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or men, is a humble, broken-hearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are bumble desires. Their hope is an bum, ble hope, and their joy, even when it is un speakable and full of glory, is a humble, broken-hearted juy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and more like a little child, and more disposed to an universal lowliness of behavior.7*
Is the humble spirit of the Gospel also interwoven with your habitual deportment? Are you habitually disposed to esteem others better than yourself? or to esteem yourself better than others? Do you rejoice to see others of equal merit with yourself, as much beloved and honored as you are? And if their merit exceeds your own, are you wil. ling to see them more beloved and honored than you are? Or are you for ever restless and dissatisfied, because you are not more beloved and honored than every body else? “Do you love the praise of men more than the praise of God?" "How can ye believe," saith the meek and lowly Jesus, "How CAR ye believe, who receive 'honor one of anos ther, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?"
In the character of a Christian, humility is the one thing needful. Where this is wanting, all is wanting. A proud, haughty. spirit is inconsistent with the spirit of the gospel. It is the genius of that gospel, it is
• Edwards on the Affectious
one grand design of all the dispensations of grace toward fallen man, to exalt him to glory, by first humbling him in the dust. "He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Does the reader indulge the hope of having made his peace with God? Let him remember, that God is at peace with none, except the humble and contrite. “He lifteth up the meek, but casteth the wicked down to the ground.” No matter what are your professions; no matter how high your supposed attainments; if you have never felt the contrition of a broken heart, you have never tasted that the Lord is gracious. Still, you are not to reject the hope of your good estate, because you find much of the spirit of pride within you. Alas, how much of this detestable spirit hare the best of God's people! With this enemy will be out Jongest and severest conflict.
It possesses so much of the cunning of the Serpent, that it is perhaps less easily detected than any other form of depravity. When you have mortified it in one shape, you will find that it rises in another; and when you fondly hope it is dead, you will find that it has been gecretly gathering in strength, to commence the attack with new vigor, fresh courage, and perhaps greater success. Pride will live, until the Old Man is dead. It is the “ulcerated part of the body of sin and death.” It is the main spring to all the obstructions
which impede our progress toward Heaven. It is the secret avenue through which the Tempter too often enters and leads the best of men astray. It is the "great inlet of the smoke from the bottomless pit," which darkens the mind, casts a gloom around their fairest prospects, and sometimes leaves them awhile in the gloom of despondency. With this enemy will be your longest and se, verest conflict. Put on therefore, the whole armor of God, and watch unto prayer. The clashings of pride and humility should often drive the Christian to the throne of grace. "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse Thou me from secret faults!" You may have much pride; but have „you any humility? Be not deceived. "Seest thou a man wise in bis own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of Heaven.'
From the formation of the first Angel of light down to the period when the heavens shall pass away as a scroll, the Creator of the ends of the earth had His eye steadlastly fixed on the same grand object. As all things are of him, so all will be to Hiin.
He who made all things for himself, cannot fail to pursue the end for which He made them, and to obtain it at last. When the proceedings of the Last Day shall have been closed; when the assembled worlds shalk have entered upon the unvarying retributions of eternity; when the heavens and the earth shall have passed away, and a new heaven and a new earth, the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, shall have come down from God out of heaven: "He that sitteth upon the throne shall say, IT IS DONE; I am- ALPHA and OMEGA, the beginning and the end!"); In the winding up the scene, it will appear that God himself is the first and the last; not merely the efficient, but the final cause of all things. The vast plan, which has for its object nothing less than the brightest manifestation of the divine glory, has an unalienable right to the most unreserved. devotedness of every intelligent being. To the advancement of this plan, God therefore requires every intelligent being to be voluntarily subservient. All the strength and ardor of affection which we are capable of exercising, must be concentrated here. Every faculty, every thought, every volition, every design, must be devoted to this great. cause. The injunction is explicit: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do 'all to the glory of God.” Now the heart of depraved man is obstinately averse to such a course of feelings and concact.. Instead of being supremely attached
to God, and the good of His kingdom, men are by nature lovers of their own selves, Hence there is a controversy between man and his Maker. God requires men to regard His glory as the great object of their affections, and the ultimate end of their conduct; but they disregard His requisitions, and in all their feelings and conduct bave respect ultimately to themselves. This controversy draws the line of distinction between friends and foes. As the spirit of self-advancement is the root of all sin; so the spirit of self-denial is the root of all holiness,
Self-denial consists in the voluntary re. nunciation of every thing which is inconsistent with the glory of God, and the highest good of our fellow men. It does not imply the voluntary renunciation of good, or the yoluntary toleration of evil, as being desir, able in themselves considered; though it does imply both as being desirable all things considered. There is no absurdity in the pro: position, that a thing may be very unpleas.. ant in its own nature, but, taking all things into view, may be very desirable. It is perfectly consistent for men to desire to enjoy themselves, and yet desire to deny themselves; to hate misery, and yet be wille ing to suffer it. Neither does it imply the renunciation of all regard to one's self. The desire of happiness, and the aversion to misery, are inseparable from human nature. The natural principle of self-love does not constitute the sin of selfishness. A