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The Nature of True Humiliation

The Nature of True Humiliation

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Luke xviii. 19.

— He that humhleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke xviii. 19.

— He that humhleth himself shall be exalted.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE ATURE OF TRUE HUMILIATIOBY ROBERT WALKER Luke xviii. 19. — He that humhleth himself shall be exalted.As man fell by pride, it is reasonable to conclude thathe can only rise again by humilitij: and here we aretaught that this is the express ordination and appoint-ment of God ; for thus saith the faithful and true Wit-ness, " Every one that exalteth himself shall be abased ;and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." 1 can-not tlierefore employ your time to better purpose, espe-cially upon such an occasion as this, than in opening thenature of true humiliation, and endeavouring to illustratethe necessity and use of it, to prepare our hearts for thoseenriching communications both of mercy and grace,which our Saviour, in this passage, encourageth us toexpect.I BEGI with opening the nature of true humiliation.This taltes its rise from spiritual discoveries of the evil of SERMO LVI. 289sin, as the transgression of a law which is holy, just, andgood; as an act of outrageous and unprovoked rebellionagainst the mildest, as well as the most righteous admin-istration ; as the basest ingratitude to our kindest Bene-factor, the Author of our being, and of all that we pos-sess; and especially as it renders us unlike to him whois not only the standard but the source of perfection, andconsequently incapable of any friendly correspondence
with the Father of our spirits, the Fountain of light, of life, and of joy.These spiritual discoveries of the evil of sin, producea fixed and solid apprehension of our own ill deservingbecause of it. We see the justice of the sentence whichcondemns us, and cannot help acknowledging that weare unworthy of the least of all God's mercies, and lia-ble to that tremendous wrath which is revealed from hea-ven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men.Hence arise grief and shame, and all that inward dis-tress which necessarily attend the consciousness of guilt,the present sense of forfeited happiness, and the fearfulprospect of that unknown misery which awaits trans-gressors in the world to come.To all which must be added, such a deep convictionof our utter inability to do any thing that can be effectualfor our own recovery, as issues in a despair of relief from every other quarter but the free mercy of God, ex-tended to sinners through Jesus Christ, and the effectualoperation of his renewing grace. We are not truly hum-bled till we feel ourselves wretched, miserable, poor,blind, and naked, equally destitute of righteousness andstrength, incapable of making any satisfaction for pastoffences, and having no power of our own to rectify thatfatal disorder in our frame, which is the bitter fruit of our apostacy from God.VOL. II. £ oggO SERMO LVI.Such was the state of the publican's mind, wbo ispresented to our view in the foregoing parable, as anapproved example for our imitation; whilst the Phari-see, who trusted in himself that he was righteous, stand-ing apart from his fellow- worshippers, as one who dis-
dained to hold communion with them, boldly addressedthe Divine Majesty, and, under the specious form othanksgiving, poured forth the pride and uncharitable-ness of his heart. The publican, we are told, stood afaroff; and, though his face was turned towards the mercy-^eat, yet, conscious of his unworthiness, he would notso much as lift up his eyes unto heaven, but smitingupon his breast, as the seat of his disease and pain, fromwhence he despaired of fetching any relief, he as it wereflies from himself to the God of all grace, and gives ventfo his penitent and humble hope, in these few but em-phatical words, " God be merciful to me a sinner." Butthe nature of true humiliation will more fully appearfrom the salutary purposes for which it is intended;"which was theSecond thing I proposed to illustrate; and hence like-wise we shall discover how necessary it is, in order toour regaining that happiness we have forfeited. And,I. It is of use to disgrace and mortify carnal self,that usurping idol which sits on the throne of God, andreigns in the heart of every natural man. Herein liesthe essence of man's apostacy. He is fallen from Godto self. Dissatisfied with the rank which God had as-signed him, he attempted to break loose from the Au-thor of his being, and to seize upon knowledge, immor-tality, and happiness, without any dependance upon thehand that formed him. This my brethren, is the originaldisease of our nature; in this consisteth the sinfulnessand the misery of man. He lovcth himself supremely,SERMO LVI. ggihe liveth to himself ultimately : the genuine language of his heart is, " Wiio is the Lord, that I should obeyhim?"

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