Thursday, January 17, 2019

David's Digest: Pride Slaying, Part 3

1 Peter 5:5 - "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."

Pride is evil, and is it any wonder God resists the proud?

This is part three of Thomas Manton on the slaying of pride, from Sermon 11 in Sermons from Psalm 131, which you can read in full here.

Previous parts:
Part 1
Part 2

Here is a quick review of the first five points:

To persuade us to purge out this leaven of pride, the means are these:

First, Frequent examination of ourselves; for self-acquaintance breedeth humility. No man extolleth himself but he that knoweth not himself. Therefore the best way to take down pride is to consider often what we have been, what we are, and what we deserve.
  1. What we have been. Let us often consider the horrible filthiness of our corrupt nature, stinking worse than any carcass before God.
  2. After grace received, mixed principles, and therefore mixed operations, flesh and spirit, law and gospel, Gal. v. 17. If we consider in what state our soul is, what our actions are, how polluted with a tang of the flesh, how little comfortable sense of the love of God, we should soon see that we still carry about with us the cause of a deep humiliation in our bosoms.
  3. Consider what we have deserved. The eternal wrath of God, due to us for sin. It is a wonder that he doth not turn us into hell every moment, and that fire doth not come forth from his jealousy to consume us, who are ever and anon tripping in his service.
Secondly, Frequent communion with God in prayers and praises; for so we more and more come into the knowledge of God, and a sight and sense of his majesty and glory; and a serious sight of God will humble us.

Thirdly, Constant watchfulness, especially when we are most in danger of this sin; then we should keep a double watch.

Fourthly, Use those things with fear which may feed your pride, and so avoid all occasions of being lifted up.

Fifthly, The example of Christ. There was not a more excellent person, nor more worthy, in all the world.


From Thomas Manton:

Sixthly, Thoughts of death, and the great change that we must once undergo, should still keep us humble. This flesh, which thou deckest with so much art and ornament, must shortly become a dead carcass, removed out of sight, that it may not become offensive to those that most love and prize thee, and rot in the grave, and become food for worms. Dust we were in our composition, and dust we must be in our dissolution, Gen. iii. 19. What is viler than dust? Eccles. xii. 7, 'Our dust shall return to the earth as it was.'

We do but for a while act a part upon the stage of the world, and then we must be unclothed; as he that acteth the king in the comedy, and then goeth off and is a poltroon, as before ; he vaunteth on the stage for a while, then ad staiuram suam redit — Seneca. Though his excellency mounteth unto the heavens, yet within a while he perisheth, as his own dung, Job xx. 5-8. Our ornaments must be left behind us.

Seventhly, A gift sanctified [used for holiness], though never so mean [low], is more than the greatest gifts that puff us up. It holdeth good in all things. In estate, the truest contentment is to be kept humble in the enjoyment of it, James i. 10. The rich, in that he be made low. So for honour; it is not the outward splendour which is our happiness, but the humble mind. To be minimus in summo, least at the highest, like a spire or pyramid, is an argument of a great spirit.

So for parts, the humble Christian is the better qualified, 1 Cor. viii. 1. Knowledge puffeth up, charity edifieth. So grace; the less conceited, the more grace. Pride starveth every grace, but humility feedeth it. It is the humble soul which hath the solid comforts, and hath made most progress in religion.

Eighthly, Consider the evils of pride, both as to sin and punishment.

1. As to sin. It puts us upon other sins, murmuring against God, contempt of others: Prov. xxi, 24, 'Haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth with proud wrath.' Contention with them: 'He that is proud in heart stirreth up strife,' Prov. xxviii. 25. Envy; Saul eyed David ever afterward, 1 Sam. xviii. 9. An evil eye : Mat. xx. 24, 'When the disciples heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.' Censuring: James iii. 1, 'Be not many masters.'

2. Evils of punishment. Others [evils, bad outcomes] cannot be expected, since the proud are so odious to God: Prov. xvi. 5, 'Whosoever is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.'

[1.] The judgments of God against the proud are sure: Prov. xxix. 23, 'A man's pride will surely bring him low.' So Prov. xvi. 5, 'Though hand join in hand.' All the world shall not keep him, as that doth not keep down his own spirit. God will cross him in his person or posterity: Prov. xv. 25, 'The house of the proud shall be destroyed.'

