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highest angel in heaven is the humblest of all created beings, and the devil is the proudest.
then beware of pride, which make us devils incarnate; and learn humility of Jesus, who is meck and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls. If once we learn to be humble as we ought, nothing can fill us with wrath, for its fuel will then be gone : for when pride ceases, wrath must expire. I will therefore lay. down this as an infallible rule, by which we may. know how far pride has the dominion over us: " Just as much as the words of others make impression upon us, either to pus us up and please us, or 10 depress us and make us angry; just so far pride is alive in us.". .
We should therefore embrace afflictions, pains, wrongs, reproaches, malice, and all the evils that come upon us, as the means of curing us of pride, and filling us with the deepest humility and self-abasement. Yea, we should turn all our miscarriages and failings into fuel to burn up and destroy our pride. Thus we should beat Satan with his own weapons, and make those things designed by him for our destruction, the very means of our salvation. · Give me leave to recommend earnest and fervent prayer as your daily employ. Pray for yourselves for all saints, for all men; and if you get any good by reading this letter, do not fail to pray for the unworthy writer, who sincerely wishes to serve you all in the bonds of the gospel.
" If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any.comfort of love, if any fellowship
of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies ; fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind. Let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.“
“ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoerer things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things and practise them. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all nien, hath appeared : teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ : who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
Τ Η Ε , SPIRITUAL STAFF. A Letter wrote by Mr. W. H. to a young man, who had lately presented him with a walkingstick,
MY DEAR FRIEND
You were pleased, not long since, to present me with a staff, of your own making ; with which I am pleased and delighted, and take it with me wherever I go. Now, by way of gratitude and acknowledgment, I send you, in return, a few meditations on a staff, which I call, A staff spiritualized; hoping that mine will he as acceptable to you as your's is to me ; that you may take as much delight and pleasure in mine, as I do in your's, or more ; and that you may be more benefited by it than I possibly can by that which you sent me. Under the simili. tude of a walking-stick, I would recommend religion to you in these particulars.
I observe, concerning a staff, that it is an implement for the hand, which is an active mem. ber. The Israelites were commanded to eat the passover, with their staff in their hand. * It is not a thing merely to be looked at, but
* Exod. xii. 11.
rather to be used and handled. Such a thing religion is, my friend; it is to be taken in hand and practised, and not to be only looked at or talked of. Religion is-real, open, and undisguisecl, like a staff in the hand. It is to be felt and experienced in the very heart and soul, and not a cloak or disguise for falsehood and hypocrisy. Therefore my Job, do not stand contending with mere looking at religion, or talking of it; but lay hold on it, handle, and embrace it. Again,
A staff is an instrument for travellers. A person takes it with him wherever he goes, as his constant companion ; though, when going abroad, he leaves all his other goods and com. panions at home. Thus Jacob went from his father's house, having neither wealth nor company but his staff.* The angel had his staff, f. and so had Elisha. The disciples were com. manded to take nothing for their journey, save a staff only.! So every one that travels towards Heaven, must take religion with him, to be his constant companion wherever he goes, otherwise he cannot travel towards that better country. We are not ashamed to take our staff with us into any company or place we go: no, we take it to fairs and markets ; upon Lord's clays and week days ; when we go among pious persons or prophane. In like manner, iny friend, may you and I never leave our religion at home when we go abroad ; nor abroad when we come home : never be ashamed of it in any compa. Gen. xxxii. 10.: + Judges vi. 21. 2 Kings iv. 29: Marts
MISCELLANY. ny; but let it be as open & constant, with us,as the staff in our hand, which we carry ever with us. Furthermore, i
A staff is a weapon, both offensive and defensive. It serves to defend and protect the own. er, as well as to offend and hurt his enemy. Thus it is a military weapon, or a piece of ars mour. David took his staff in his hand, when he went to encounter with Goliah. * Benaiah took his staff only with him, when he went to en. gage with the robust Egyptian. In this, also, religion will answer exceeding well ; it will defend the believer, and offend his adversary, The grace of faith, in particular, hath these qualities. It defends the believer, by quenche ing all the fiery darts of the wicked :f it overcomes the world and the devil. The glorious exploits and victorious triumphs of faith, are recorded in Hebrews, chap. xi. See how relige ion, under the name of wisdom, is applauded by Solomon ; Get wisdom, get understanding ; forget it not, neither decline from the words of my mouth : forsake her not, g she shall preservethee i love ber, und she shall keep. thee. Wisa dom is the principal thing. 1. Oh I may Job and I ever carry this excellent and useful weapon with us, until we have entirely gained the vic. tory, and have pothing niore to fear, in the field of battle. The church of Christ hath no weap, on but her religious staff; yet she is to her ens emies terrible as an army with banners. Moreover,
* 1 Sam. xvii. 40. Sam. Xxxj. 20, 21. Eph. vi. 16, # Prov. iv. 4, &c.
and the He wicked