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be humble. For instead of making any statement which may promote pride and self-exaltation, it shows us that we are without hope of salvation in and of ourselves. The humbling doctrines of the holy Scripture are rejected by the carnal mind. But he who receives the truth as it is there revealed, assents to the statement of the word of God, and is humbled before Him on account of multiplied transgressions against His holy, just, and good law. As long as the heart is unhumbled for sin, as long as a man is insensible of his guiltiness before God, the religion of Christ is unsuited to him. It is only by the teaching of the Spirit of God that the evil and the desert of sin can be discovered. Until Job was taught this lesson, he justified himself rather than God.19 But when God had revealed Himself to him, he cried out, Behold, I am vile ;20 I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. This proceeded from true humiliation of heart before God; and the consequence was that he was exalted. The Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.21 Similar are the dealings of God with His people
in all ages.
For the sinner who is humbled at the mercyseat, the redemption of Christ is provided. For Christ's sake pardon, justification, acceptance
19 Job xxxii. 2.
20 Job xl. 4.
21 Job xlii. 6, 12.
with God, adoption into His family, the sanctification of the soul by the blessed influence of the Holy Ghost, and every needful blessing both in this world and in that which is to come, are bestowed upon the self-abased penitent. This is the exaltation which is prepared for them who are laid low at the Redeemer's feet, and seek the blessings which He came into the world to procure and bestow upon the sinful children of men. They are made the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus ;22 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; and they shall be glorified together with Him.
The word of God affords every encouragement to the humble and penitent sinner. Though he may be despised by the world, and may be the scorn of the proud; though his meekness may be esteemed want of a manly spirit, and his humility be called meanness; yet after a little while he shall be exalted to honour. The more abased he is at the foot of the cross, the more highly will he be exalted, though not with worldly distinction. It is not desirable, in general, that this should be the portion of the children of God; for the honour of the world is more likely to prove an injury to the Christian than a gain. But yet a little while, and he shall be exalted to honour, in that abode of the blessed where glory
22 Galatians iii. 26.
23 Romans viii. 17.
fadeth not away; so that he shall sing with real joy of heart, and yet with the deepest selfabasement: Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.24
What a glorious exaltation will this be to those who have been the humble followers of the Lamb of God here on earth; when they shall see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads, and they shall reign for ever and ever25 in heaven. Does such unspeakable blessedness, such high exaltation await the humbled soul ? Surely then it is better to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud; for pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.26 And then whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased. Abased how low! when he shallfind that he has no Father, no Friend in God; no Saviour, no Redeemer in Christ; no Comforter in the Holy Spirit: but that all the attributes and perfections of the Deity are engaged against him, to seal his doom in irretrievable woe. Oh! that we felt as we ought, with that solemnity and awe which should fill our minds, whenever the dire abode of impenitent sinners is mentioned, or referred to. How will pride be then abased, when it shall be succeeded by weeping and wailing. How will it be mortified when it can only be expressed by dreadful gnashing of teeth. Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and beware of exalting ourselves in opposition to Him and to His word; being mindful of our Saviour's declaration in the text, Whosoever eralteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
24 Revelation i. 5,6. 25 Rev. xxii. 4,5. 26 Proverbs xvi. 19, 18.
THE EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER
THE GREAT COMMANDMENT.
Matthew xxii. 37–39.
JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, THOU SHALT LOVE
THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. THIS IS THE FIRST AND GREAT COMMANDMENT. AND THE SECOND IS LIKE UNTO IT, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.
The Pharisees and the Sadducees, the formalists in religious profession, and their infidel rivals, however they might differ in other respects, were agreed in their opposition to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel for this day commences with an observation, that when the Pharisees had heard that Jesus had put the Sadducees