Page images

of Christ, and are daily by it crucified to the world; but live to God in that life which outlives the fading fatisfactions of it.


. 1. The character of a proud man: a glutlona upon himself : is proud of his pedigree. S. 2. He is infolent and quarrelsome, but cowardly, yet cruel, S. 3. An ill child, subject, and servant. l. 4. Unhofpitable. 8. 5. No friend to any. S: 6. Dangerous and mischievous in power. $. 7. Of all things, pride bad in ministers. f. 8. They claim prerogative above others. §. 9. And call themselves the clergy: their lordliness and avarice. $. 10. Death swallows all. $. 11. The way to escape these evils.

S. I. To conclude this great head of pride, let us briefly fee, upon the whole matter, what is the character of a proud man in himself, and in divers relations and capacities. A proud man then is a kind of glutton upon himself ; for he is never satisfied with loving and admiring himself; whilst nothing else, with him, i3, worthy either of love or care: if good enough to be the servant of his will, it is as much as he can find in his heart to allow : as if he had been only made for himself, or rather that he had made himfelf. For as he despises man

because he cannot abide an equal, fo he does not love God, because he would not have a superior: he cannot bear to owe his being to another, lest he should thereby acknowledge one above himself. He is one that is mighty big with the honour of his ancestors, but not of the virtue that brought them to it; much less will he trouble himself to imitate them. He can tell you of his pedigree, his antiquity, what estate, what matches; but forgets thas they are gone, and that he must die too.

§. II. But how troublesome a companion is a proud man! Ever pofitive and controuling; and if you yield not, insolent and quarrelsome : yet at the upshot of the matter, cowardly : but if strongest, cruel. He has no bowels for adverfity, as if it were below him to be fenfible: he feels no more of other men's miseries, than if he was not a man, or it was a fin to be fenfible. For not feeling himself interested, he looks no further; he will not disquiet his thoughts with other men's infelicities; it shall content bim to believe they are just ; and he had rather chur. lishly upbraid them as the cause, than be ready to commiferate or relieve them.

So that coinpaffion and charity are with him as useless, as humility and meekness are hateful.

$. III. A proud man makes an ill child, fervant, and subject; he contemns his parents, maiter, and prince; he will not be subject. He thinks himself too wise, or too old, to be dirteted; as if it were a flavish thing to obey ; and that none were free, that may not do what they pleafe; which turns duty out of doors, and

- 2des authority. On the other hand,

if he be an husband, or father, or master, there is scarcely any enduring: he is fo insufferably curious and testy, that it is an affliction to live with him ; for hardly can any hand carry it even enough to please him. Some peccadillo about his clothes, his diet, his lodging, or attendance, quite disorders him: but especially if he fancies any want of the state and respect he looks for. Thus pride destroys the nature of relations : on the one fide, it learns to contemn duty; and on the other fide, it turns love into fear, and makes the wife a servant, and the children and servants flaves.

$. IV. But the proud man makes an ill neighbour too; for he is an enemy to hospitality : he despises to receive kindness, because he would not ihew any, nor be thought to need it. Besides, it looks too equal and familiar for his haughty humour. Emulation and detraction are his element: for he is jealous of attributing any praise to others, where juft ; left that should cloud and lessen him, to whom it never could be due: he is the man that fears, what he should wish, to wit, That others fhould do well. But that is not all; he maliciously mifcalls their acts of virtue, which his corruptions will not let him imitate, that they may get no credit by them. If he wants any occasion of doing mischief, he can make one : either they use him ill; or have some design upon him ; the other day they paid him not the cap and knee; the distance and respect he thinks his quality, parts, or merits do require. A small thing serves a proud man to pick a quarrel; of all creatures the most jealous, fullen, spiteful and revengeful : he can no more forgive an injury, than forbear to do one.

$. V. Nor is this all : a proud man can never be a friend to any body. For besides that his ambition may always be bribed by honour and preferment to beträy that relation, he is unconversable; he must not be catechised and counselled, much less reproved or contradicted: no, he is too covetous of himself to spare another man a share, and much too high, ftiff, and touchy: he will not away with those freedoms that a real friendship requires. To say true, he contemns the character; it is much too familiar and humble for him: his mighty soul would know nothing besides himself and vassals to stock the world. He values other men as we do cattle, for their service only; and, if he could, would use them fo; but as it happens, the number and force are unequal.

S. VI. But a proud man in power is very mischievous; for his pride is the more dangerous by his greatness, since from ambition in private men, it becomes tyranny in him: it would reign alone; ray, live fo, rather than have competitors : Aut Cæfar, aut nullus. Reason must not check it, nor rules of law limit it; and either it can do no wrong, or it is fedition to complain of the wrong that it does. The men of this temper would have nothing thought amiss they do'; at least, they count it dangerous to allow it to be so, though so it be; for that would imply they had erred, which it is always matter of state to deny : 10, they

will rather chuse to perish obstinately, than by acknowledging, yield away the reputation of better judging to inferiors, though it were their prudence to do so. And indeed, it is all the fatisfaction that proud great men make to the world for the miseries they often bring upon it, that, first or last, upon a division, they leave their real interest to follow some one excess of humour, and are almost ever destroyed by it. This is the end pride gives proud men, and the ruin it brings upon them, after it has punished others by them,

$. VII. But above all things, pride is intolerable in men pretending to religion; and, of them, in ministers; for they are names of the greatest contradiction. I speak without respect, or anger, to persons or parties; for I only touch upon the bad of all. What shall pride do with religion, that rebukes it? Or ambition with ministers, whofe very office is humility? And yet there are but too many of them, that, besides an equal guilt with others in the fleshly pride of the world, are even proud of that name and office, which ought always to remind them of self-denial. Yea, they use it as the beggars do the name of God and Christ, only to get by it: placing to their own account the advantages of that reverend profession, and thereby making their function but a political handle to raise themselves to the great preferments of the world. But, О then ! how can such be his ministers, that said, My kingdom is not of this world ?a

« PreviousContinue »