The Sin of Spiritual Pride

Taken and adapted from, “A Door Unto Everlasting Life, Five Treatises: Treatise One – For Leaving Sin and Living Holily”,
Written by Andrew Gray, Scotland

Materials sourced from, The Dead Puritan Society
Hosted by, Paul D.

spiritual_struggles_spiritual_pride

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
–Proverbs 16:18-19 (ESV)

Oh, beware of pride in grace, trusting to its strength, or relying on its worth.

Must the mud-wall be proud, because the sun shines upon it? If ye be thus proud, ye will be delivered up into the devil’s hands by some desperate fall, and then your confidence will be cut off. Peter’s example may scare you. His confidence was high. “Though all men should be offended because of Thee, yet will I not be offended.” Oh, but he was soon dismounted, when he denied Christ with oaths. Your grace will wither and dwindle, if you pride yourselves in it. Remember, pride is both a sin, and a sad sign of a distempered soul. A conceit that is hardly cured. It is the canker of our comforts, and the poison of our duties. Yea, it nurses all sin. If a man be proud, it is to be feared he lacketh that which in his conceit, he is master of. Thou canst not endure spiritual pride in others, and can God endure it in thee? Where doth God lay up the richest wines of the choicest mercies? Is it not in the lowest cellars of humble hearts? Remember, pride is the mark of the devil’s slaves, but humility the mark of Christ’s followers.

It is storied of a certain man, that when the devil came to him and said, What hast thou, O man, that I have not? Hast thou fasted? I never did eat the least bit, nor drink the least drop. Hast thou watched? I never slept a wink since I was made. I am no drunkard, no adulterer any more than thou. Oh but, (said the man) I have an humble heart – I am a man of unclean lips, and repent in dust and ashes. Herein, (says the devil) thou exceedest me, for I am a proud spirit. Therefore, avoid pride as you would avoid Satan. Say with the apostle, “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:20), I pray, yet not I, but the Spirit prayeth in me. I do duties, yet not I, but Christ helps me to do them. Learn of Christ to be heavenly-minded. In this sense, (though not only in this as Grotius would have it) Christ saith of Himself, that He was in heaven whilst He was upon earth. So He tells the Jews, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). So He was properly, according to His Godhead, which still kept residence in heaven. And so He was according to His manhood, having His affections and conversation there. This much His continual discourse showed, which ascended from earthly things up to heavenly.