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with exhortations and motives to humility. - 10. The divine instructions of our Lord and Saviour to this effect. -11. His great example of condescension and humility.-12. Humility and modesty enjoined by his Apostles.—13. The humility of the Apostle Paul, notwithstanding his high attainments. — 14. Yet his spirited assertion of his own character, and the dignity of his office, against the strokes of calumny and detraction. — 15. The complaints of the saints in regard of the proud, and their prayers for deliverance
and protection. — Examples. Sect. 1. It is dangerous to form too high an opinion
of ourselves. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit; there is more hope of a fool than of him. Wo unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sighto. Let no man deceive himself; if any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise". For if a man think himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every one the measure of faith.
Be not wise in your own conceits'. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received its? Where is boasting then? it is excluded. By what law ? of works? nay, but by the law of faith “, that no flesh should glory in his presence'. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, through God, to the pulling down
§ 1. * Prov. xii. 15.
d 1 Cor. iii. 18.
b Prov. xxvi, 12.
Rom. iii. 27.
c Isa. v. 21.
of strong holds ; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God; and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christk. Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us! We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised". I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you". Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will; and will know not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power'. Sect. 2. Or to become vain on account of our rank
or possessions. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie; to be laid in the balance they are altogether lighter than vanity. Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery ; if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling-places to all generations ; they call their lands after their own naines.
Nevertheless, man being in honour abideth not; he is like the beasts that perish. Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds; he shall perish for ever; they which have seen him shall say, Where is he di Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God; lest when thou hast eaten, and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied ; then thine heart be lifted up"; and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of my hand bath gotten me this wealth".
m 1 Cor. iv. 10.
* 2 Cor. x. 4, 5.
n 1 Cor. iv. 14. § 2. * Psalm Ixii. 9, 10.
& Job, xx. 0,7
| 1 Cor. iv. 8.
Psalmı xlix. 6, 7.
< Psalm xlix. 11, 12.
Nebuchadnezzar walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was
While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken, The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar ; and he was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were growi like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. And at the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lift up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High ; and praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing, and he doth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What dost thous? Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, and extol, and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment; and those that walk in pride, he is able to abase" Sect. 3. Or to effect honour and respect from others.
Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness; but a faithful man who can find“? It is not good to
e Deut, viji. 114-14.
Dan. iv, 28-35. a Prov. xx. 6.
I Deut. viii. 17. b Dan. iv. 57.
eat much honey; so for man to search his own glory, is not glory. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth ; a stranger, and not thine own lips. For not he that commendeth himself is approved; but whom the Lord commendeth". Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly.
Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king; and stand not in the place of great men. For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldst be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom thine eyes have seen'. When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him, come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher; then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself, shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted %. Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works. For all their works they do for to be seen of men. They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi**. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God'. But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your master, even Christ, and all ye are brethrenk. But he that is greatest among you
b Prov. xxv. 27.
c Prov. xxvij. 2.
d 2 Cor. x. 17, 18.
See Luke, xx. 46.
My brethren, de not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation". Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another". Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate”. Let nothing be done through strife, or vain-glory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves P. Be kindly affectionate one to another; with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another . Sect. 4. Still more dangerous is that pride which
judgeth and despiseth others. He that is void of wisdom, despiseth his neighbour ; but a man of understanding holdeth his peace". He that despiseth his neighbour, sinneth. A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth, he winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; frowardness is in his heart; therefore shall his calamity come suddenly". Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from theed. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth ; for who art thou that judgest another man's servant? Behold thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law, and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, who hast the form of knowledge, and of the truth in the law; thou therefore who teachest another, teachest thou not thyself'? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?
• Rom. xii, 16.
James, iii. 1.
n Gal, v. 26.
P Phil. ii. 3. § 4. a Prov. xi. 12.
. Prov. iv. 24.
Rom. ï, 23.
c Prov. vi, 12-15. i Rom. i. 17-21.