Nothing is so subtle, so secret, so insinuating!
(Thomas Charles, "Pride" 1838)
Many think themselves most humble—when they are wholly devoid of this lovely and rare grace.
Often a great show of humility in speech and behavior, covers the rankest and most diabolical pride in the heart! They are filled, it may be, with a high opinion of their self-abasement. Their humility is without one spark of gratitude to God, or any disposition to give Him glory.
The deceitfulness of the heart, and the subtlety of Satan, in no one thing appears so great, as in the workings of pride. Nor have we in anything more cause for continual watchfulness, than pride. Nothing is so subtle, so secret, so insinuating—as pride! It often surprises us at an unexpected hour—and is in actual possession of us, before we are aware of its approach.
Were we under the continual influence of a humble spirit, our religious attainments would not be so apt to glitter in our own eyes. We would be daily ashamed of, and sorely lament . . .
our great blindness and ignorance of God,
our astonishing ingratitude, and
the coldness of our love to Him!
The spirit of pride is eminently the work of the devil within our souls. Pride enters into the very essence of every other corruption, and is the life and soul of every other sin! Until this wretched pride is in a measure brought down and mortified—no grace will grow and thrive in the heart.
Until we are brought to this state of true humility, taking shame to ourselves, and giving glory to God in and for everything—we cannot possibly enjoy communion with God, and growth in grace cannot possibly take place.
Real humility takes nothing to itself, but sin and shame.
Real humility gives all the glory to God, who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
There is not one single blessing from God that can be received, but by a humble spirit.
Nor can we be partakers of the consolations of Christ, but in proportion as this humble spirit prevails.