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Sect. 4. own vileness; or confiders the many evils of himself certainly known to himself, and the ill of others but by uncertain report: or he confiders that the evils done by another are out of much infirmity or ignorance, but his own fins are against a clearer light; and if the other had fo great helps, he would have done more good and lefs evil: or he remembers that his old fins before his converfion were greater in the nature of the thing, or in certain circumstances, than the fins of other men. (So S. Paul reckoned himself the chiefeft of finners, becaufe formerly he had acted the chiefeft fin in perfecuting the Church of God.) But this rule is to be used with this Caution, That though it be good always to think meaneft of our felves, yet it is not ever safe to fpeak it, because those circumftances and confiderations which determine thy thoughts are not known to others as to thy felf: and it may concern others, that they hear thee give God thanks for the graces he hath given thee. But if thou preferveft thy thoughts and opinions of thy felf truly humble, you may with more fafety give God thanks in publick for that good which cannot, or ought not to be concealed.

16. Be not always ready to excufe every overfight, or indifcretion, or ill action: but if thou beeft guilty of it, confefs it plainly; for vertue fcorns a lye for its cover: but to hide a fin with it, is like a cruft of leprofie drawn upon an ulcer. If thou beeft not guilty, (unlefs it be fcandalous) be not over carneft to remove it, but rather ufe it as an argument to chaftife all greatnefs of fancy and opinion in thy felf; and accuftom thy felf to bear reproof patiently and contentedly, and the harsh words of thy enemies, as knowing that the anger of an enemy is a better Monitor, and reprefents our faults or admonifhes us of our duty with more heartiness, than the kindness does, or precious balms of a friend.

17. Give God thanks for every weakness, deformity, and imperfection, and accept it as a favour and grace of God, and an inftrument to refift pride and nurfe humility; ever remembring, that when God, by giving thee a crooked back, hath alfo made thy fpirit


floop or lefs vain, thou art more ready to enter the narrow gate of Heaven, than by being freight, and ftanding upright, and thinking highly. Thus the Apoftles rejoyced in their infirmities, not moral, but natural and accidental, in their being beaten and whipt like flaves, in their nakedness and poverty.

18. Upbraid no man's weakefs to him to difcomfort him, neither report it to difparage him, neither delight to remember it to leffen him, or to fet thy felf above him. Be fure never to praife thy felf, or to difpraise any man elfe, unless God's glory or fome holy end do hallow it. And it was noted to the praise of Cyrus, that amongst his equals in age he would never play at any fport, or ufe any exercife in which he knew himfelf more excellent than they: but in Ama Pamifuch in which he was unskilful he would make his co tuo con il challenges, left he fhould thame them by his Victory, In colloquiis and that himself might learn fomething of their peti invifi skill, and do them civilities.

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ent, fi non omnino in difputationibus vi&oriam femper obtinere laborent, Non tantum egregium eft fcire vincere, fed etiam poffe vinci pulchrum eft, ubi victoria eft damnota Plut. de educ, liber.

19. Befides the foregoing parts and actions, Humility teaches to fubmit our felves and all our faculties to God, To believe all things, to do all things, to Jaffer all things which his will enjoyns us: to be content in every eftate or change, knowing we have deferved worse than the worst we feel; and (as Anytus Nihil ira dignum eft faid to Alcibiades) he hath taken but half, when he odio ut eo might have taken all: to adore his goodnefs, to fear rum mores his greatness, to worship his eternal and infinite ex-gui compel cellencies, and to fubmit our felves to all our fu difficiles periours in all things according to Godliness, and to præbent. be meek and gentle in our converfation towards o-Plus. thers.

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Now although according to the nature of every grace, this begins as a gift, and is increafed like a habit, that is, beft by its own acts; yet befides the former acts and offices of Humility, there are certain other exercises and confiderations, which are good


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helps and inftruments for the procuring and increafing this grace, and curing of pride.

Means and Exercises of obtaining and encreasing the Grace of Humility.

I Make confeffion of thy fins often to God; and confider what all that evil amounts to which you then charge upon your felf. Look not upon them as fcatter'd in the courfe of a long life: as, now, intemperate anger, then too full a meal; now, idle talking, and another time Impatience: but unite them into one continued reprefentation, and remember that he whofe life feems fair by reason that his faults are scattered at large diftances in the feveral parts of his life, yet if all his errors and follies were articled against him, the man would feem vicious and miferable and poffibly this exercise really applied upon thy fpirit, may be useful.