[2.] It is swift. Judgment cometh upon other sins with a slow pace, but always treadeth on the heels of pride, in that instant wherein they exalt themselves. Nebuchadnezzar, when his heart was lifted up and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from the kingdom, Dan. V. 20. The angels fell in that instant. Herod adored as a god, and immediately eaten up of worms. Acts xii. We lose our children, estate, parts, by some sudden stroke of providence, when we grow proud of them.

[3.] It is shameful; that God may pour the more contempt on them: Prov. xi. 2, 'When pride cometh, then cometh shame.' Not only ruin, but shame; Herod punished by lice, Pharaoh by gnats and flies, Miriam by leprosy; Goliath falleth by a stone out of a shepherd's sling.

[4.] It is impartial. Not only upon Pharaoh, Herod, Haman, but his own people. Uzziah, 2 Chron. xxv. 26, 27, died without being lamented [Amaziah in those verses, or Uzziah in 2 Chron. xxvi. 21, 22]. Hezekiah: 2 Chron. xxxii. 25, 'His heart was lifted up, therefore there was wrath upon him.'


May God grant we remember just how low we as man are and the fragility of the flesh, that we be full of His graces, and that we remember just how evil pride is and the punishments that often ensue from it.

May the Lord grant us repentance and the true humility of life that only comes from Him, and may we seek Him to those ends.

-- David

Thursday, January 10, 2019

David's Digest: Pride Slaying, Part 2

James 4:6 - "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

Pride is a devilish thing, and it behooves us to be on guard against it.

This is part two of Thomas Manton on the slaying of pride, from Sermon 11 in Sermons from Psalm 131, which you can read in full here.

Previous parts:
Part 1

Here is a quick review of the first two points:

To persuade us to purge out this leaven of pride, the means are these:

First, Frequent examination of ourselves; for self-acquaintance breedeth humility. No man extolleth himself but he that knoweth not himself. Therefore the best way to take down pride is to consider often what we have been, what we are, and what we deserve.
  1. What we have been. Let us often consider the horrible filthiness of our corrupt nature, stinking worse than any carcass before God.
  2. After grace received, mixed principles, and therefore mixed operations, flesh and spirit, law and gospel, Gal. v. 17. If we consider in what state our soul is, what our actions are, how polluted with a tang of the flesh, how little comfortable sense of the love of God, we should soon see that we still carry about with us the cause of a deep humiliation in our bosoms.
  3. Consider what we have deserved. The eternal wrath of God, due to us for sin. It is a wonder that he doth not turn us into hell every moment, and that fire doth not come forth from his jealousy to consume us, who are ever and anon tripping in his service.
Secondly, Frequent communion with God in prayers and praises; for so we more and more come into the knowledge of God, and a sight and sense of his majesty and glory; and a serious sight of God will humble us.


Continuing, from Thomas Manton:

Thirdly, Constant watchfulness, especially when we are most in danger of this sin; then we should keep a double watch. Pride is incident to all, but especially to those who are ennobled with any excellency of birth, honour, or estate, or parts, or office. Few are able to master their comforts; they are too strong wine for weak heads. To learn to abound is the harder lesson, Phil iv. 12. When God lifteth them up, they lift up themselves; the wind of strong applause soon oversets a little vessel. Even gracious persons may be tainted. Pride once crept into heaven, and then into paradise; and it is hardly kept out of the best heart.

Christians are not so much in danger of sensual [of the senses] lusts [desires] as of this sin; it groweth upon us many times by the decrease of other sins; as mortified, so proud [ie. we end up proud of our non-pride and/or spiritualness]: are ministers by their office: 1 Tim. iii. 6, 'Not a novice, lest, lifted up by pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil.' But withal, those are most prone that rise out of the dunghill and from a low estate to great wealth and honour; partly because they are not able to digest such a sudden and unusual happiness; partly because they look less to God, and more to their own prudence and industry: Hab. i. 16, 'Sacrifice to their own net.'

Now all these should watch: Deut. viii. 14, 'Take heed lest thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God;' 1 Tim. vi. 17, 'Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches.' The honourable should watch, the minister watch, the gifted watch, but especially those whom God hath more than ordinarily blessed with worldly increase, Ps. cxix. 70,71.

