Friday, April 3, 2009

Ministerial Pride, Part IV, Richard Baxter

This is the final post from the essay, Ministerial Pride, by Puritan pastor, Richard Baxter. As I reflected on this essay I couldn't help but imagine that Baxter would include blogging in his criticisms. How often do bloggers and those who comment use it as an occasion to display their pride (I'm including myself here)?

"O that the Lord would lay us at his feet in the tears of sincere sorrow for this sin of pride! Brethen, may I expostulate this case a little with my own heart and yours, that we may see the evil of our sin, and be reformed! Is not pride the sin of devils, the first-born of hell? Is not pride, that wherein Satan's image does much consist? And is pride to be tolerated in men who are so engaged against him and his kingdom as we are? The very design of the gospel is to abase us, and the work of grace is begun and carried on in humiliation. Humility is not a mere ornament of a Christian, but an essential part of the new creature. It is a contradiction in terms -- to be a Christian, and not humble. All who will be Christians must be Christ's disciples, and 'come to him to learn': and the lesson which he teaches them, is, to 'be meek and lowly.' Oh, how many precepts and admirable examples has our Lord and Master given us to this end. Can we behold him washing and wiping his servants feet -- and yet be proud and self-important? Shall he converse with the poorest of the people, and shall we avoid them as below our notice, and think none but people of wealth and honor fit for our society? How many of us are oftener found in the houses of gentlemen than in the cottages of the poor -- who most need our help? There are many of us who would think it below us, to be daily with the most needy and beggarly people, instructing them in the way of life and salvation, as if we had taken charge of the soul of rich people only!"

This essay is published in the Puritan Reformed Journal, Volume I, Number I, 2009 and can be purchased here.

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