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bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance, behold he taketh up the ises as a very little thing ; and Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof fufficient for a burnt-offering. All nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him less than not thing and vanity. And then short in perfection of some of his fellow-creatures, short of angelical perfection. Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, Pfal. viii. 5. Yet it is said, God chargeth the angels with folly, Job iv. 18. Not imputing any moral defect to the angels, but an incompetition to the divine perfections; and man made lower than the angelsa Now shortness in these two considerations is no body's disparagement ; for this is to be a creature, and herein any man is as good as God would have him. But I wish I could excuse mankind from vanity in
3d fense : that is our fault and our shame, for man is vain in a privative sense. This is that that doth fink and deface, and deform the glorious workmanfhip of God in the moment of his creation : and this lies in fix things.
1. A man is divested of his innocence. He is out of the image of God, his high perfection, which he was invested with in the moment of his creation : he has lost his proper perfection, hath lost more than the whole creation can repair.
2. By his iniquity, he hath contracted impotency. By giving God offence, and departing from God, we have lost our innocence; and brought upon ourselves dread and terror, and horror of conscience : for this always accompanies guilt. And then
3. By unnatural use, our faculties are marred and fpoiled; the ingenuity and modesty of a man's mind, and the nobleness of his understanding, is marred and spoiled moft grievously. In this a finner miserably wrongs himself by fin. For if a man do but one act that is unnatural and horrid, he abuses the ingemity, candour and nobleness of his mind for ever. · "If a man once let go-the fairness of his nature, no man knows where he will stop. He is fit to do every desperate act of sin. So that man is vain, because he hath lost his innocence, and deformed him. self by his fin ; he hath marred his principles, and made himself unfit for many good acts that he might have done.
4. A man is vain, -by his lying apprehensions. Man walketh in a vain shew, Pfal. xxxix. 6. A man is his own fool, flatters himself into a fool's paradise, cheats, delusions, lies rule in mens livės. Man gives his consent to impostures. Man will believe, beCause he would have it. Man feeds upon lies, fancies, imaginations. Mens hopes and fears, conifidences and refuges are laid, as lying apprehensions and conceits misguide, I/. xxviii. 15. .
5. By his foolish undertakings. Man goeth rashly forth into act, neither well resolving concerning the enemies of his action, nor duly considering his fufficiency to grapple with, and overcome difficulties, Luke xiv. 31. .
The vanity of man in issuing forth to act, confists in this. (1.) That man is finister in his intention : aims not right, mistakes the world for God. (2.) That man is irregular, and inordinate in motion, errs in choice, and application of means to his end. (3.). That man is frustrated, and disappointed in the issue : after all costs, curseth his labour, After promising expectations, expensive ways in the close of all, has a shadow for the substance. Hope deferred makes his heart fick, and the desire is not accomplished, which is a tree of life.
6. By his inward perturbations, man is vain. The affections of the soul, have as well changed their name as their use. A man is always at difference, in contestation with himself. 'Tis not in man, a manarchy of reason, but a democracy of humours. Man disturbs his own content and quiet. To enjoy a man's self, is the greatest good in the world : the serenity and sweet composure of his mind, is happiness within ; yet men easily discompose themselves, and throw themselves into mal-content. Were all the world else in a calm, yet man will not be at quiet ; he raiseth storms and tempefts, makes foul weather within. We have not ourselves in our own hands : we are not masters of our passions, ends, and undertakings.
Man fears. where no fear is, and so creates himself an enemy, by his own fancy : he dotingly loves what will return nothing for affection : he runs out in hope, where there is no ground for expectation.
The uses to be made of this, are these.
1. There is no cause of pride. Presumption, pride and conceit, are the most ungrounded things in the world. Self-denial is the most rational act. Why should we believe a lie? Why do we make tools of ourselves, by fond self-flattery? man is vain
in his existence : by opinion a liar, Pfal. lxii. g. Things are not to conform to our apprehenfions ; but our thoughts are to answer things. 'Tis our mifery to be deprived, but 'tis our madness to be deceived, befooled ; otherwise we affect to knowthings justly as they are ; why are we not willing to know ourselves ?
2. What cause have we to magnify the rich grace of God, who gave so great a price for us, fo little worth. The great physician hath dearly bought difcafed patients. God hath bought chaff instead of wheat; vanity instead of substance. It could not be therefore his gain by us, that did direct his choice, but his compassion of our misery, that procured us mercy.
What the grace of God finds us, and how grace leaves us, are two things of greatest consideration. From the depth of misery, to the height of excellency. Who deals with the blind, halt and diseased, but God ? Luke xiv. 21. We may say as Job, Dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one ? Job xiv. 3.
3. Let no man believe himself, or lean to his own undersianding, Prov. iii. 5. He that trusteth in his own heart, is a fool, Prov. xxviii. 26. Let the grace of God be acknowledged, both for wisdom, and for strength. Nothing is better grounded than that advice of wisdom ; In all thy ways acknowledge him, Prov. iii. 6. If Egypt be a broken reed, Isa. xxxvi. 6. which was never strong, because a reed; which will picrce him that leans on it, because broken : is not he raflı and unadvised, that trusts, and hath confi
dence in such things ? better have no confidence, than felf-confidence : which is a refuge of lies ; an hiding place that waters will overflow, Ifa. xxviii. 17. And man is never so broken, as when he is frustrated in his expectation.
4. Hence we have an account of the general madness that rules in the commonwealth of men. What can the transaction be, when the convention is made up of vain and empty persons ? the world is a very chaos, and confusion ; so that, if things be tolerable in the world, that is much more than we can groundedly expect from men.
Whatever is of any consideration in the world is to be accounted to God, who made a chaos and confufion the ground-work of a glorious creation.
Preached before the Honourable HO US E of
COMMONS,, February 4. 1673.
JE R. vi. 8. Be thou instructed, 0 Jerusalem, left my foul depart
from thee ; left I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. T O awaken your apprehensions upon this och casion, I shall make use of the words of
king Hezekiah, when he rent his clothes, and covered himself with fackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord, upon an occasion of Senna