Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Fifth Commandment. If thou liveft ro him, thou plead ell: fOr him; for certainly an Holy Life is a much better Commendarion of Holinefs; than all the Elaborate Encomiums bf Art a nd Rhe · rorick. Thefe are the Duties of thof~ that excel in Grace. As for others their Duty is, Firj/, Highly ro love and efleem thofew~ofe Graces are more Eminent and Confpi· cuous. God is the Comprehenfive and Ulumate ObJeU of our L.ov~ _and Veneration; and therefore the nearer any Creature approacherh to the SimJluude o f God the more ought we to efieem and prize it. Now God is not more lively repre~ fented in any Thing than in the Holinefs of his Saints. This is the mo rt Perfe8: PortraiElure and Image of him who bath fliled himfelf the Holy One of Ifrae/, They are Begotten of God, made Partakers of the Divine N:uure, and Conformed unto his Image : And therefore as we would adore this Glorious Attribute of God in its Infinite Original, iO we ought to efieem and venerate ir in thefe Happy Souls, to whom God hath communi.cated fOme Rays and StriEl:ures of h. Every one that loved bim tbat begat, loved him aifo that is begorten of him, faith the Apofile, I J ohn 5· J. hecauft! of the Likenefs he bears to his Heavenly Father; and the more exprefs this Refemhlance is, the more intenfe, and rhe more endearing, fhould our Affi:E \:ions be. We ought w aflOciare with them, to make them our Bofom-ftiends, our Confidenrs, and our Companions; our Delight fhould be in the Saints, and in the Excelle nt On~s of the Earth, asDavidprofelfet h hisrohave been, Pfal. ra. l· Sfcondly, Another Duty is Imitation of their Holy Examples, and following of them wherein they follow the Lord Chrirt. If thou feeft others !at outftrip the e, mend thy Pace, endeavour to ovenake them, tread in the fi!me Steps, and do thy very ut~ malt eo keep evt:n with them; envy not their Graces, but be fure ro emulate them. Indeed fome there are who, that they might not feem to be behind the Be lt, prove Hindrances and Pull-backs to them, left the Forwardnefs of their Zeal and Pie ty lhould be a Reproach to their own Sloth; like TruantS at School, wholeft their Fellows fbould get too much befOre them, do what they can to emice them fi'om their Books. But this is a mort Wicked Envy, and rhe Root of it is Pride and Lazinefs. But an Holy Emulation never repines ar, or hinders, the Proficiency of others, it rather would by all Means promote it ; hut only it will put us upon Endeavours ro be as fOrward as any: It will not be a Curb to them, but a Spur ro us. And fuch an Emulation as this every True Chriflian fhould highly cherilh: For the Shame of being outftripp'd is as great an Incentive as any can be given unto Venue. ChrHHans are like a Company of Men running in a Race, every one fhould Chive and fhain every Nerve and Siuew to be fir(! at the Goal, the firfl that (hould lay hold on the Prize and Reward: And here be fure you fet your Pattern right; take not the moO: Noifie and Airy Chriflians who glory in Talk and Cenfures; take not one who ba th an Af. f<tlation of being Religious after a New Mode and Fafhion; take not one who foeks to raife aFame fOr Piety only, by decrying or condemning this or that Form of Profeffion; and who, if there were no Differences among us, would lofe very much of his Reputation for San£1:ity : For thefe are only Torrents that run with a violent Sueam; bur they are fhallow, and we know not how foon they may grow dry and decei\'e the Hopes of thofe who come to refi'erh themfelves at them. But propou~d thofe to your felves for Example, who are of Fix,d Principhs and Sober Praa!ce s, who are Grave and Solid, and in all the Dmics that belong to a Chrifiian Converfarion, labour to do them fubftantially rather than oftcnratioully ; that live within God and themfel..,, that have Deep Thoughts and Solid Expreffioos of them; an d whofe At\ions are fuitable and correfpondent to both. Such an one is the Chriflia n indeed; aod fuch (for fome fuch there are) I recommend to you for your Imitatio n. And yet theriis no Man that walks fo uprightly but that fometimes he fleps awry: 1\nd therefore be not led by a Blind and Implicit Adherence to them, but continuall y eye the Rule; and wherein foever they forfake that, be they Apoflles, yea, or if it were pof. fible, even Angels thernfelves, therein forfake them. , And thus much for theMutual Duties ofSuperiors and InferiorsJin refpe.:l ofGra ce. Let us next confider them in refpell of the Gifrs ofGod's Common Bounty, which he promifcuoully diflributes both to the Good arid to tl!e Bad ; I fhall bu t briefly mention them unto you. God's Gifts of Providence may refpeEl either the ir Perfons, or elfe their Ourw1rd Efrate. Thofe which refpea the Perfon are either Gifis of the Mind or ofthe Body. · • Firjf,