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The Great Plague of the Heart

The Great Plague of the Heart

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE GREAT PLAGUE OF THE HEARTBY CHARLES GORDELIER.BEIG A EXTRACT FROM THE AUTHOR'S SERMOO I KIGS, VIII. 28.There is another plague of the heart, more subtle, more insidi-ous, more deceitful, than the one just named (Unbelief). It isthat of Pride. It is more difficult to perceive. It is less diffi-cult to hide. It assumes as many shapes, forms, and characters,with as much facility and adroitness, as those mountebanks, sonoted for mimicking a variety of characters at a theatrical enter-tainment. So deceiving is pride, we hardly see it with the samedress or the same face twice. Pride is so mixed up with all weare and all we do, that it becomes, as it were, a part of us; if weare told of it or look for it, we see it not. Pride strives to hideitself ; never shows its own face, never wears its own dress, speaksnot with its own voice, and colovirs all its own doings, so that itshaU not appear. With the natural man it succeeds well. He is5S THE GEEAT PLAGUE OE THE HEART.well pleased with himself; and if found in the profession of reli-gion, he is still moi'e delighted with himself ; for profession is thematerial which pride employs to deceive and catch unwary andunstable souls. Pride is the spider in the house of (rod ; it.weaves its web from its own bowels, sucks out the life of all whomit catches ; but it becomes the pest of all who love the Lord Jesusin sincerity and in truth. Pride, therefore, does not succeedwith the upright, for it is opposed; for where God begins his goodwork in the soul, he plants the grace of humility. Humblenessof soul is that spu'it which God approves. Pride is that spiritwhich God abhors. Pride is that cursed sin which cast angels outof heaven ; and many a delight has it cast out of the heaven-born
soul. This, I dare say, some of you have known to your sorrow ;and I can say with Dr. Watts :''But pride, that busy sin.Spoils all that I perform ;"and with dear Mr. Hart :"Do what I will, it liaimts me still,And keeps me from the Lord."And because this humbleness of soul, this poverty of spirit, isso blessed to feel, and is enjoyed by the believer, therefore pridecomes in all its protean forms. Does God shine in upon the soul,and speak peace, joy, and liberty? Oh, how pride creeps in andcauses the soul to be satisfied with itself ; to rest upon its framesand feelings, believing they will ever continue. Such souls think their mountain stands strong; they are lifted up. Then soon thepoor soul discovers its error in not always resting on Christ. Thelight of God's countenance is lost sight of; the cause is pride, butit has hidden itself ; it has, like the spider, hidden itself ; it hascast its filmy web over the eye of the soul and brought it intodarkness. Then the believer comes to the throne of grace tomourn and to deplore the loss of God's presence ; and still, eventhere, will pride creep in and show itself, aye, in some feelings of disappointment and mortification. It will show itself even intears of sorrow, so subtle is it and so difficult to detect. In out-ward things, visible as it may be to others, it is often concealedfrom the view of those who are under its influence. If such a oneis favoured with gifts for public usefulness, what a hotbed dothey prove for pride. Puffed up with fancy's airy dreams, till, asMr. Hart very truly says,"The heart uplifts with God's ovm gifts,Makes even grace a snare."The soul is tempted by the em'sed spirit of pride, to make a kind of show or dealing with those gifts for exalting self. If with a gift forverbal prayer, what longings for the prayer meeting; alwaysthere. If with a gift for public speaking, and some supposedknowledge of God's word, what burning desires to preach, what
longings for a pulpit ; and, as I once heard the late Mr. Gadsbysay, " If God does not open a door for them in his providence,they will lift up the latch themselves and walk in." Ah ! this istrue to the very letter, and all this under the specious pretence of doing it for the glory of God and the good of immortal souls. Butit is the spirit of Ahimaaz : " Howsoever, let me run ;" (2 Sam.xviii. 22, 23 ;) yes, and run they do, and run fast too, very fast, andTHE GEEAT PLAGUE OF THE HEART. 59'then stop short. How so ? Because their brains have run out asfast as their legs ran ; so they soon give over, and curse the prideof theii- hearts the rest of their days ; for they find God never sentthem. This kind of pride, however, only affects a few compara-tively, but pride and vain glory work in all, more or less ; they willshow themselves in endless forms. If a soul thinks itself to havemore trials than another, it will gather pride to itself. If moreftiilicted in body than another, it will make it an occasion of pride.If employed in any department of Christian service, ever so humble,pride will creep in and " swell a haughty worm." Conversation,position in society or the church, dress, any peculiarity, no matterwhat ; pride will, like flies, feed upon anything — hot, cold, sweet,&our, clean, filthy, holiness, corruption— nothing comes amiss.But, 0, to the child of God, exercised by this subtle and cursedspirit, it is the plague of his heart. Say, believer, is not this thetorment, the plague of your heart? " Ah ! " say you, "indeed itis. "VMiat a world of trouble it has occasioned me ! How uneasyit makes all things betv\-een God and the soul ! " Thus it is, thatmuch of our discomforts arise from pride, this plague of the heart.Closely allied to this plague of the heart is another, but itis stiU more difficult to detect and to subdue, and that is Self.Self-seeking, self-praise, self-pleasing, "Wonderful self," as Mr.Huntington styles it. This is the great idol of the heart.This is the idolatry which God's work is laboming to destroyand cut down ; and it may be remarked, that if the Spiritof truth reveals the working of this subtle and insidious enemy toall righteousness, it is no small proof of his gracious teaching. Iam not referring to what is usually termed self-sufficiency or self--

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