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1. Let us guard against this sinful propensity, both in our national and personal concerns

(We cannot but see how prone we are, as a nation, to rest on human alliances, and human efforts. Would to God we could correct this fatal error, and trust more entirely in the great disposer of all events!

As individuals at least we may, and must, correct it. If we would have the blessing of God, and not his curse, we must renounce all creature-confidence, and trust in him alone."]

2. Let us especially rely on Christ as the healer of our souls

[He is “the healer of the nations,” “ Jehovah, who healeth us:"p there is no physician besides him; nor any balm, but his blood. We may use whatever means we will, either to pacify our conscience, or to purify the heart; but we shall find that they can “ not heal us, nor cure us of our wound.” But Christ is all-sufficient: he can in one moment purge us by his blood, and renovate us by his Spirit. To him then let us look with humble, uniform, unshaken afhance.]

* Jer. xvii. 5-8. See David's example, Ps. Ix. 11. and cxxi. 1, 2. • Rev. xxii. 2.

p Exod. x. 26.

CCCCVII. THE DANGER OF PRIDE. Hos. v. 5. The pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore Israel and Ephraim shall fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.

ALL profess to hate pride-Yet all are more or less infected with it-The very best of men are not wholly free from its influence-But, in the unregenerate, it is the governing principle of all their actions—It was one of the most distinguishing features in the character of Sodom'— The professing people of God also were led captive by it—And were brought thereby under his just and heavy displeasure-We shall make some observa

tions upon

a Ezek. xvi. 49.

I. The sin of Israel

The state of Israel was not peculiar to that nationHuman nature is in all ages the same-Nor does pride manifest itself more strongly any where than amongst our. selves-Behold 1. The careless sinner

[What determined opposition is there in the hearts of many to the authority of God! They will not submit to his light and easy yoke-If required to obey, they object to the command itself as severe and impracticable-If warned of the consequences of their disobedience, they make light of all God's threatenings- If urged to receive the gospel salvation, they deride it as foolishnessb-The language of their heart is, Who is Lord over us? we know not the Lord; neither will we obey his voice That this proceeds from pride, there can be no doubt-God himself traces such conduct to this, as its proper source and principled_And doth not this “testify to the face” of many amongst us? Is not this the conduct which almost universally obtains?-Yea, are not we sensible that it too justly describes either our present or our former state?-] 2. The self-righteous formalist

[Persons of this description have kept themselves free from gross enormities–Or perhaps have reformed their conduct after having given the rein to all their appetites—But their pride rises in proportion to their fancied attainments They look with contempt on others who are openly immorale -And bless themselves that they are not as other mentMeanwhile “ they feel not the plague of their own heart”They deny the representation which the scripture gives of their fallen states. They cannot endure to think themselves deserving of God's wrath-Nor will they submit to be saved by the righteousness of God"-And whence does all this originate!-Surely pride and self-exaltation are properly pointed out as the spring from whence it flows-Yet doth not this disposition also lamentably prevail?-Doth it not testify to the face of soine whom we are now addressing?--Are there not some amongst ourselves who trust in their own wisdom, strength, and righteousness, instead of fleeing to Christ as blind, helpless, hopeless creatures?-Some, who are too proud to accept salvation on the footing of publicans and harlots? -Yea, some, who will rather perish in their sins, than seek to have them purged away in the Redeemer's blood?]

bi Cor. ii. 14. e Isaiah Ixv. 5. h Rom. x. 3,

c Ps. xii. 4. Exod. v.

Luke xviii. 9, 11.
i Luke xviii, 14.

d Ps, x. 4, 5.
& Rev. ii, 17.

3. The hypocritical professor

[None are more puffed up with pride than some who would be thought followers of the lowly Jesus-They are conceited of their knowledge and will bear with none who do not pronounce their shibboleth-They profess indeed to believe that their hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked -Yet they will never listen to instruction or reproof-Nor can they be persuaded to deny their own will in any thing for the good of others--None are more ready than these to set up themselves in opposition to all constituted authorities–St. Jude speaks of them as “ murmurers and complainers,” as " despising dominion and speaking evil of dignities’k_Nor are there any people under heaven to whom Solomon's description of the proud man may be more fitly applied –Alas! does not the Spirit also testify to the face of many?-Never was there a period when it prevailed in so great a degreeSurely it may well be numbered among the most heinous sins of this nation]

Having followed the sins of Israel, what can we expect but to participate in II. The judgment denounced against them

To “fall” must certainly import some heavy judg: ment—This threatening was not fully accomplished but in the utter destruction of the Jewish nation --Nor can we hope to escape the displeasure of God while we harbour in our hearts an evil that is so offensive to himThe proud will most generally fall in this world

[In their own conceit their mountain stands so strong as to bid defiance to every assault-- They think that they shall never be moved"But how irresistibly have the haughtiest monarchs been hurled from their throne!!-How speedily have the most powerful empires been brought to desolation! How instantaneously have God's judgments often marked the heinousness of this sin!P-If they be exalted for a time they are alınost invariably brought low at last?] They are absolutely certain to fall in the eternal world

[If indeed they repented of their sin, they would find mercy with God A broken and contrite heart he will never despiser-Though he will resist the proud, yet he will give grace unto the humble—He will look on him with pleasure and complacency_But nothing can ever reconcile him to “ a man that walketh in pride"—He will surely abase the proud -He has irreversibly decreed their utter destruction"—Nor shall the whole universe combined prevent the execution of his vengeance on one single individual amongst them?

k Ver. 8, 16.

