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been kept from doing ill by accident ; how seldom he has been able to please himself, and how often he has displeased others ; how often he has changed his counsels, hated what he loved, and loved what he hated; how often he has been enraged and transported at trifles, pleased and displeased with the very same things, and constantly changing from one vanity to another. Let a man but take this view of his own life, and he will see reason enough to confess, that pride was not made for man.
Thirdly. If to this we add the shame and guilt of sin, we shall find a still greater reason for humility.
No creature, who had lived in innocence, would have thereby any pretence for self-honour and estcem ; because, as a creature, all which it is, or has, or does, is from God, and therefore the honour of all, which belongs to it, is due to God only.
But, if a creature, who is a sinner, and under the displeasure of the great governour of all the world, and deserving nothing from him but pains and punishments for the shameful abuse of his powers ; if such a creature pretend to self-glory for
any thing, which he is, or does, he can only be said to glory in his shame.
you have by such general reflections as these convinced your mind of the reasonable- . ness of humility, you must not content yourself with this, as if you were therefore humble, because your mind acknowledges the reasonable. ness of humility, and declares against pride. But you must immediately enter yourself into the practice of this virtue, like a young beginner, who has all of it to learn, who can learn but little at a time, and with great difficulty. You must consider, that you have not only this vir, tue to learn, but that you must be content to proceed as a learner in it all your time, endeavouring after greater degrees of it, and practis- . ing every day acts of humility, as you every day practise acts of devotion.
Recommending universal love, as a subject of devotion
I NOW proceed to consider the nature and necessity of universal love. You are here called to intercession, as the most proper exercise to raise and preserve that love.
By intercession is meant a praying to God, and interceding with him for our fellow-creatures.
Our blessed lord has reconimended his love to uş, as the pattern and example of our love to one another. As therefore he is continually making intercession for us all, so ought we to intercede and pray for one another.
• A new commandment,' says he, I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. By this shall all men know, that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another.”
The newness of this precept did not consist in this, that men were commanded to love one another ; for this was an old precept, both of the law of Moses and of nature.
But it was new in this respect, that it was to imitate a new, and till then an unheard of example of love; it was to love one another, as Christ had loved us.
If men are to know, that we are disciples of Christ by thus loving one another according to his new example of love; then it is certain, that if we are void of this love, we make it as plainly known unto men, that we are none of his disciples.
There is no principle of the heart, which is more acceptable to God, than a universal fer
vent love to all mankind, wishing and praying for their happiness ; because there is no principle of the heart, which makes us more like God; who is love and goodness itself, and who created all things for their enjoyment and happiness,
The greatest idea, which we can frame of God, is, when we conceive him to be a being of infinite love and goodness, using an infinite wisdom and power for the common good and happiness of all his creatures.
The highest notion therefore, which we can form of man, is, when we conceive him as like to God in this respect, as he can be, using all his finite faculties, whether of wisdom, power, or prayers, for the common good of all his fellow. creatures ; heartily desiring, they may have all the happiness, they are capable of, and as many benefits and assistances from him, as his state. and condition in the world will permit him to give them.
On the other hand, what a baseness and iniquity are there in all instances of hatred, envy, spite, and ill-will ; if we consider, that every instance of them is so far acting in opposition to God, and intending mischief and harm to those creatures, which God favours, and protects, and preserves, in order to their happiness? An ill-natured man amongst God's creatures is the most perverse creature in the world, acting contrary to that love, by which himself subsists, and which alone gives subsistence to all that variety of beings, that enjoy life in any part of the creation.
• Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them.'
Though this is a doctrine of strict justice, yet it is only a universal love, which can comply with it. For, as love is the measure of our acting towards ourselves, so we can never act in the same manner towards other people, till we look upon them with that love, with which we look upon ourselves.
Acts of love, which proceed not from a principle of universal love, are but like acts of justice, which proceed from a heart not disposed to universal justice. A love, which is not universal, may indeed have affection, but it has nothing of righteousness nor piety in it ; it is but humour, and temper, or interest, or such a love as publicans and heathens practise.
All particular envies and spites are as plain departures from the spirit of christianity, as any particular acts of injustice. For it is as much a law of Christ to treat every body as your neigh