« AnteriorContinuar »
** Thele fins may be comprehended under the tétin boastfulness. · The boastful man forenketh of himself and feeketh his own glory. His heart is lifted up; his mouth üttereth proud things : he giveth not the honour unto God: he vaunteth himself against the Most High. - When he medis tates an important undertaking, he says nor with the Apostle; If the Lord will, I salt do this or that. His language is that which the Scripture reprobates ; To-morrow Fwill go into fuch a city, and stay there a year; and buy and fell, and get gain (o). When his enterprises prosper, he remembers not that it is the Lord who giveth him power to get wealth. He exlaims with Nebuchada nezžar : Is not this great Babylon that I have built ? with the king of Affyria, By my wisdom I have done it; for I am prudent :: with the vaunting Israelite, My power, and the might of my arm, bath gotten me this wealth (o). If he talks of religion, it is to sãy to his neighbour ; Stand by thyself : come not near to me : for I am holier than thoua. I thank God that I am not as other men are. I am rich and increased with spiritual goods ;
fo) James, iv. 13. 15.
) Dan. iv. 30. Ifaiab, x.
biz OCS Deut. viii, 17.
and have need of nothing (9)., If he meets with opposition, he cries out with the overbearing boaster described by the Psalmist : With my tongue will Į prevail : my lips are my own. Who is lord over me (r)?. Even health and bodily strength and activity are with him the subjects of vain-glory, as though he had conferred them upon himhimself, Not unfrequently wickedness itself becomes his boast. He openly triumphs in the violence with which he has borne down an opponent; in the cunning with which he has overreached a competitor ; in the revenge which he has exercised against a person who has offended him ; in being mighty to drink wine, and a man of strength to mingle Strong drink (s). Solis citous in every circumstance of life to magnify himself, he speaks contemptuously and degradingly of others : and the more contemptuously and degradingly in proportion as he apprehends that they may be advantageously compared with him, or may stand in the way of his enterprises and projects, This is he who seeketh honour from men, not the honour which cometh only from
(9) Isaiah, lxv. 5. Luke, xviii. 11. Rev. iii. 17
God. This is he who perceiveth not that before honour is humility. This is he who knoweth not that every one who exalteth himself shall be abased. This is he who knoweth not that in each of the catalogues of grievous finners recorded by St. Paul as objects of divine vengeance, boafteřs have a place. Does the boaster call himself a difciple and imitator of the Lord Jefus?" Come and learn of me, said Christ: for I am meek and lowly in heart. He did not found a trumpet before him; nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. Though commiffioned' to display his miraculous power in public as one of the proofs that he was the predicted Saviour, he delighted to find occasions of exerting it in private : he repeatedly enjoined the concealment of his mighty deeds : he studioully transferred the entire praise of his works from himself to his Father : he commanded the few witnesses, whom he permitted to behold his transfiguration, to make no mention of that display of glory until after his death. Seeft thou a man wife in his own conceiti? There is more hope of a fool than of him. Brethren; in honour prefer one another. Be
courteous in word and deed. Let another · man praise thee, and not thine own mouth :
a franger, and not thine own lips. Let nou thing be done through firifé or váin glory: " but in lowliness of mind let each esteem ather's
better than himself (t). .. 16953 : Many other offences of the tongue require to be noticed : and will form, with the permission of God, the fubject of a future discourse. The number, however, and the magnitude of those which have been investigated are sufficient to awe the careless into reflection. Where now; yeinconsiderate, are your delufions? Are words empty air? Are sins of the tongue :like the path of an arrow through a cloud, undifcerned, undiscoverable forgotten? If
a book of remembrance is cöritten before God -- for them that fear the Lord, and speak often
one to another: is there no book of remembrance for them who employ not his gift of speech to his glory? If the Lord bear. kens and bears, when men glorify Him in the use of His gift: if He proclaims, They Shall be mine ; and I will spare them, as a - man spareth his own son that serveth him (u):
shall he not hearken and hear, shall he not avenge and destroy, when the tongue (t) Prov. xxvi. 12. xxvii. 2. 1 Pet. ii. 8. Philipp. ii. 3. (v) Mal. iii. 16, 17.
labours in the service of lin? In that ser-vice, my brethren, how long have, our
tongues wearied themselves! How little in the application of speech have we imitated our Lord; his prudence, his patience, his calmness, his lowliness. By foolish talking, by fretful and impatient language, by strife, by boasting, by one or by all of these fins, how often has every one of us transgressed! In proportion as we have resembled any of the pictures , which have been drawn, such has been our guilt. Do we deem the dispensation unreasonable, that words, no less than
a&ions, shall be grounds of punishment ? .: They reft on the fame bafis. They are in - nature essentially the same. Words and actions are equally signs: signs of the state of the heart. The word, the deed, the meditated purpose, speak the same language in the ear of the Most High. Alike they reveal the governing principle of the soul. Alike they testify the fact which decides our doom: that we are servants of God; or that we are servants of the devil..