1 Prov. xxx, 12, 13. m Ps. xxx, 6, 7. n Dan. v. 20, 23. • Ezek. xxviii. 2, 6, 8. Isaiah xiv. 12-15. p 2 Chron. xxxii. 25. Acts xii. 23. 4 Ps. ixxiii. 6, 9, 18, 20,

Ps. li. 17.

The observance of ceremonial duties will never compensate for the want of true humility

[Judah retained the forms of religion which Israel and Ephraim had cast away-Yet because Judah resembled Israel in their sin, they were to be involved in Israel's calamitysThus must all, however zealous and exemplary in other respects, be brought down and confounded before God Even a preacher of righteousness, if lifted up with pride, shall fall into the condemnation of the devila—The rul laid down by God himself shall surely be observed to all etern. yb] INFER 1. How excellent is the gospel of Christ!

(Nothing but the gospel ever did, or ever can, humble the soul-The law may terrify; but it is the gospel alone that melts us into contrition—That no sooner reaches the heart, than it brings down our high looks—It turned, in an instant, thousands of bloodthirsty inurderers into meek, loving, and obedient followers of the Lambs---And thus does it still operate on all who receive it in sincerity.—Let us then listen to it with delight-Let us pray, that a sight of the crucified Saviour may produce its due effect upon use—And let us loath ourselves the more in proportion as we are persuaded that God is pacified towards us] 2. What need have we all to watch and pray!

[There are none who are out of the reach of this maligo nant principle_St. Paul, after having been caught up to the third heavens, was in danger of being overwhelmed by its_ And who amongst us does not find that it is ready to puff us up on every occasion?-Let us remember that this ruined the very angels in heaven_And that it must be mortified in us, if ever we would obtain mercy in the last day--Let us guard against the first risings of it in the heart-And, whenever it testifies to our face, let us impiore mercy of the Lord, that the thought of our hearts may be forgiven us! In this way we shall be preserved, though in the midst of danger-And be exalted in due time to glory and honour, and immortality-}

$ Isaiah lvii. 15.

i Dan. iv. 37. * Prov. xvi. 5.

y The text. * 1 Tim. iii. 6.

b Luke xviii. 14.
& Acts ix. 6. and xvi. 29, 33.
? Ezek. xvi. 63. 62 Cor. xii. 7.

u Mal. iv, I.
2 Isaiah ii. 11, 12.
c Acts ii. 37, 41, 42.
e Zech, xii. 10.
h Acts sii. 22.


Rom. xi. 20: Be not high-minded; but fear. THE deep mysteries of our religion are calculated at once to encourage sinners, and to humble saints. The sovereignty of God is a great depth; and it was awfully displayed in the rejection of the Jews, and the admission of the Gentiles into his church. This is the subject of which the Apostle speaks in the whole context: and he makes use of it as the means of provoking to emulation the Jews themselves, and at the same time of guarding the believing Gentiles against self-preference; and selfsecurity.

In considering his exhortation, we shall I. Explain its import The former part of it contains a dissuasive from pride

[The proper tendency of religion is to produce humility: but, through the corruption of our nature, pride will take occasion even from the grace of God itself, to rise in our hearts. What self-complacency will sometimes arise from a consciousi ness of our superior attainments in truth and holiness! What acrimonious severity towards those, who dishonour their profession! And what contemptuous disregard of those who are yet immersed in ignorance and sin! Together with this selfpreference, we are also too apt to indulge a secure and selfdepending spirit, and to think “our mountain so strong, that we can never be moved." But as the former disposition is most hateful to God, so the latter also is an object of his utter abhorrence. In both these views therefore it becomes every believer to attend to the Apostle's advice, and, instead of entertaining too high an opinion of his own wisdom; strength, or goodness, to think soberly."d]

In the latter part the Apostle recommends humility and watchfulness

[By “ fear,we are not to understand a slavish dread of God's wrath; for that, so far from being opposite to pride, is in many cases the offspring of it. That which is here recommended is, a holy jealousy over ourselves, lest by any means we be tempted to walk unworthy of our high privileges, and thereby provoke God to deprive us of them. We are in the

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