Fourthly, Use those things with fear which may feed your pride, and so avoid all occasions of being lifted up. As, for instance, do not look upon your graces and privileges without looking upon your infirmities, which may be a counterbalance to you: Mark ix. 24, 'Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.' There is much corruption still remaineth in us, and often gets the advantage of us in thought, word, and deed. Never reflect upon your praises, but remember your imperfections, which the world seeth not, the many sins which you are conscious unto, and how much more you deserve reproofs than praises;

And if you will thoroughly slight the honour and vainglory of the world, never count yourselves humble, till you are more willing to be admonished than praised, reproved than flattered. It is the proud man that despiseth reproof, but the humble prizeth it. Instances of the one: Amaziah to the prophet: 2 Chron. xxv. 16, 'Art thou made of the king's counsel? forbear; why shouldst thou be smitten?' The false prophet Zedekiah to Micaiah: 2 Chron. xviii. 23, 'Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to thee?' The pharisees to Christ: 'Are we blind also?' John ix. 39, 40.

Holy and humble men are of another temper. Job did not despise the cause of his servants when they contended with him. Job xxx. 13, 14; David: Ps. cxli. 5, 'Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness.' This is a notable remedy against pride, to bear a faithful reproof, and take it in better part than praises and acclamations.

Again, when you reflect upon your enjoyments, consider your account, Luke xii. 48. What will ye do when ye shall appear before the tribunal to answer for all this honour and estate? Surely such a day and such a reckoning should damp men, and quench all self-exalting thoughts.

Never look upon your afflictions, but consider the mercies yet continued, notwithstanding your ill-deservings, Ezra iii. 19, that we may not murmur, which is an effect of pride, but submit to God's chastisements; that is the way to increase humility; for afflictions are humbling occasions, and so must be improved.

Fifthly, The example of Christ. There was not a more excellent person, nor more worthy, in all the world. Now what was his life but a lecture of humility? Mat. xi. 29, 'Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart;' 'He sought not his own glory, but the glory of him that sent him,' John v. 41. That is our business as well as Christ's; not to seek ourselves, but to please God and glorify God.

He chose a mean life, withdrew himself when they would make him a king, John vi. 15; came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, Mat. xx. 28. Vain men would be admired of all, are desirous of worldly power and glory; but this is contrary to the Spirit of Christ. Surely we should dress ourselves by this glass. The meek, humble, lowly mind is an express resemblance of Christ, as pride is of the devil.

When Christ came to save us, he would not choose a life of pomp, but poverty. He submitted to be conceived in the womb of a maiden, took the form of a servant, was laid in a manger, sacrificed two pigeons. He lived in the world as a man of sorrows, born of mean parents, working at their trade. Justin Martyr saith he made ploughs or yokes: 'Is not this the carpenter?' Mark vi. After he entered into the ministry, he was scorned, opposed by men, preached out of a ship to people on the shore. Finally, he humbled himself to the death, the death of the cross.

Now the same mind should be in you that was in Jesus, Phil. ii. 5. Unless you think it a disgrace to imitate him, either you must be humble, or seek another lord and master.


May God grant we be on watch against our pride, the humility to take reproof, and a desire to be like the Lord Christ, and may we pray to those ends.

-- David

Go on Part 3.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

David's Digest: Pride Slaying, Part 1

By nature, man is proud. We all have pride in our hearts to some degree. We can ask ourselves, are we as humble as Christ, infinite God who took a human nature only to be spit upon and crucified? If not, then we indeed have some pride there. :)

In fact, a proud person -- not just the pride itself -- is an abomination to the Lord:
Prov 16:5 - "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished."

It seems to me we should ponder that seriously.

Pride is also a shame:
Prov 11:2 - "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom."

And we should hate that pride in ourselves:
Prov 8:13 - "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."

Further, here's a warning:
Prov 29:23 - "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."

And finally, what traits does Christ say we should learn from Him?
Matt 11:29 - "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

Well then, what can be done?


Here is from Puritan Thomas Manton on the slaying of pride, from Sermon 11 in Sermons from Psalm 131, which you can read in full here.

This is part one of several parts.


From Thomas Manton:

Use. To persuade us to purge out this leaven of pride. It cannot he purged out at once, but it must be mortified and subdued more and more. Daily labour and diligence is necessary for this end.

