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every one's observing. Nothing is so effectual to bring God down from heaven in the defense of his people, as their patience and meekness under sufferings. When Christ "girds his sword upon his thigh, with his glory and majesty, and in his majesty rides prosperously, his right hand teaching him terrible things, it is because of truth and meekness and righteousness." Psalm xlv. 3, 4. "God will cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth shall fear and be still, and God will arise to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth." Psalm lxxvi. 8, 9. "He will lift up the meek, and cast the wicked down to the ground." Psalm cxlvii. 6. "He will reprove with equity, for the meek of the earth, and will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips will he slay the wicked." Isa. xi. 4. The great commendation that Christ gives the church of Philadelphia, is, that "Thou hast kept the word of my patience." Rev. iii. 10. And we may see what reward he promises her, in the preceding verse, "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship at thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." And thus it is that we might expect to have Christ appear for us, if under all reproaches we are loaded with, we behaved ourselves with a lamblike meekness and gentleness; but if our spirits are raised, and we are vehement and noisy with our complaints under color of Christian zeal, this will be to take upon us our own defense, and God will leave it with us to vindicate our cause as well as we can: yea, if we go on in a way of bitterness, and high censuring, it will be the way to have him rebuke us, and put us to shame before our enemies.

Here some may be ready to say, "it is not in our own cause that we are thus vehement, but it is in the cause of God; and the apostle directed the primitive Christians to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." But how was it that the primitive Christians contended earnestly for the faith? They defended the truth with argu

ments, and a holy conversation; but yet gave their reasons with meekness and fear: they contended earnestly for the faith, by fighting violently against their own unbelief, and the corruption of their hearts; yea, they resisted unto blood, striving against sin; but the blood that was shed in this earnest strife, was their own blood, and not the blood of their enemies. It was in the cause of God, that Peter was so fierce, and drew his sword, and began to smite with it; but Christ bids him put up his sword again, telling him that they that take the sword shall perish by the sword; and while Peter wounds, Christ heals. They contend the most violently, and are the greatest conquerors in a time of persecution, who bear it with the greatest meekness and patience.

Great humility improves even the reflections and reproaches of enemies, to put upon serious self-examination, whether or no there be not some just cause, whether they have not in some respect given occasion to the enemy to speak reproachfully: whereas spiritual pride improves such reflections to make them the more bold and confident, and to go the greater lengths in that for which they are found fault with. I desire it may be considered whether there has been nothing amiss of late, among the true friends of vital piety in this respect; and whether the words of David, when reviled by Michal, have not been misinterpreted and misapplied to justify them in it, when he said, I will be yet more vile, and will be base in mine own sight. The import of his words is that he would humble himself yet more before God, being sensible that he was far from being sufficiently abased; and he signifies this to Michal, and that he longed to be yet lower, and had designed already to abase himself more in his behavior: not that he would go the greater length, to show his regardlessness of her revilings; that would be to exalt himself, and not more to abase himself, as more vile in his own sight.

Another effect of spiritual pride is a certain unsuitable and self-confident boldness before God and men. Thus some in

their great rejoicings before God, have not paid a sufficient regard to that rule, in Psalm ii. 11. They have not rejoiced with a reverential trembling, in a proper sense of the awful majesty of God, and the awful distance between God and them. And there has also been an improper boldness before men, that has been encouraged and defended, by a misapplication of that scripture, Prov. xxx. 25. "The fear. of man bringeth a snare." As though it became all persons, high and low, men, women, and children, in all religious conversation, wholly to divest themselves of all manner of shamefacedness, modesty, or reverence towards man; which is a great error, and quite contrary to scripture. There is a fear of reverence that is due to some men. Rom. xiii. 7. "Fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor." And there is a fear of modesty and shamefacedness, in inferiors towards superiors, that is amiable, and required by Christian rules. 1 Pet. iii. 2. "While they behold our chaste conversation, coupled with fear." And 1 Tim. ii. 9. "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety." And the apostle means that this virtue shall have place, not only in civil communication, but also in spiritual communication, and in our religious concerns and behavior, as is evident by what follows. Ver. 11, 12. "Let the women learn in silence, with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." Not that I would hence infer that women's mouths should be shut up from Christian conversation; but all that I mean from it at this time is, that modesty or shamefacedness, and reverence towards men, ought to have some place, even in our religious communication one with another. The same is also evident, by 1 Pet. iii. 15 "Be ready always to give an answer, to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." It is well if that very fear and shamefacedness, which the apostle recommends, has not sometimes been condemned, under the name of a cursed fear of man.

It is beautiful for persons when they are at prayer as the nouth of others, to make God only their fear and their dread, and to be wholly forgetful of men that are present, who, let them be great or small, are nothing in the presence of the great God. And it is beautiful for a minister, when he speaks in the name of the Lord of hosts, to be bold, and put off all fear of men. And it is beautiful in private Christians, though they are women and children, to be bold in professing the faith of Christ, and in the practice of all religion, and in owning God's hand in the work of his power and grace, without any fear of men, though they should be reproached as fools and madmen, and frowned upon by great men, and cast off by parents and all the world. But for private Christians, women and others, to instruct, rebuke, and exhort, with a like sort of boldness as becomes a minister when preaching, is not beautiful.

Some have been bold in some things that have really been errors; and have gloried in their boldness in practicing them, though cried out of as odd and irregular. And those that have gone the greatest lengths in these things, have been by some most highly esteemed, as those that come out, and appear bold for the Lord Jesus Christ, and fully on his side ; and others that have professed to be godly, that have condemned such things, have been spoken of as enemies of the cross of Christ, or at least very cold and dead; and many that of themselves were not inclined to such practices, have by this means been driven on, being ashamed to be behind, and accounted poor soldiers for Christ.

Another effect of spiritual pride is assuming it oftentimes makes it natural to persons so to act and speak, as though it in a special manner belonged to them to be taken notice of and much regarded. It is very natural to a person that is much under the influence of spiritual pride, to take all that respect that is paid him if others show a disposition to submit to him, and yield him the deference of a preceptor, he is open to it, and freely admits it; yea, it is natural for


him to expect such treatment, and to take much notice of it if he fails of it, and to have an ill opinion of others that do not pay him that which he looks upon as his prerogative : he is apt to think that it belongs to him to speak, and to clothe himself with a judicial and dogmatical air in conversation, and to take it upon him as what belongs to him, to give forth his sentence, and to determine and decide: whereas pure Christian humility vaunteth not itself, doth not behave itself unseemly, and is apt to prefer others in honor. One under the influence of spiritual pride, is more apt to instruct others, than to inquire for himself, and naturally puts on the airs of a master: whereas one that is full of pure humility, naturally has on the air of a disciple; his voice is, "What shall I do? What shall I do that I may live more to God's honor? What shall I do with this wicked heart?" He is ready to receive instruction from any body, agreeable to James i. 19. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak." The eminently humble Christian thinks he wants help from every body, whereas he that is spiritually proud, thinks that every body wants his help. Christian humility, under a sense of others' misery, entreats and beseeches; spiritual pride affects to command, and warn with authority.

There ought to be the utmost watchfulness against all such appearances of spiritual pride, in all that profess to have been the subjects of this work, and especially in the promoters of it, but above all, in itinerant preachers the most eminent gifts, and highest tokens of God's favor and blessing, will not excuse them: alas! what is man at his best estate! What is the most highly favored Christian, or the most eminent and successful minister, that he should now think he is sufficient for something, and somebody to be regarded, and that he should go forth, and act among his fellow-creatures, as if he were wise, aud strong, and good!

Ministers that have been the principal instruments of carrying on this glorious revival of religion, and that God has

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