A GREAT EVIL
“Those that walk in pride He is able to abase”.Â—Daniel 4. 37.
Amongst all the evils which lie naked and open before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do, pride seems especially to incur His holy abhorrence; and the outward manifestations of it have perhaps drawn down as much as, or more than, any other sin His marked thunderbolts. Pride cost Sennacherib his army and Herod his life; pride opened the earth to Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and hung up Absalom in the boughs of an oak; pride filled the breast of Saul with murderous hatred against David, and tore ten tribes at one stroke from the hand of Rehoboam. Pride drove Nebuchadnezzar from the society of his fellow-men, and made him eat grass as oxen, and his body to be wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown as eagles’ feathers, and his nails like bird’s claws. And as it has cut off the wicked from the earth, and left them neither son nor nephew, root nor branch, so it has made sad havoc even among the family of God. Pride shut Aaron out of the promised land, and made Miriam a leper white as snow; pride, working in the heart of David, brought a pestilence which cut off seventy thousand men; pride carried captive to Babylon Hezekiah’s treasure and descendants, and cast Jonah into the whale’s belly, and, in his feelings, into the very belly of hell. It is the only source of contention; the certain forerunner of a fall; the instigator of persecution; a gin for the feet; a chain to compass the whole body; the main element of deceitfulness, and the grave of all uprightness. The very opposite to charity, pride suffereth not long, and is never kind; she envieth always, and ever vaunteth herself; is continually puffed up, always behaveth herself unseemly, ever seeketh her own, is easily provoked, perpetually thinketh evil, rejoiceth in iniquity, but rejoiceth not in the truth;
beareth nothing, believeth nothing (good in a brother), hopeth nothing, endureth nothing. Ever restless and ever miserable, tormenting herself and tormenting others, the bane of churches, the fomenter of strife, and the extinguisher of loveÂ—may it be our wisdom to see, our grace to abhor, and our victory to overcome her, and may the experience of that verse in Hart’s hymn be ours:
“Thy garden is the place
Where pride can not intrude;
For should it dare to enter there,
‘Twould soon be drown’d in blood.”
J. C. PHILPOT.