Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

An Expojition upon the much the better of himfelf, by bow much the wbrfe he thinks of others· yet this 1 fay is a Spirit) uttetly misbecoming the Sweetnefs and Mildnefs of the Gofpel, which teacheth us to be meek and gentle, forbearing one another~ and forgiving·one another. It would better become thee, O'Cbrifiian, not to obferve other Mens Falls bur to ~oak to thine own Standing! Thou flandejl by Faith ; he not bigb-minded, bur fear, Rom. u. 20. It is the worfi Way that io Excellent a Thing as Divine Grace can be perverted, when it makes thee Proud and Cenforious. For my Part I fhould much more confide iu the Security 9f an Humble Soul that creeps along to Heaven, though with a Slow, yet an Even, Pace, than in the Extatick Zeal and Fen'our of fuch who perhaps far outllrip others, but alfo contemn them: For the one is flill pi:effing forward, and regards with Admiration thofc who excel; but the other is ofren looking back with Difdain upon tbofe who are flower than himfelf; and wbilft he minds nor fo much his Way as the Advances he harh made, afters many Advantages ro the Devil to trip him up, and give him many a Sore and Shameful Fall. And therefOre, 0 ChrilHan, the more Eminent thy Graces are, the more Need haft rhou to Pray, and llrive for Humility. The Tallefi Cedars had need bavethe Deepefi Roots, otherwife the Storms and Winds will eafily 0\'ertutn them: So truly the higher any grow the more they fpread and tlourilh, being like the Cedars ofGod, beautiful in their Leaves, and plentiful in their Sap, the more need have they robe deeply roOted in Humility; or elfe believe it, the Wind and Teriipefi of Temptations, to Which they fiand more expos'd than others, will not only forely thake them, bur utterly overturn them, when thofe whom they iball defpife as mean Shrubs fh1ll lland fecure, and with a Tender Pity weep over their Fall. Stcond!y, Anorher Duty of fuch as are Eminent in Grace, is to improve it to the Benefit and Advantage of others. God hath given thee a larger Portion rhat thou fhouldfi be helpful to thy Brethren. The Stock of Grace which he hath oller'd thee is not only that thou thy felf thouldfi live well upon it, bur it was intended for the Relief and Comfort of the whole Family. Hath God endow'd thee with • Clear and Difiin£\ Knowledge of the Mylleries of the Gofpel! Know that this Lamp was lighted up in thee, that thou lhouldft give Light unto others, thar thou fbouldft diffufe and fcatter abroad its Rays round about thee, to inform the Igno-: • rant, guide the Doubting, confirm the Wavering, refolve the Scrupulous, reduce · the Erroneous, and convince the Malicious Oppofers of the Truth. This is not the Minificr's Duty only, though more cminemly, and efpecially his, but ic is the Duty of every privateChrifiian, whom God hath bleffed with a large Meafure of True Knowledge more than others, fiill keeping within his due Bounds and Limits. Ot bath the Holy Spirit kindled in thy Brea1l a Flame of Divine Affi:£\ion 1 And is it not to this End, that thou fhouldfi breathe Warmth into the Languifhing Defires of others and by Holy Conferences and Spiritual Difcourfes illufharing the Beauty of Holin~fs the Excellency of True Piety in itfelf~ and the Rewards it brings after it? Apply rhy Heavenly Fire unto rheir Chill and Freezing Hearrs, until thou haft enkindled tbem too and fct them on a flame, that fo both together might burn with Vigorous Lov'e towards God and his Chrifr. Or bath God exerci!ed thoe with Grievous Trials and Violent Temptattons ? Wherefore Js u bur that thou Ulouldft the better know how to fuccour thoti:: that are tempted; and by thine own Experiences counfeland comfort thofe who are ready to fink under their Load, which not only the Weight but the Unufualnefs. makes the more intolerable? For the greateft Accent and EmPhafis that fuch do ufually put upon their Miferies is that never any before were fo feverely affii£\:ed, never any before were fo vi?lently a!faulted. Let them know that no Temptation bath befallen ' them but .what ~~ common unto Men, and that thou thy felf hall come triumphlntly from underthe like: Expound to them the Depths and Methods of Satan, unravel his Wiles and Subtilties, ftretch out the entangled Folds of that Old and Crooked Serpent; for therefore bath God comforted you in all your Tribulations, that you might be able to comfort them who <~re troubled with the fame Comforts by which your felves have been comforted of God, as the Apo· ftle fpeaks, 2 Corinth. r. 4· Or if thou. art not fo fir either for Inftrufl:ion or Counlcl, yet at lealllet thy Graces be benefiml unto orhers by-an Holy and Exemplary Converfation; if thy Graces cannot fhine through thy Gtfts, yet at leafr let them fhine through thy Lite, that others feeing thy Good Wo1ks may give Glory to thy Heavenly Father. And therefore never complain that thou canfi not honour God in fo Noble a Way as others; that thou canfi nor fpeak nor plead for him as others dfr