Use or Application of the Pride of Grace

           Use. Be exhorted above all to watch against this play of Satan, beware thou restest not in thy own righteousness.  Thou standest under a tottering wall; the very cracks thou seest in thy graces and duties, when best, bid thee stand off, except thou wouldst have them fall on thy head.  The greatest step to heaven, is out of our own doors, over our own thresh­old.  It hath cost many a man his life when his house on fire—a grippleness to save some of the stuff —which, venturing among the flames to preserve, they have perished themselves.  More have lost their souls by thinking to carry some of their own stuff with them to heaven—such a good work or duty —while [until] they, like lingering Lot, have been loath to leave in point of confidence—have themselves perished.  O sirs, come out, come out, leave what is your own in the fire.  Fly to Christ naked; he hath gold—not like thine, which will consume and be found drossy in the fire, but such as hath in the fiery trial passed in God’s righteous judg­ment for pure and full weight.  You cannot be found in two places at once.  Choose whether you will be found in your own righteousness or in Christ’s. Those who have had more to show than thyself, have thrown away all, and gone a begging to Christ.  Read Paul’s inventory, Php. 3—what he had, what he did —yet all dross and loss.  Give him Christ, and take the rest who will.  So Job, as holy a man as trod on earth—God himself being witness—yet saith, ‘Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life,’ Job 9:21.  He had acknowledged his imperfection before, now he makes a supposition—indeed, quod non est supponendum, which ought not to be made—‘If I were perfect, yet would I not know my own soul.  I would not enter­tain any such thoughts as would puff me up into such confidence of my holiness, as to make it my plea with God.’  Like to our common phrase, we say, such a one hath excellent parts, but he knows it, that is, he is proud of it.  Take heed of knowing thy own grace in this sense; thou canst not give a greater wound both to thy grace and comfort, than by thus priding thyself in it.

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