Second Kind of Spiritual Pride—Pride of Grace
Second. Another way Satan assaults the Christian is through pride of grace. It is true, grace cannot be proud, yet it is possible a saint may be proud of his grace. There is nothing the Christian hath or doth, but this worm of pride will breed in it. The world we live in is corruptible, and all here is subject to purify, as things kept in a rafty muggish room [are] subject to mould. It is not the nature of grace, but the salt of covenant, keeps and preserves the purity of it. In heaven indeed we shall be safe. But how can a saint be said to be proud of his grace? Then a soul is proud of his grace, when he trusts in his grace. Trust and confidence is an incommunicable flower of God’s crown as Sovereign Lord;—even among men it goes along with royalty. Set up a king, and as such he expects you should give him this, as the undoubted prerogative of his place, and therefore to seek protection from any other is, as it were, to set up another king. ‘If indeed you anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust under my shadow,’ Judges 9:15. Therefore when a soul puts his trust in anything beside God, he sets up a prince, a king, an idol, to which he gives God’s glory away. Now it doth not make the sin less, that it is the grace of God we crown, than if it were a lust we crowned. It is idolatry to worship a holy angel as well as a cursed devil, to make our grace a god as well as our belly our god; nay, rather it adds to it, because that is now used to rob him of his glory which should have brought him in the greatest revenue of glory. Certainly the more treasure you put into your servant’s hands, the greater wrong to you for him to run away with it. I doubt not but David could have borne it better to have seen a Philistine drive him from his throne than a son—an Absalom. But how can, or may, a saint be said to trust in his grace? First. By trusting on the strength of his grace. Second. By trusting on the worth of his grace, I conceive, cannot stand with grace: but there is an oblique kind of trust, or that which by interpretation may savour of it. Satan is sly in his assaults.