« AnteriorContinua »
Address of the Gentleman. But is he the less Proud for that ? No, but if you will be
lieve St. Austin, rather the niore, De San&tâ Vir- who tells us, that the counter43.
Pride. Simulatio Humilitatis mas jor fuperbia eft. However 'tis certain that it is the greater Vice, since a counterfeited Humility has all the evil of Pride, besides the addition of Hypocrify, which makes it worse than Pride, which is plain and undisguised.
43. What has been here observ'd concerning the uncertainty and fallacioufness of the Signes of Humility, may also in fome meafure be applied to the Signes of Pride, whose Effects may also proceed from other Caufes, and so not be certain and unquestionable Signes of it. Only with this difference, that Pride being a thing fo generally hateful and misbecoming, 'tis not to be supposed that Men will be fo apt to imitate it, as they are to imitate or act the so much more agreeable and becoming part of Humility, and consequently they will not so often do those things that belong to Pride, or are natural In
will do those things that belong to Humility from other Causes. By which means it comes to pass, that the Signes of Pride are more
mility, this being a thing that every body is
fond fond of, and fo disposed to counterfeit, whereas hardly any body can be supposed designedly to counterfeit Pride, though by the ayre of their Countenance, the make of their Body, the manner of their Movement, or by the fingularity of their Temper or Humour they may be so unhappy as to have some of the natural Appearances of it upon them. But yet these Appearances, as proceeding from other Causes, are no sure Signes of Pride. We commonly say that such a one looks like a Rogue. And yet we do not think that reason enough to Indict him for one, because 'tis possible that an Honest Man may have such a look. And so in the present Case. And accordingly 'tis a thing of frequent experience, that some Men whom at a distance, and by what we could observe of their Manner and outward Appearance, we took for Proud Men, we find afterwards upon a nearer view, and a more intimate acquaintance with them, to be very remote from that Character, and
Christian Humility, than some others who have carried a more promising shew of it.
44. We may make a Practical improvement of this Consideration, which is this, that since there is so much uncertainty in these Signes, we may hence first observe how hard and difficult a thing it is to judge of Humility or Pride, or to know when Men are either HumU 2
ble or Proud by what appears to us of thent, the Signes and Appearances of both (out efpecially of the former) being so very doubtful and fallacious. For it is here very often as in Perspective, where Bodies are represented as varioully rising or subsiding, elevated or depressed upon a plain surface, where there
And so Men have oftentimes the Tokens and Appearances of Pride or Humility, when really they are not so inwardly affected as they outwardly appear. And therefore it must needs be very difficult by what appears to judge what really is. But then Second!y we may hence further observe, how slow and cauti. ous we should be in passing Sentence, where there is so much danger of being deceived. We should not therefore make any great haste
Humility, or as to other Men's Pride. Not as to our own Humility, lest we be too favourable and indulgent to our selves. Not as to other Men's Pride, left we be overhard and severe in our Censures of them. But
vere. And here the best rule of Prudence I think will be, when we find a sign of Humility to suspect it false, and when we find a Sign of Pride, to examine whether it be not true.
CHA P. VII.
The Sinfulness, Odiousness, and Folly of
Pride. With some reflections upon the
1. ITTE have hitherto dwelt upon the " W Consideration of Humility, and have found a very peaceful and pleasant dwelling in the low Valleys of it. Let us now turn our Eye from the Valley towards the Hill, not that we can hope to advantage our selves by the New Prospect, but only the better to indear and recommend the old. I need not stay so long upon this part as otherwise I should, having already laid the grounds of all that can, or at least that need be said upon it. And truly, unless the Subject were more agreeable and entertaining. 'tis no great matter whether I do or no. 'Tis true indeed, Men have a Natural Curiosity for Monsters, but Pride is too common a one to be much stared at.
2. By the Sinfulness of Pride, I mean here the Comparative Sinfulness of it, (in like proportion as was observ'd concerning the Ex, cellency of Humility) that which makes it fo Very Evil and Sinful as it is. Now this is
not the Authority that forbids it, for so all Sins are equal, as being forbidden by the fame Authority and Transgressions of the same Law, but the inward Reason and Nature of the thing. The Sinfulness then of Pride, as that of all other Sins, is its being against reason, or which comes much to the same thing, the opposition that it naturally carries to the true good and interest of Man, that being the reason why it should not be, as also of the Law that forbids it. So in general, . 3. But more particularly, the Sinfulness of Pride is that it offends against, and contra. diets, the whole reason of Humility. What that is we have already shewn at large, and by doing so, have in great measure prevented what would have fallen in to be faid here, since whatever makes for the reasonableness of Humility, is at the same time a direct Argument against Pride. And therefore since Humility appears to be so reasonable, so excellent, and so absolutely necessary a Vertue as we have shewn it to be, it must, and cannot but be obferv'd to follow, that Pride which is so directly contrary to all this, must needs carry the same degree and proportion in Wickedness as the other does in Goodness, and so be as great a Vice as the the other is a Vertue..
4. But to open this a little more particuJarly. Pride is first of all a very uncreaturely