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Ask what you

you will

shall re

thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer ; thou shalt cry and he shall say Here I am.

, and it shall be done for


Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, He will give it you.



have asked nothing in his name. Ask and

ye ceive that your joy may be full. Having followed after charity, now is the time to desire spiritual gifts; having cleansed your heart from malice and such like evils, you will find that it will now receive the sincere milk of the word. Ask what you will. Do


desire the Holy Ghost which may adorn the doctrine of Christ, and set forth the glory of God ? It shall be given you; for it is in a cleansed and purified heart that the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost delight to dwell. What gift or what grace which could make you adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour or facilitate your communion with Him did you ever ask in vain, having a cleansed and purified heart? What gift or grace did you ever ask in the name and in the spirit of Christ that He refused you?

any gift of

Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all honour, praise, and glory, might, majesty, dominion, and thanksgiving, for ever and ever. Amen.




But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our

Lord Jesus Christ.

THESE words contain a caution against one of the most inveterate evils of our corrupt nature; I mean the sin of pride; of which we generally take up with very superficial notions, fancying it to consist in such things as a lofty demeanour towards each other. We do not readily apprehend the length and breadth and depth and height of this disease. Its poison is infused into all that we say or do or think. Let us do what we will, and say what we will, Pride is always ready to flatter us with “ well said.” It assumes the office of the great Judge, saying well done, though indeed it cannot add good and faithful servant. What sin and what woe has it not occasioned! What was it but pride which occasioned the sins and the punishment of Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, of Jezebel and Herod? All these gloried in their power and royal authority till Divine punishment convinced them that pride was not made for man. Absalom glories in his birth and loses his life. Rehoboam glories in his youth and loses his empire. Goliah glories in his strength and is slain by a stripling. The daughter of Herodias glories in her beauty and is hardened to instigate the murder of one who was more than a prophet. The Jews glory in their expectation of an earthly Messiah and crucify the Lord of glory. The Greeks glory in their learning and esteem the preaching of the cross foolishness. The preacher himself, unless the Lord prevent him, glories in what he preaches against glorying. We glory in every thing within us and in every thing about us. We glory in our evil works, we glory in our good works, and we glory in our indifferent works. We glory in our sins, and we glory in our repentance, and rather than want something of our own to glory in, we glory in our shame. We glory in that which unless repented of will work our eternal misery, and we glory in that which if it were not for our pride would work our eternal happiness. Pride spoils all. It is the last and strongest resource of the tempter, who if he cannot keep us from good works answers his own ends by making us proud of them. The more we advance in a religious life the more powerful are the temptations to pride, as the haze is magnified by the same telescope which carries the eye into distant regions . of space. It often hinders us from repenting from our sins; it often hinders our advancing in reli

gion; and it often turns that advancement into the most dangerous snare. The pride of a Pharisee, otherwise blameless, is worse that the sins of a sinful publican. That a creature should look inwards to glory in itself though surrounded by the matchless glories of the Creator shows the perverseness of our nature, and that having eyes we see not. Pride is an incurable disease. It is a leprosy which is so wrought into the walls of the house that the house cannot be cleansed till it be taken down and built again. Nothing more than pride shows the necessity of our body being crumbled into dust in order to be made over again. Nothing more than pride makes the best of men cry out ( wretched man! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?

The danger of pride is apparent from hence, that it is not only expressly forbidden by our Saviour, but that it is a temper of the same nature as that which shuts Him out finally and irrevocably from the heart. If we glory in our own works and merits we in some degree trust in our own works and merits; and if we trust in our own works and merits how shall we trust in the merits how shall we be saved by the merits of our Saviour ? If St. Paul hoped to be found in Him not having his own righteousness, can we think it safe to indulge self-complacency for a moment? Is it ·not the nature of every disease to increase itself till it becomes desperate ?

But though pride be a disease and an incurable disease, there are many powerful remedies against it, which, though they cannot deliver us from it, may,

Divine grace concurring, lessen its power

over us.

The first remedy against pride is to be aware of it. He that says he has no pride may as well say he has no flesh and blood. Being aware of it, being aware of having an incurable disease from which only death will thoroughly deliver us, we must be content even to prepare to fight against it all our lives. We must starve it out as much as possible. We must beware of nourishing it. It is indeed a weed that grows without nourishment. Yet we nourish it both in society and solitude. Now in society

It is a remedy against pride to resolve never to seek our own glory, never to vaunt, never to intend that by direct or indirect inferences from what we say

others should form a high opinion of us, but rather to advance the Lord's glory and our neighbour's comfort or edification pleasing him for his good, to edification, for even Christ pleased not himself.

It is also a remedy against pride instead of courting those who stand in no need of our courtesy and kindness, to reserve our courtesy and kindness for those whom it may benefit; not to love greetings in the market-place, not to suffer our eyes to rove after the wealthiest and greatest, not to mind high things or high persons, but to condescend to those of low estate. How kind and courteous was the Lord Jesus to any poor woman who approached Him! His whole conversation was among


poor, and that person who aspired the

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