2. Remember that we ufually difparage others upon flight grounds and little inftances; and towards them one fly is enough to spoil a whole box of ointment And if a man be highly commended, we think him fufficiently leffened, if we clap one fin or folly or infirmity into his account. Let us therefore be just to our felves, fince we are so severe to others, and confider, that watsoever good any one can think or fay of us, we can tell him of hundreds of bafe and unworthy and foolish actions, any one of which were enough (we hope) to deftroy another's Reputation: Therefore let fo many be fufficient to deftroy our over-high thoughts of our felves.

3. When our Neighbour is cried up by publick A fame and popular noife, that we may difparage and leffen him, we cry out that the people is a herd of unlearned and ignorant perfons, ill judges, loud Our trumpets, but which never give certain found: let Savμd us ufe the fame art to humble our felves, and never riadas; Ar. vian. l. I. take delight and pleasure in publick report, and acclamations of affemblies, and please our selves with

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their judgment of whom in other like cafes we affirm that they are mad.

4. We change our opinion of others by their kindnefs or unkindness towards us. If he be my Patron and bounteous, he is wife, he is noble, his faults are but warts, his vertues are mountains: but if he proves unkind or rejects our importunate fuit, then he is ill-natured, covetous, and his free meal is called gluttony: that which before we called civility, is now very drunkenness, and all he speaks is flat and dull, and ignorant as a fwine. This indeed is unjnst to̟wards others, but a good inftrument, if we turn the edge of it upon our felves. We use our felves ill, abufing our felves with false principles, cheating our felves with lies and pretences, ftealing the choice and election from our wills, placing voluntary ignorance in our understanding, denying the defires of the Spirit, fetting up a faction against every noble and just defire; the leaft of which because we thould refent up to reviling the injurious perfon, it is but reafon we fhould at least not flatter our felves with fond and too kind opinions.

5. Every day call to mind fome one of thy fouleft fins, or the moft shameful of thy difgraces, or the indifcreeteft of thy actions, or any thing that did then moft trouble thee, and apply it to the prefent fwelling of thy fpirit and opinion, and it may help to allay it.

6. Pray often for his grace with all humility of gefture and paffion of defire, and in thy devotion interpofe many acts of humility by way of confeffion and. addrefs to God, and reflection upon thy felf.

7. Avoid great offices and employments, and the noife of worldly honour. For in thofe ftates many times fo many ceremonies and circumstances will feem neceffary, as will deftroy the fobriety of thy thoughts: If the number of thy fervants be fewer, and their obfervances lefs, and their reverences lefs folemn, poffibly they will feem less than thy dignity: and if they • Fabis ab. be fo much and fo many, it is likely they will be too fine, dixit big for thy fpirit. And here be thou very careful, left thagoras. Magiftratus per fuffragia fabis lata creabantur. Plus,

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Se&. 4thou be abused by a pretence that thou wouldft ufe thy great dignity and opportunity of doing great good. For fuppofing it might be good for others, yet it is not good for thee; they may have incouragement in noble things from thee, and by the fame inftrument thou mayft thy felf be tempted to pride and vanity. And certain it is, God is as much glorified by thy example of Humility in a low or temperate condition, as by thy bounty in a great and dangerous.

8. Make no reflect acts upon thy own Humility, nor upon any other grace with which God hath enriched thy foul. For fince God oftentimes hides from his Saints and Servants the fight of thofe excellent things by which they fhine to others, (though the dark fide of the Lantern be toward themselves) that he may fecure the grace of Humility; it is good that thou do fo thy felf: and if thou beholdeft a grace of God in thee, remember to give him thanks for it, that thou mayeft not boaft in that which is none of thy own, and confider how thou haft fullied it, by handling it with dirty fingers, with thy own imperfections, and with mixture of unhandfome circumftances. Spiritual Pride is very dangerous, not only by reafon it fpoils fo many graces by which we draw nigh unto the Kingdom of God, but alfo because it fo frequently creeps upon the spirit of holy perfons. For it is no wonder for a Beggar to call himself poor, or a Drunkard to confefs that he is no fober perfon: but for a holy perfon to be humble, for one whom all men efteem a Saint, to fear left himfelf become a Devil, and to obferve his own danger, and to difcern his own infirmities, and make difcovery of his bad adherencies, is as hard as for a Prince to fubmit himself to be guided by Tutors, and make himself fubject to difcipline like the meanest of his fervants.

9. Often meditate upon the effects of Pride on one fide, and Humility on the other. First, That Pride is like a Canker, and deftroys the beauty of the fairest flowers, the moft excellent gifts and graces; but Hu mility Crowns them all. Secondly, That Pride is a


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