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soul which is lifted up, is not upright in him ; but the just shall live by his faith ;" i. e. he shall live by his faith on God's righteousness and grace, and not his own goodness and excellency. God has abundantly manifested in his word, that this is what he has a peculiar respect to in his saints, and that nothing is acceptable to him without it. Psalm xxxiv. 18. « The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalm li. 17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm cxxxviii. 6. Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly. Prov. iii. 34. He giveth grace unto the lowly. Isa. lvii. 15. Thus saith the “ high and lofty one who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place ; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrito ones. Isa. Ixvi. 1, 2. Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool : But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Micah vi. 8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good ; and what doth the Lord thy God require of thee ; but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Mat. v. 3. Blessed are the poor
in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of God. Mat. xviii. 3, 4. Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Mark x. 15. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." The centurion, that we have an account of, Luke vii. acknowledged that he was not worthy that Christ should enter under his roof, and that he was not worthy to come to him. See the manner of the woman's coming to Christ, that was a sinner, Luke vii. 37, &c. “ And behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with
tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head.” She did not think the hair of her head, which is the natural crown and glory of a woman, (1 Cor. xi. 15) too good to wipe the feet of Christ withal. Jesus most graciously accepted her, and says to her, “ thy faith bath saved thee; go in peace.” The woman of Canaan submitted to Christ, in his saying, “ it is not meet to take the children's bread and to cast it to dogs," and did as it were own that she was worthy to be called a dog; whereupon Christ says unto her, “O woman, great is thy faith ; be it unto thee, even as thou wilt.
26, 27, 28. The prodigal son said, I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son ; make me as one of thy hired servants. Luke xv. 18, &c. See also Luke xviii. 9, &c. And he spake this parable unto cer. tain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others, &c. The publican standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the oth. er: For every one that exalteth himself, shall be abased ; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted. Mat. xxvü. 9. And they came, and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Col. iii. 12. Put ye on, as the elect of God, humbleness of mind. Ezek, xx, 41, 43. I will accept you with your sweet savor, when I bring you out from the people, &c. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doingȘg wherein ye have been defiled, and ye shall loath yourselves in your own sight, for all your evils that ye have committed. Chap. xxxvi. 26, 27, 31. A new heart also will I give unto you....and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, &c. Then shall
remember evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loath yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. Chap. xvi. 63. That thou mayst remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord. Job xlii. I abhor my. self, and repent in dust and ashes."
As we would therefore make the holy scriperes our rule, in judging of the nature of true rebigios, and judging of our own religious qualifications and state ; it concerns us greatis to look at this humiliation, as one of tbe most essential things pertaining to true Christianity.* This is the principal part of the great Christian duty of selfdenial. That duty consists in two things, viz. first, In a man's denying his worldly inclina. tions, and in forsaking and renouncing all world objects and enjoyments; and, secondly, In denying his natural selfexaltation, and renouncing his own dignity and glory, and in being emptied of himself; so that he does freely and from his very heart, as it were renounce himself, and annihilate himself. Thus the Christian doth in evangelical bumiliation. And this latter is the greatest and most difficult part of selfdenial : Although they always go together, and one never truly is, where the other is not; yet natural men can come much nearer to the former than the latter. Many Anchorites and Recluses have abandoned (though without any true mortífication) the wealth, and pleasures, and common enjoyments of the world, who were far from renouncing their own dignity and righteousness; they never denied themselves for Christ, but only sold one lust to feed another, sold a beastly lust to pamper a devilish one ; and so were never the better, but their latter end was worse than their beginning; they turned out one black devil, to let in ‘seven white ones, that were worse than the first, though of a fairer countenance. It is in. expressible, and almost inconceivable, how strong a selfrighteous, selfexalting disposition is naturally in man; and what he will not do and suffer to feed and gratify it; and what lengths have been gone in a seeming selfdenial in other res.
