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am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls d
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him**.
SECT. 12. Humility and modesty enjoined by his
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; but the rich in that he is made low: for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder; yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see'. Put on therefore, as the elect of God holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of
d Matt. xi. 29. §12. 1 Tim. vi. 17. d James, iv. 10.
• Philip. ii. 5-9.
James, i. 9, 10.
e 1 Pet. v.
James, iv. 6, 7.
1 Rev. iii. 17, 18.
mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another".
Hath God cast away his people? God forbid "! I speak to you, Gentiles, in as much as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles'. If some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree wert grafted in amongst them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree, boast not against the branches; but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well, because of unbelief, they were broken off; and thou standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear*.
SECT. 13. The humility of the Apostle Paul, notwithstanding his great attainments.
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. For I am the least of the Apostles, that am not meet to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain ; but I laboured more abundantly than they all", serving the Lord with all humility of mind; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God. For I know, that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with ine, but how to perform that which is good, I find not. And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself, and to Apollos, for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up, for one against another. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord
h Rom. xi. 1.
i Rom. xi. 13.
Col. iii. 12, 13.
* Rom. xi. 17-20. §13. Eph. iii. 8.
d 1 Cor. xv. 10.
gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God giveth the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase".
SECT. 14. Yet his spirited assertion of his own character, and the dignity of his office, against the strokes of calumny and detraction.
If any man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself, that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, I should not be ashamed; that I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For his letters (say they) are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Let such an one think this, that such as we are in words by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves amongst themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure; but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you; for we are come as far as to you also, in preaching the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged
h 1 Cor. iii. 5, 6, 7.
§ 14. Philip. iii. 4—7.
b 2 Cor. x. 7-14.
by you according to our rule abundantly, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line, of things made ready to our hand. Are they Hebrews? So am I: Are they Israelites? So am I: Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I: Are they ministers of Christ? I am more: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft*.
SECT. 15. The complaints of the Saints with regard to the proud, and their prayers for deliverance and protection.
Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? He hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not requite it. Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the way-side; they have set gins for me. Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; further not his wicked device, lest they exalt themselves". Send thine hand from above, rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. Let not the foot of pride come against me; and let not the hand of the wicked remove me". O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul. Thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down'. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth; render a reward to the proud. How long shall the workers of iniquity boast themselves? Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause". The proud have had me greatly in derision; yet have I not declined from thy law'. Be surety for thy servant for good; let not the proud oppress me*. Thou hast rebuked the proud that
c 2 Cor. x. 15, 16.
a Psalm x. 13, 14.
Psalm cxix. 122.
*Sec to this purpose 2 Cor. xi. and xii. chapters throughout.
d 2 Cor. xi. 22, 23.
b Psalm cxl. 5, 8.
e Psalm lxxxvi. 14.
e Psalm cxliv. 7, 8.
2 Sam. xxii. 28.
1 Psalm cxix. 51.
are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies'. Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved, and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother; my soul is even as a weaned child". I am poor and needy; make haste unto me, O God; thou art my help, and my deliverer, O Lord, make no tarrying". Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me; thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me°.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us; for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scornings of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud. Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble; thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear; to judge the fatherless and the oppressed; that the man of the earth may no more oppress 9*.
"We shall conclude this chapter with a few examples, which will serve to show the fatal consequences of pride, and the solid benefits arising from humility.'
"In the case of Benhadad king of Syria, the pride and haughtiness of his heart appears in his insolent message to Ahab, recorded 1 Kings, xx. 3-10. Ahab's reply breathes another spirit," Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast as he that putteth it off'. "The mortifying disappointment of Benhadad, and the deliverance of the king of Israel, are narrated 13-30."
m Psalm cxxxi. 1, 2.
n Psalm lxx. 5.
1 Psalm cxix. 21, 22. • Psalm cxxxviii. 7. 1 Kings, xx. 11. "The spirit of real humility might have been illustrated by many quotations, in which the saints express their deep sense of depravity, guilt, and unworthiness, and at the same time their high ideas of the majesty and condescension of God. But the greatest part of these have been inserted in the chapter on Repentance, Part V. chap. II.”