by William Gearing
This text has been initially updated from EEBO-TCP by Project Puritas (Logan West, with David Jonescue and Alex Sarrouf.) www.puritansearch.org. Further revision and editing done by Monergism. Copyright Monergism via universal text usage permission from the above.
1 John. 2.16. —and the pride of life—
Or, Pride set forth, with the Causes, Kinds, and several Branches of it: the odiousness and greatness of the sin of Pride: The Prognostics of it, together with the cure of it: as also a large description of the excellency and usefulness of the grace of Humility: divided into Chapters and Sections.
My purpose (God assisting me) is from this Text, to handle this great sin of Pride: And first I shall define it, though I confess that it is a sin so great, that I can hardly give a full definition of it. I have read of Apelles, that excellent Painter, that being commanded to portray a Giant of a great stature, and finding it hard to set him forth so great (in that small table he had in hand) as was required, he painted in the table a hand of huge bigness, and two Giants also, who with two long sticks measured one finger of the Giants hand, that by the greatness of that finger, the mighty stature of that Giant might appear. So at this present I am compelled to do; I am now to set forth to you a mighty Giant, that swelling sin of Pride, and a little to touch upon that excellent Grace of Humility: I can but only paint a hand of either, but by observing the Proportion thereof, you may the more easily take a true survey of both.
Quest. You may ask, What is this sin of Pride?
Answ. Pride is an inordinate desire of a man's own excellency and glory, a refusal to be in subjection to those to whom he ought, and a sinful affection to be above others. Proud men (like the Sons of Belial) do reject every yoke; and like those Citizens that hated Christ, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us, Luke 19.14. Therefore the Romans painted Pride in the form of a Devil, having three Crowns upon his head, one upon another; in the first was written Transcendo, I surpass all others, because the proud man thinks he exceeds all other men. And therefore saith Hugo, Pride is a vicious haughtiness, whereby a man despiseth his inferiors, and earnestly busieth himself to rule over his equals, and those also that are above him. In the second Crown was written, Non obedio, I obey no others; because Pride would give Laws to others, but obey none himself. In the third was written, Perturbo, I trouble all; and we see by experience, that the pride of some persons doth trouble a whole Nation. Pride then is a swelling desire of a man's own excellency and glory, whereby a man is puffed up with something that is in him, or the conceit of something that is peculiar to him. Pride makes a man high in his own esteem; it was a proud one that said, I am not as other men are, Luke 18.11. and he gives God thanks for it, that he is no extortioner, unjust, &c. a strange kind of Prayer, Non est ista supplicatio, sed superlatio; this is no confession of his sins, but a commendation of his virtues; he cometh not as a beggar, to show his rags, to move mercy and compassion; but as a proud bragger, showing his robes, standing upon his merits; Non ostendit vulnera, sed potius munera, he confesseth not his wants, but boasteth of his worth: And many in the world there are of his stamp, that think all their Geese are Swans, holding themselves more wise, more holy, of better conversation, of more pure note, and better report then others; as if this were a thing most just, for a man to justify himself, as Austin speaks against Faustus the Manichee: But he should have let another have commended him, and not his own mouth; he should not have been his own Cryer and Trumpeter. The Hebrew word Gauoah, signifying the high man, is by the Greeks rendered <H&G>, which signifies an appearance, not a real thing; an appearance more than enough; showing that Pride is a great vanity, an appearance of that which is not in reality; the counting of a man's self to be something, when he is nothing: Its natural to men to think too well of themselves, and too meanly of others; to magnify, yea, Deify themselves; and vilify, yea, nullify others: For a man looking through the spectacles of self-love, thinks every gift that God hath bestowed on him greater then it is, imagining shadows to be substances, and mole-hills mountains; yea, even his own blemishes and deformities to be ornaments; Narcissus -like, doting upon his own face; and as Simon Magus, who though he were a wicked wretch, and a notorious Witch, yet will have it given out, that himself was some great one, To whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. So the Church of Laodicea said, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing. So the Scarlet-colored Strumpet glorified herself, and thought herself a Queen, when she is ready for ruin.
Table of Contents
To the Right Worshipful Richard Lucy of Charlecot
CHAPTER 1. The Porch, or Entrance into the Work.
CHAPTER 2. Of Pride in General.
CHAPTER 3. Of the Causes of Pride.
CHAPTER 4. Of the Kinds of Pride.
CHAPTER 5. Of Pride of Beauty, and the Vanity thereof.
CHAPTER 6. Of Pride of Gesture.
CHAPTER 7. Of Pride of Hair.
CHAPTER 8. Of Pride of Riches.
CHAPTER 9. Of Pride of Honor.
CHAPTER 10. Of Pride of Diet.
CHAPTER 11. Of Pride of Strength.
CHAPTER 12. Of Pride of Children.
CHAPTER 13. Of Pride of Outward Privileges.
CHAPTER 14. Of Internal Pride, and first of Pride of the Heart.
CHAPTER 15. Of Pride in the Will.
CHAPTER 16. Of Pride in the Affections.
CHAPTER 17. Of Pride of gifts in general.
CHAPTER 18. Of Pride of Wit.
CHAPTER 19. Of Pride of Memory.
CHAPTER 20. Of Pride of Eloquence.
CHAPTER 21. Of Pride of Learning and Knowledge.
CHAPTER 22. Of Pride of Inward Strength.
CHAPTER 23. Of Pride of Grace and of Humility itself.
CHAPTER 24. Of the Odiousness of Pride.
CHAPTER 25. Of the Greatness of this Sin of Pride.
CHAPTER 26. Of the Prognostics of Pride.
CHAPTER 27. Of the Cure of Pride: the First Direction.
CHAPTER 28. The Second Direction.
CHAPTER 29. The Third Direction.
CHAPTER 30. The Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Directions.
CHAPTER 31. The Seventh Direction.
CHAPTER 32. Christ a Great Example of Humility in His Life.
CHAPTER 33. Christ a Notable Example of Humility in His Sufferings and Death.
CHAPTER 34. An Exhortation to Humility: The Conclusion of the Whole Work.