A proud Christian
(John MacDuff, "The Footsteps of Jesus" 1856)
"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13
Humility may be defined as consisting in:
1. a profound self-abasement before God, arising from a deep sense of our sinfulness;
2. and in a low estimation of ourselves, as we stand related to our fellow creatures, whatever is the extent of our attainments, or the importance of the station we occupy.
Upon this subject, too much stress cannot be laid — for without humility, true religion cannot possibly exist. A proud Christian is a contradiction in terms. We might as well speak of a wise fool, of a wicked saint, of a sober drunkard, or of a chaste harlot — as of a proud Christian! We may as soon expect delicate flowers to flourish in the frozen and barren regions of Siberia — as that true piety should grow in the heart that is proud and haughty. A vine might as well thrive when a worm is gnawing at its root — as that the soul should prosper and be in health, when its arrogance and pride are not subdued.
One of the Fathers of the Church, when asked which was the first principle in religion, replied, Humility. When asked which was the second, he said, Humility. And when asked which was the third, he again answered, Humility. So important was this grace in his estimation, that he regarded it as the beginning, the middle, and the end of true godliness. And we may truly say that where humility is absent, everything else in religion, is in vain. A person may possess the most splendid talents — he may have the gift of miracles, and the knowledge of all mysteries — but without true humility he is, in the sight of God, nothing but sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5