Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Tbe Vanity of.the ,WorTd. .and Chiof of the World, that knot that God hath tied between Heaven and Earth, that Sacred Band of Time wjrh Eternity: If we confider the Frame and Compofure of all thcfc things in themfelves, or their ufefulncfs and fubferviency unto us, we .{hall be fo far fi:om branding them with Vanity, that unlefs our C?ntemplations lead us from natural things to the Great God who formed them, we tmght rather fear left their beauty and Excellency Ihould inviegle us, as it did the Heathen, to look no .further for a Deity, but worlhip t hem as Gods. . . Secondly· There is nothing va in in refpeCl: of God the Creator. He makes hts Ends 11. Ollt 0f all;' for they all glorifie him according.t o their feveral R~nks an~ qrdct:s; and to rational :md confideratc Men, ar e moft evident Demonftrat1ons of hts mfimte Be- '"'Ex.o~ :j ~li'OIGU' ._9-,\;' '7rfiJM 'TOV (~':m 'T; l'j.MH .;',J d,· (!,(UV0~tiJVWeJ'7A.!7.p.{jd~OY'Tf(·. ?Jf~~ }2 -;"1J' I',!J.Atv cil'.ii, 1'.£(.~ 41r£Tv~ )lv~nt.l. Plut. de plaM cith PhiJor. c. 6. ing, Wifdom, and Power. In which fenfe the Apo.frle tells us, Rom. I. 20. 7-hc invijible things of God arc clearLy feen, bemg undt~{food by the things which are made, even his Etemal Power and Godhead. G1Jd bath compofed two Books by the dil igent ftudy of which we may attain to the knowledgeofHimfelf; the Book of the Crea.tures,,and the Book of the Scriptures. The Book of the Creatures IS wntten jn thofc great Letters of Heaven and Earth, the Air and Sea, and by thefe we may fpell ont fomewhat of God . He made them for our Inlhufrion, as well :1s for our Service. The leaft and vileft of them read us LeChtresof hisGlorious Attributes; nor is it any Abfurdity to. fay, That as they :Ire all the Words of his Mouth, fo they Jre all the Works of his Hand. Indeed, this Knowled;;e that the . Creatures give us of the Creatot, cannot fi1fficc to make us h:tppy, tho it may be ftlfficicnt to 111:1ke us * incxcufable. \iVe could never have collcfred from them thofe ~ Rom. '. mfitcriousDifcoveries of God which the Scriptures exhihit,and which arc fo nccelfa- :w, 11 • ry to our eternal Blifs. For what Signature is there fbmpt upon any of the Creatures of a Trinity in Unity; of the Eternal Generation, or Temporal Incarnation of the Son of God? What Creature could have informed 11s of our firft Fall, and Guilt contraB:ed by it? Or where can we find the Copy of the Covenant of Works, or of Grace printed upon any of the Creatures? All the great Sages of the World, tho) they were Nature's SecretaQes, and ranfackt its abftrnfefl: Secrets, yet all their l.earning and Knowledge could never difcovcr that Sacred Myftery of a Crucified Saviour. Thd"c arc Trut~s which Nature .and Reafon arc fa far from finding out, · that they can fcarce + recetve them when dtfcovcred. And therefore God hath ma-t 1 Cor· nifellcd them to us by the Light and Revelation of the Holy Scriptures. But yet fo 1. I+ much of God-as belongs to thofc two great Titles of Creator and Governor of the World, our Reafon may collett from created and vilible Things, running up their Confcqncnces, till they are all refolved into the firft Caufe and Origine of all. Thirdly, Therefore, All the Vanity that is in worldly things, is only in rcfpeB: of the fin and folly of Man, for thofe things arc faid to be Vain, which neither do, nor can perform what we expeB: from them. Our great Expc&ttion is Happinefs and onr great Folly is that we think to obtain it by the enjoyments of this VVorld. 'This makes Men pnrfuc Plcafi1rcs, hoard up Richesl court Honours and Preferments bccaufe they look with an over-weening conce it on thefe things, as fi1ch as can :nake them truly Hapl?Y: Whereas to feek for H~pJ?inefs among thefe worldly things, is hut to fe~k the l~vmg among the dead: yea, It ts but to fearch f~r Happinefs among thofe th111gs wluch arc the very Root and Occafion of all our M1fery. They are all of them leaky and broken Ciftcrns, and cannot hold this living Water. (a) This is it which mJkes them charged with Vanity, ~ccaufc in our perverted Fancy, we look 11pon them as ftablc, permanent, and fattsfuCt:ory, fix them as our Jour neys End which ought on ly to be ufed by us in our Paffage, and expeB: much more from the~ (.t) Ta.'e· ~1:n th~y can yi:ld,: An~ fo ind~cd the,V~nity i.s not ~o ~uch theirs as ours. . ~t;:9: T a.v9f4'mv.:uf ..f.v~H JIH'TtU c..v -rrJ 71tV7tt t»U.§eML7'i ~~a.CHv 1.!J.l t:t~6«p~. ll.pit. •pud L•ert. Jn 'Vit11 £pic~tri. There arc fame things (as (b) St. .Aufon and the (c) Schools ftom him do well di- (b) A•t· fh~gmfJ:t) wh1ch mull bt onl.Y enjoyed, other. thmgs that muft be only ufed. To (d) tkfl.Chrift. enJoy, IS to cleave to an Objet! by Love for 1ts own fake; and this belongs only tot. 1 ' · 3· God. What we (e) ufe, we refer to the obtaining of what we defire to enjoy; And £c:~.~~;: 4u~"·'· ll.q• 11· 16: D-.rrtmd I. t.d.1.q. ~ Arim.d. 1. 4· ).Ar-t.~. Altij{./. }· :r11£1. Jo, (d) Fruitfl•mfrulifui Ttl nrbnm proptlf' jirpfam. Aug. th£1, Cbri.fl.l. J• c.+ (e) Uti 11/dttnq~twl fn ujum 'IJmtrit 11d id q111d11m"' ~tintndutJt rtfme.ld.rbid. ' this