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turbed by a thousand events, it is evident, that thou art not yet “ crucified to the world, nor the world to "thee.”
10. Nothing entangles and defiles the heart of man so much, as the inordinate and impure love of the creatures : but if thou canst abandon the hope of consolation in the enjoyments of earthly and sensual life, thou wilt soon be able to contemplate the glory and blessedness of the heavenly state ; and wilt frequently partake of that spiritual consolation, which the world can neither give nor take away.
OF HUMBLE SUBMISSION TO REPROOF AND
1. REGARD not much what man is for thee, nor what against thee ; but let it be thy principal care and concern, that God inay be with thee in every purpose and action of thy life. Keep thy conscience pure, and God will be thy continual defence; and him whom God defends, the malice of man hath no power to hurt. If thou hast learned to suffer in silent and persevering patience, thou shalt certainly see the salvation of the Lord: he knoweth the properest season of thy deliverance, and will administer the most effectual means to accomplish it ; and to his blessed will thou shouldst always be absolutely resigned. It is the prerogative of God, to give help under every trouble, and deliverance froin all dishonour.
2. It is useful for preserving the humility of our spirit, that other men should know and should reprove
our manifold transgressions: and in cases of injury among trethren, the more humble the acknowledge ment of the offence is, the more effectually will the offended person be appeased and reconciled.
3. The humble man God protects and delivers: the humble he loves and comforts; to the humble he condescends; on the humble he bestows more abundant measures of his grace, and after his humiliation exalts him to glory; to the humble he reveals the mysteries of redemption, and sweetly invites and powerfully draws him to himself. The humble man, though surrounded with the scorn and reproach of the world, is still in peace; for the stability of his peace. resteth not upon the world, but upon
God. 4. Do not think that thou hast made any progress towards perfection, till thou feelest that thouart" less than the least of all” human beings.*
NOTE. * As a demand so mortifying to the pride of human virtue will be more generally ascribed to the influence of the malignant gloom of a cloister, than to the dictates of The SPIRIT OF TRUTH; I have selected the following passage from “ The Rev. Mr. Law's Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life;" in which the obligations to the humility here required are considered upon right principles, and determined with a power of demonstration peculiar to the writings of that excellent divine.
“ After this general consideration of the guilt of sin, which has done so much mischief to your nature, and exposed it to so great punishment; and made it so odivus to God, that nothing less than so great an
atonement of the Son of God, and so great repentance of our own, can restore us to the Divine favour :
« Consider next your own particular share in the guilt of sin. And if you would know with what zeal you ought to repent yourself, consider how you would exhort another sinner to repentance : and what repentance and amendment you would expect from him, whom you judged to be the greatest sinner. in the world.
“ Now this case every man may justly reckon to be his own.
And you may fairly look upon yourself to be the greatest sinner that you know in the world.
“For though you may know abundance of people to be guilty of some gross sins, with which you cannot charge yourself; yet you may justly condemn yourself, as the greatest sinner that you know. And that for these following reasons :
“First, Because you know more of the folly of your own heart, than you do 'of other people's; and can charge yourself with various sins, that you only know of yourself, and cannot be sure that other sinners are guilty of them. So that as you know more of the folly, the baseness, the pride, the deceitfulness and negligence of your own heart, than you do of any one's else, 80 you have just reason to.consider yourself as the greatest sinner that you know; because you know more of the greatness of your own sins, than you do of other people's.
“ Secondly, The greatness of our guilt arises chiefly from the greatness of God's goodness towards us ; from the particular graces, and blessings, the favonrs, the lights and instructions that we have received from him. . “Now as these graces and blessings, and the multitude of God's favours towards us, are the great ag
gravations of our sins against God, so they are only known to ourselves. And, therefore, every sinner knows more of the aggravations of his own guilt, than he does of other people's; and consequently may justly look upon himself to be the greatest sinner that he knows.
“ How good God has been to other sinners, what light and instruction he has vouchsafed to them, what blessings and graces they have received from him, how often he has touched their hearts with holy inspirations, you cannot tell. But all this you know of yourself ; therefore you know greater aggravations of your own guilt, and are able to charge yourself with greater ingratitude than you can charge upon other people.
.,66 And this is the reason, why the greatest saints have in all ages condemned themselves as the greatest sinners ; because they knew some aggravations of their own sins, which they could not know of other people's.
“ The right way, therefore, to fill your heart with true contrition, and a deep sense of your own sins, is this : You are not to consider or compare the outward form, or course of your life, with that of other people's ; and then think yourself to be less sinful than they, because the outward course of your life is less sinful than theirs :
“ But in order to know your own guilt, you must consider your own particular circumstances ; your health, your sickness, your youth or age, your particular calling, the happiness of your education, the degrees of light and instruction that you have received, the good men that you have conversed with, the admonitions that you have had, the good books that you
have read, the numberless multitude of Divine bles. sings, graces, and favours that you have received, the good motions of grace that you have resisted, the resolutions of amendment that you have often broken, and the checks of conscience that you have disregarded.
« For it is from these circumstances, that every one is to state the measure and greatness of his own guilt. And as you know only these circumstances of your own sins, so you must necessarily know how to charge yourself with higher degrees of guilt, than you can charge upon other people. God Almighty knows greater sinners, it may be, than you are ; because he sees and knows the circumstances of all men's sins : but your own heart, if it is faithful to you, can discover no guilt 80 great as your own ; because it can only see in you those circumstances, on which great part of the guilt of sin is founded.
“ You may see sins in other people, that you cannot charge upon yourself; but then you know a number of circumstances of your own guilt, that you cannot lay to their charge.
“And perhaps, that person that appears at such a distance from your virtue, and so odious in your eyes, would have been much better than you are, had he been altogether in your circumstances, and receive ed all the same favours and graces from God that you have.
“This is a very humbling reflection, and very proper for those people to make, who measure their virtue, by comparing the outward course of their lives with that of other people's. For look at whom you will, , however different from you in his way of life, yet you can never know that he has resisted so much Divine Grace as you have ; or that, in all your circumstan