Two Powerful Quotes On True Humility & Treacherous Pride
From Englishman John Berridge, who lived on earth from 1716–1793:
On true humility, especially as it relates to true saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Once I went to Jesus as a coxcomb [a vain & arrogant man], and gave myself fine airs, fancying, if He were something, so was I; if He had merit, so had I. I used Him as a healthy man will use a walking-staff–lean an ounce upon it, and vapor with it in the air [use Him when I need Him for my own purposes, use Him as an ornament/decoration/wardrobe accessory].
But now He is my whole crutch; no foot can stir a step without Him. He is my all, as He ought to be if He will become my Saviour, and bids me cast all my care on Him. My heart can have no rest unless it leans upon Him wholly; and then it feels His peace.
But I am apt to leave my resting-place; and when I ramble from it, my breast will quickly brew up mischief. Some evil temper now begins to boil, or some care would fain perplex me [cause me worry & anxiety], or some idle wants to please me [chasing after the things of this world], or some deadness or lightness creeps upon my spirit, and communion with my Saviour is withdrawn.
When these thorns stick in my flesh, I do not try, as heretofore [as I used to], to pick them out with my own needle [to solve my problem on my own with worldly wisdom or to dismiss them as ‘no big deal’]; but I carry all my complaints to Jesus, casting every care on Him. His office is to save, and mine to look to Him for help.
- If evil tempers arise [if my moods are out of control],
I go to Him as some demoniac [as if I were actually possessed].
- If deadness creeps upon me [lack of will & desire to know Christ & obey Him],
I go to Him as a paralytic [as if I were physically paralyzed].
- If dissipation comes [seeking sinful pleasures],
I go to Him as a lunatic [as if I were literally crazy].
- If darkness clouds my face [if my faith is so weak that God seems gone from my life],
I go to Him as a Bartimeus [as if I were physically blind].
And when I pray, I always go to Christ as a leper, crying, as Isaiah did, ‘Unclean, unclean.'”
Regarding the treachery of pride:
“The foulest stain and highest absurdity in our nature is pride.
And yet this base hedgehog so rolls himself up in his bristly coat,
we can seldom get a sight of his claws.
It is the root of unbelief.
Men cannot submit to the righteousness of Christ, and pride cleaves to them like a pitched short to the skin [shirt soaked in tar & oil], or like leprosy to the wall.
No sharp culture of ploughing and harrowing will clear the ground of it [pride is a weed that no earthly/external spray can get rid of]. The foul weed will be sure to spring up again with the next kindly rain. This diabolical sin has brought more scourges on my back than anything else; and it is of so insinuating a nature, that I know not how to part with it.
- I hate it, and I love it;
- I quarrel with it, and embrace it;
- I dread it, and yet suffer it to lie in my bosom.
- It pleads a right, through the fall, to be a tenant for life;
and has such a wonderful appetite,
that it can feed kindly both on grace and garbage–
will be as warm and snug in a cloister as a palace,
and be as much delighted with a fine prayer as a foul oath.”
Our sinfulness is worse than we ever imagined…
…and the mercy & grace & Truth of the Lord Jesus Christ
are better than we ever dreamed…
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2 in which you used to live
when you followed
the ways of this world
and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,
the spirit who is now at work
in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time,
gratifying the cravings of our flesh
and following its desires and thoughts.
Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
…because of his great love for us,
God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ
even when we were dead in transgressions—
it is by grace you have been saved.
6 And God raised us up with Christ
and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
7 in order that in the coming ages
he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,
expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
10 For we are God’s handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified,
and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—
the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”