The peacock of pride
(William Secker, "The Consistent Christian" 1660)
He is the most lovely Christian—who is the most lowly Christian. As incense smells the sweetest when it is beaten smallest—so saints look loveliest when they lie lowest. God will not allow such a weed as pride to grow in His garden, without taking some course to root it up.
Pride is a sinner's torment—but humility is a saint's ornament. "Be clothed with humility." The garment of humility—should always be worn on the back of Christianity. Where humility is the corner-stone—there glory shall be the top-stone.
God many times places a thorn in the flesh—to pierce the balloon of pride. He makes us feel a sense of our misery—that we may sue for His unmerited mercy. The first Adam was for self-advancement—but the second Adam is for self-abasement. The former was for having SELF deified—the latter is for having SELF crucified.
We live—by dying to ourselves; and die—by living to ourselves. There is no proud man—who is not a foolish man; and scarcely is there any foolish man—who is not a proud man. It is the night-owl of ignorance, which broods and hatches the peacock of pride.
"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13. God abhors those people worst—who adore themselves most. Pride is not a Bethel—that is, a house where God dwells; but a Babel—that is, a stinking dungeon in which Satan abides. Pride is not only a most hateful evil—but it is a radical evil. As all other lusts are found lodging in it—so they are found springing from it. Pride is a foul leprosy, in the face of morality; and a hurtful worm, gnawing at the root of humility. Pride is a cancer within, and a spreading plague without!
"Clothe yourselves with humility, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5