* Calvin, in his Institutions, Book II. chap. 2. $ 11, says, “ I was always exceedingly pleased with that saying of Chrysostom, “ The foundation of our philosophy is humility ;” and yet more pleased with that of Augustine. " As, says he, the rhetorician being asked, what was the first thing in the rules of eloquence, he answered, pronunciation; what was the second, pronunciation; what was the third, still he answered, pronunciation. So if you shall ask me concerning the precepts of the Christian religion, I would answer, firstly, secondly, and thirdly, and forever, humility." VOL. IV.
pects, by Essenes and Pharisees among the Jews, and by Papists, many sects of heretics, and enthusiasts, among professing Christians; and by many Mahometans; and by Pythagorean philosophers, and others among the Heathen ; and all to do sacrifice to this Moloch of spiritual pride or selfrighteousness ; and that they may have something wherein to exalt themselves before God, and above their fellow creatures.
That humiliation which has been spoken of, is what all the most glorious hypocrites, who make the most splendid shew of mortification to the world, and high religious affection, do grossly fail in. Were it not that this is so much insisted on in scripture, as a most essential thing in true grace, one would be tempted to think that many of the heathen philosophers were truly gracious, in whom was so bright an appear. ance of many virtues, and also great illuminations, and inward fervors and elevations of mind, as though they were truly the subjects of divine illapses and heavenly communications. It
*" Albeit the Pythagoreans were thus famous for Judaic mysterious wise dom, and many moral, as well as natural accomplishments, yet were they not exempted from boasting and pride; which was indeed a vice most epidemic, and as it were congenial, among all the philosophers ; but in a more particular manner, among the Pythagoreans. So Hornius Hist. Philosoph. L. 3. chap. xi. The manners of the Pythagoreans were not free from boasting, They were all such as abounded in the sense and commendation of their own excellencies, and boasting even almost to the degree immodesty and impudence, as great Heinsius, ad Horat. has rightly observed. Thus indeed does proud nature delight to walk in the sparks of its own fire. And although many of these old philosophers could, by the strength of their own lights and heats, together with some common elevations and raisures of spirit, (peradventure from a more than ordinary, though not special and saving assistance of the Spirit) abandon many grosser vices; yet they were all deeply immersed in that miserable cursed abyss of spiritual pride : So that all their natural, and moral, and philosophic attainments, didf eed, nourish, strengthen and render most inveterate, this hell bred pest of their hearts. Yea, those of them that seemed most modest, as the Academics, who professed they knew nothing, · and the Cynics, who greatly decried, both in words and habits, the pride of others, yet even they abounded in the most notorious and visible pride. So connatural and morally essential to corrupt nature, is this envenomed root, fountain, and plague of spiritual pride ; especially where there is any natural,
is true, that many hypocrites make great pretences to humil. ity, as well as other graces; and very often there is nothing whatsoever which they make a higher profession of. They endeavor to make a great shew of humility in speech and behavior ; but they commonly make bungling work of it, though glorious work in their own eyes. They cannot find out what a humble speech and behavior is, or how to speak and act so that there may indeed be a savor of Christian humility in what they say and do: That sweet humble air and mien is beyond their art, being not led by the Spirit, or naturally guided to a behavior becoming holy humility, by the vigor of a lowly spirit within them. And therefore they have no other way, many of them, but only to be much in declaring that they be humble, and telling how they were humbled to the dust at such and such times, and abounding in very bad expressions which they use about themselves; such as, “ I am the least of all saints, I am a poor vile creature, I am not worthy of the least mercy, or that God should look upon me! Oh, I have a dreadful wicked heart! My heart is worse than the devil! Oh, this cursed heart of mine,” &c. Such expressions are very often used, not with a heart that is broken, not with spiritual mourning, not with the tears of her that washed Jesus's feet, not as“ remembering and being confounded, and never opening their mouth more because of their shame, when God is pacified," as the expression is, Ezek. xvi. 63, but with a light air, with smiles in the countenance, or with a pharisaical affectation : And we must believe that they are thus humble, and see themselves so vile, upon the credit of their say so; for there is nothing appears in them
any savor of humility, in the manner of their deportment and deeds that they do. There are many that are full of expressions of their own vileness, who yet expect to be looked upon as eminent and bright saints by others, as their due ; and it is dangerous for any, so much as to hint the contrary,
moral, or philosophic excellence to feed the same. Whence, Austin rightly judged all these philosophic virtues to be but splendid sins, Gale's Court of the Gentiles, Part II. B. ii, chap. x. $ 1,7.