any thing else whatsoever ; and without any regard to any other advantages of our own, but such as are allowed by God. And

The most certain rule to examine our sincerity by, is the integrity of our obedience. For he that

Examined. obeys God at all times, and in all instances, cannot but serve him in spirit and in truth. And the best method to attain that sincerity which is so neceffary in God's

How to be

S attained. service, is to consider that all our religious actions" are of no value in the sight of God, except they are performed with a respect to his authority, and out of obedience to his holy will; and that by designing other by-ends, as our own profít, or the praise of men, we lose our title to that reward which he has promised. To poffefs ourselves likewise with the belief of God's presence always with us; that allour ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and that he pondereth all our goings : which with devout prayer for his assistance, will keep us upright before him, designing God'sglory as the great scope of our actions.

So that a studious concern to approve ourselves to him in our whole conduct, is necessary to promote true godliness. This is a temper arising from the consideration of God, as the being with whom principally we have to do; by whose sentence, not only our present lot must be ordered, but our condition to all eternity. We should be concerned for his approbation in all things, because he constantly observes all our actions, and sees the secrets of our hearts. It should be a frequent turn of thought with us, thou, O God, feest me ; thou understandest my thoughts afar off; there is not a word in my tongue, but thou knowest it altogether : And therefore,

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