Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

r . 2. An Expofttion upon the Firjl, Th~fe who excel in Gifis of the Mind, in Knowledge and Wifdom ar.d Parrs, a Profound Judgment, or a Winning Elocution~ f:Jc. tb~y ought w im,prove thefe to the Good and Advantage of others; not as Acbitopbel did his Pvli rick C~unfd) or T_ertulhu h!s Flarrering Orawry, to oppreH Righr ar.d Fquiry, hut ro gutde and adVIfe tor the Benefit of Mankind, and the Gloty of God. For the le Gilt< though they are not fantlifying, yet mJy be very fervictable to the Church. liir11m,' though he were. a Stranger w .rh: Com.monwealrh of Jjrael, ytr pro\•ided many Excell<nt Matertals for the Butldmg of the Temple. So God doth m1ny Tim, s imbellirh thofe who are Srrangers to him with many Admirable Ornaments of Under· fl:anding and Learning, and makes ufe of the Mareiials which they havt prepa red and laid in for the Edification of his Church. And as Noah employ'd many to build his Ark, who were themfelves overwhdm'd in the Dduge; fo God many Times employs fuch as thefe to build his Ark, the Church, who yet may at lla be fwept away with the Dduge of his Wrath, and drown'd in Perdition : Thtf!! tho' they !hould polro!i fuch Gifis without any SanElifying and Sav ing Gnce, yer are they very Confiderable Men; and our Duty is to cfteem and reverence them, to lov ~:: their Excell~ncies1 and ro encl)urage their Labours, to praife God for them, and pray for an Encreafe of thdr Gifts. How much more rhen, when their Narural and i\cquir'd Endowments are conjoin'd with Slnaif}'ing Grace, and the Love ofrht: Trmh dorh as much polftfs their Hearts as the Knowledge of it dorb their Heads? lr is a S'adid Bafenefs to detraEl: from any Man's Worth, or extenuate his Abilides by fome Slanderous Eutsand Exceptions'pwhicb is the Difingenuous Pra8ice of many, who think ail rhat added to their own raife which they thus nibble away from another Man's. . Secondly, Another Superiority which God ,hath granted fome over others is that of Old Age, which is of itfelf reverend and awful; and we ought to givo that due Refpetl unto it wbich both Nature and the Law of God requires, Levir. 19. 32. Tboujholt ratfe up btj!Jrc the Hoary Head, and honour tbe Face of tbt Old Man, andfear thy God. God hath put a Signal Honour upon it, by llil;ng hintfelf the .dntient of Dny.r, Dan. 7. 9· and he threatens it as a greJt Judgment upon a People, I fa. 3· ) . That the Children fha/1 behave rbemfelver proudly againfl tbc Anticnl.r. We read how f~verely a Scorn caft upon an Aged P1ophet was revenged in rhoi~ Children which mock'd his Baldncfs. A Reverc:nd Awe befOre them is not only a Point of Manners, but Part ofa Moral and ExprefS Duty; and rherefOre it is hid of Elihu, Job 32. 4· that he waited rill Job had lpoken, becaufe they were elder than he:; and Vcr. 6. he f.tilh, lam Yo1mg, ami;c arr vtrJ Old, whertfore I W1u afri!id, I d11rj1 not jhew you mine Opinion. . And if filch }{efpetl and Rc.;\'crence he due unto them from others, th::y ought chiefly to reverence tbemfelves, a ~: d by Gra\•e, and Prudenr, and l!oly, AElions, to put a Crown of Glory upon rbcit own Grey Heads. They ought not to be vain and light in their Converfe, nor Children of :m Hundred Years old, nor by the Folly and Wickednefs of their Lives expofe themfeh•es to that Comempr which will certainly be caft upon them, where Age is nor accompanied with Gravity and P1udence. And therefOre we find ir, Prou. 16. 3 t. The lioary Head is a Cruum of Glory, if it be found in tht W•yuf Rightcoufnifs; otberwife inUead of being a Glory, it is but a Double Shame and Reproach. Thirdly, There is anmher Sort of the Gifts of Common Pro\'idcnce, wherein fome excel others and that is Riches and Hono.ur: Thefe the Scripture calls Farhers. Nabal, altb~ugh he were a Fool and a Cburl, yet David in his Meffages to him doth implicidy call him Father, 1 Sam. 2. 'j, 8. Gtve, I pray thee, wbatfoever com. etb umo thine Hand unro tby Servams, ar.d unto thy Son David. Their Duty is to be humble towards their Inferiors, knowing rh.at they are only External Goods, and thole the leaa confiderable of all the Stores of ·God's Bletlings, that make them to differ ffom others. And to communicate ro the Rdret ot others Neceffides, that they may be Rich in Good Works, and m:tke tbtmfdves Friends of the Mammon of Unrigbteou1heiS, that when they fail they may be receiv'd imo Everlafting Habitations: For he tha_r is Rich only in hoardi_ng and ket:ping up his Store, is no beuer to be accounted of than the Bafe Earth, wblch locks up mon: Treafure~ in irs Bowels rhan they can in thdr Chefis. And their Inferiors D ury is to p2y them all due Refpefls according to what God hath bdtowed upon them; to JCknowledge . the Riches of God in, m~~~