The means are these -

First, Frequent examination of ourselves; for self-acquaintance breedeth humility. No man extolleth himself but he that knoweth not himself. Therefore the best way to take down pride is to consider often what we have been, what we are, and what we deserve.

1. What we have been. Let us often consider the horrible filthiness of our corrupt nature, stinking worse than any carcass before God. Take the softest notion of original sin, we wanted a righteousness to place before God: Ps. li. 5, 'I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.'

We wanted [lacked] strength to serve him: Rom. viii. 7, 'The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' We had nothing to incline us to God or commend us to him. Yea, not only an impotency, but an averseness. Partly out of carnal liberty: Rom. viii. 7, 'Because the carnal mind is enmity to God.' Partly through sensuality [of the senses], or addictedness to present things grateful to the flesh: John iii. 6, 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh.' Partly through legal bondage: Gen. iii. 7, 'The eyes of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked;' ver. 10, 'I heard thy voice in the garden, and I hid myself, because I was naked.' Through carnal liberty our hearts were averse from him as a lawgiver; through bondage, as a judge: Col. i. 21, 'You that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked works.'

2. After grace received, mixed principles, and therefore mixed operations, flesh and spirit, law and gospel, Gal. v. 17. If we consider in what state our soul is, what our actions are, how polluted with a tang of the flesh, how little comfortable sense of the love of God, we should soon see that we still carry about with us the cause of a deep humiliation in our bosoms, and to cry out with the publican, Luke xviii. 13, 'Lord, be merciful,' &c.; or with Paul, Rom. vii. 24, 'wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?'

Besides your wants and defects, consider the loathsome corruption of your souls, which follow you wherever you go. The sins of our best duties are enough to humble us, to have such low conceptions of God, such heartless prayers, &c.

3. Consider what we have deserved. The eternal wrath of God, due to us for sin. It is a wonder that he doth not turn us into hell every moment, and that fire doth not come forth from his jealousy to consume us, who are ever and anon tripping in his service.

You will say, Blessed be God, we are escaped by Christ; we are passed from death to life.

Ans. I do not tell you what God will do, but what you have deserved; and this not to weaken your confidence, but to humble your hearts.

Now it is enough for that, that you had once the sentence passed upon you, and have had the rope, as it were, about your necks; that you have been at the gates of hell, and might have entered in, but for the grace of your Redeemer. Besides, you deserve it still; your daily sins and best actions deserve the wrath of God.

And such a sense of it is still necessary as quickens to thankfulness, and prays for pardon, and promoteth to humility; and you turn grace into wantonness, and abuse it, if it lessen any of these acts.

Well, then, though God forgive us, we must not forget we were once as bad as the worst, and children of wrath, even as others, Eph. ii. 3. We must still condemn ourselves when God justifieth us, and set our sins ever before us though God do cast them behind his back. Now shall such creatures as we be proud, so sinful, so liable to the curse, whose righteousnesses are as filthy rags ? Isa. Ixiv. 6.

Secondly, Frequent communion with God in prayers and praises; for so we more and more come into the knowledge of God, and a sight
and sense of his majesty and glory; and a serious sight of God will humble us: Isa. vi. 5, 'I am unclean, for I have seen the Lord of hosts;' Gen. xviii. 27, 'I am but dust and ashes;' Job xlii. 5, 6, 'I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.'

Can they be proud that have so often to do with an holy and glorious God? Surely one glimpse of his majesty will take down thy self-exalting thoughts. The stars differ from one another in brightness and glory, but when the sun appeareth they are all obscured, and those differences unobserved.

So when we compare ourselves with men, we seem great, wise, powerful; but God, rightly apprehended, lesseneth us in our opinion, estimation, and affection. He is all, we are nothing but what he maketh us to be. All the creatures to him are nothing, less than nothing, Isa. xl. 17; nothing in opposition to him; nothing in comparison of him; nothing in exclusion of him.

Now the mind should be often seasoned with these thoughts, as surely they will where men have much to do with God, and are often with him, if they be serious in their addresses to him.

May God grant us a sight of our loathsome selves and His eternal majesty and glory. May He grant us repentance, may His Spirit continuously mortify the pride in each of us, and may we pray and work to those ends.

-- David

Go on Part 2.