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to live answerable to his mercies ; but on the contrary, live without God in the world, ful. filling the lusts thereof; his hand is often seen, either in impoverishing or extinguishing them, and raising up men of more virtue and humility to their estates and dignity. However, I must allow, that among people of this rank, there have been some of them of more than ordinary virtue, whose examples have given light to their families. And it has been something natural for some of their descendants, to endeavour to keep up the credit of their houses, in proportion to the merit of their founder. And to fay true, if there be any advantage in such descent, it is not from blood, but education: for blood has no intelligence in it, and is often spurious and uncertain ; but education has a mighty influence, and strong bias upon the affections and actions of men. In this the ancient nobles and gentry of this kingdom did excel : and it were much to be wished, that our great people would set about to recover the ancient economy of their houses, the strict and virtuous discipline of their ancestors, when men were honoured for their atchievements, and when nothing more exposed a man to shame, than his being born to a nobility that he had not a virtue to support.
§. VIII. O, but I have an higher motive! The glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, which having taught this northern ifle, and all ranks professing to believe in it, let me prevail upon you to seek the honour that it has brought from heaven, to all the true disciples of it, who are indeed the followers of God's Lamb, that takes away the sins of the world. Receive with meekness his gracious word into your hearts, that subdues the word's lusts, and leads in the holy way to blessedness. Here are charms no carnal eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor heart perceived, but they are revealed to such humble converts by his spirit. Remember you are but creatures, and that you must die, and after all be judged.
§. IX. But personal pride ends not in nobility of blood; it leads folks to a fond value of their persons, be they noble or ignoble; especially if they have any pretence to shape or beauty. It is admirable to see, how much it is poflible for fome to be taken with themselves, as if nothing else deserved their regard, or the good opinion of others. It would abate their folly, if they could find in their hearts to spare but half the time to think of God, and their latter end, which they most prodigally spend in washing, perfuming, painting, patching, attiring, and dressing. In these things they are precise, and very artificial ; and for cost they spare not. But that which aggravates the evil is, the pride of one might comfortably supply the need of ten. Gross impiety that it is, that a nation's pride should not be spared to a nation's poor! But what is this for at last? Only to be admired, to have reverence, draw love, and command the eyes and affections of beholders. And so fantastic are they in it, as hardly to be pleased too. Nothing is good, or fine, or
John i. 29.
fashionable enough for them : the sun itself, the blesling of heaven, and comfort of the carth, must not shine upon them, left it tan them; nor the wind blow, for fear it fhould disorder them. O impious nicety! Yet while they value themselves above all else, they make themselves the vassals of their own pride; worshipping their fhape, feature, or complexion, whichsoever is their excellency. The end of all which, is but too often to excite unlawful love, which I call luft, and draw one another into as miserable as evil circumstances : in single persons it is of ill consequence; for if it does not awaken unchaste defires, it lays no foundation for folid and lasting union: the want of which, helps to make so many unhappy marriages in the world: but in married people the sin is aggravated; for they have none of right to please, but one another; and to affect the geiety and vanity of youth, is an ill sign of loving and living well at home: it looks rather like dressing for a market. It has fad effects in families : discontents, partings, duels, poifonings, and other infamous murders. No age can better tell us the sad effects of this sort of pride, than this we live in; as, how exceffive wanton, so how fatal it has been to the fobriety, virtue, peace, and health of families in this kingdom.
f. X. But I must needs fay, that of all creatures, this sort of pride does least become the old and homely, if I may call the ill-favoured and deformed so; for the old are proud only of what they had, which shews to their re
proach, their pride has out-lived their beauty, and, when they should be a repenting, they are making work for repentance. But the homely are yet worse, they are proud of what they never had, nor never can have: nay, their perfons seem as if they were given for a perpetual humiliation to their minds; and to be proud of them, is loving pride for pride's fake, and 10 be proud, without a temptation to be proud. And yet in my whole life, I have observed nothing more doting on itself: A' strange infatuation and inchantment of pride! What! Not to see right with their eyes, because of the partiality of their minds? This self-love is blind indeed. But to add expence to the vanity, and to be costly upon that which cannot be mended, one would think they should be downright mad; especially if they consider, ihat they look the homelier for the things that are thought handsome, and do but thereby draw their deformity more into notice, by that which does so little become them.
But in such persons follies we have a specimen of man; what a creature he is in his lapse from his primitive image. All this, as Jesus said of fin of old, comes from within ;' that is, the disregard that man and woman have to the word of their Creator in their hearts;' which shews pride, and teaches hue mility, and self-abafeinent, and directs the mind to the true object of honour and worship; and that with an awe and reverence suitable to his sovereignty and majesty. Poor mortals! But
• Mat. XV. 11, 18, 19, 20. I Dept. xxx. 34. Rom. x. 8.
living dirt! Made of what they tread on: who, with all their pride, cannot secure themselves from the spoil of sickness, much less from the stroke of death! O! did people consider the inconstancy of all visible things, the cross and adverse occurrences of man's life, the certainty of his departure, and eternal judgment, it is to be hoped they would bring their deeds to Christ's light in their hearts, and they would see if they were wrought in God or no, as the beloved disciple tells us from his dear Master's mouth. Art thou shapely, comely, beautiful ; the exact draught of an human creature ? Admire that power that made thee fo. Live an harmonious life to the curious make and frame of thy creation; and let the beauty of thy body teach thee to beautify thy mind with holiness, the ornament of the beloved of God. Art thou homely or deformed ? magnify that goodness that did not make thee a beast, and with the grace that is given unto thee, for it has appeared unto all, learn to adorn thy soul with enduring beauty. Remember, the King of heaven's daughter, the church, of which true Christians are members, is all glorious within. And if thy foul excel, thy body will only set off the lustre of thy mind. Nothing is homely in God's fight but fin: and that man and woman, that commune with their own. hearts, and sin not; who, in the light of holy Jesus, watch over the movings and inclinations of their own souls, and that suppress every evil in its conception; they love the yoke and cross
John iii. 20, 21.