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OBJECTION XIII.

PROFESSION OF HOLINESS TENDS TO PRIDE.


Some object that the profession of holiness makes its professor proud and self-righteous. How strange! to be free from sin and to profess to be free causing the most heinous sins of all, pride and self-righteousness! Some say we must sin to keep humble. If a little sin will make us humble great sins should make us very humble.

Sin never humbled any soul. Who has more sin than Satan? And who is prouder? Did sin make our first parents humble? If it did not, why do our brethren suppose that its nature is altered for the better? Who was humbler than Christ? But was he indebted to sin for his humility? Do we not see daily that the more sinful men are, the prouder they are also? Did Mr. Hill never observe, that the holier a believer is, the humbler he shows himself? And what is holiness but the reverse of sin? If sin is necessary to make us humble, and to keep us near Christ, does it not follow, that glorified saints, whom all acknowledge to be sinless, are all proud despisers of Christ? If humility is obedience, and if sin is disobedience, is it not as absurd to say, that sin will make us humble, — that is, obedient — as it is to affirm, that rebellion will make us loyal, and adultery chaste? See we not sin enough, when we look ten or twenty years back, to humble us to the dust forever, if sin can do it? Need we plead for any more of it in our hearts or lives? If the sins of our youth do not humble us, are the sins of our old age likely to do it? If we contend for the life of the man of sin, that he may subdue our pride, do we not take a large stride after those who say, 'Let us sin, that grace may abound; let us continue full of indwelling sin, that humility may increase?' What is, after all, the evangelical method of getting humility? Is it not to look at Christ in the manger, in Gethsemane, or on the cross? To consider Him when He washes His disciples' feet? and obediently to listen to Him when He says, 'Learn of me to be meek and lowly in heart?' Where does the gospel plead the cause of the Barabbas and the thieves within? Where does it say, that they may indeed be nailed to the cross, and have their legs broken, but that their life must be left whole within them, lest we should be proud of their death? Lastly: what is indwelling sin but indwelling pride? At least, is not inbred pride one of the chief ingredients of indwelling sin? And how can pride be productive of humility? Can a serpent beget a dove? And will not men gather grapes from thorns, sooner than humility of heart from haughtiness of spirit? *

But there is one point that needs careful consideration and guarding: there are some who profess holiness in a boastful way that gives the lie to their testimony and causes the onlooker to suspicion the presence of a Pharisee. Such persons are fond of saying, "I am sanctified no matter what you think about it;" "I know my heart is clean and you can think as you please." These persons are very conscious of their own worth and can feel power in nearly anything they themselves say or do. They are liable to be a contentious folk. They will stir up trouble on any circuit and are always meddling with other people's affairs. Steer clear of such persons, they are Pharisees in a sanctified man's clothes. — Fletcher's Christian Perfection.