by William Dyer
To the Christian Reader
It is the great unhappiness of our age, that the greatest part of men busy themselves most, in that which concerns them least. Look among rich and poor, high and low, young and old—and see whether it appears by the whole scope of their lives, that they set their hearts more on the world, than Christ and his salvation. Just so that they may have but some of the earth in their hands—they care for nothing of heaven in their hearts! But gold can no more fill their hearts—than grace their purses!
Most people are like that silly woman, that when her house was on fire, so minded the saving of her goods, that she left her child roaring in the flames! At last remembering it, she cries out, "Oh! my child, my child!" Just so, there are many who drop into perdition, merely for a little wealth!
There are many who are temporally miserable—who are eternally happy! And there are many who are temporally happy—who shall be eternally miserable! Oh! there is a great vanity—in all worldly excellencies! The world is big in our hopes—but little in our hands. It cannot satisfy the senses of men—much less their precious souls!
Dear Christians, according to my talents received, I have endeavored to set forth the riches, the loveliness, the preciousness and excellencies that are in Christ—to draw your heart after him, and to make you desire and love him. Oh! Jesus Christ is a fountain of life, light, love, grace, glory, comfort, joy, goodness and sweetness; always full and flowing, yes, overflowing! Paul was so much captivated by Christ—that he was ever in his thoughts, ever near his heart, and ever upon his tongue! Oh! that our hearts and thoughts were thus busied about, and taken up with Christ, and those treasures of wisdom and knowledge which are in him.
The design of this piece is not the ostentation of the author—but the edification of the reader. Though the author is contemptible—yet the matter is comfortable. I hope none will blow out such a candle, by the light of which they may see the way to heaven. If God had given more spiritual matter to me—I would have given more out to you. If God may have glory, and the Church edification by these labors of mine—I shall have my end. Now my prayer for you is, that the gracious God may bring your heart more and more in love with Christ, who is altogether lovely—that shortly you may enjoy endless felicity in his loving bosom!
Short Excerpt from the book
"Learn from Me--for I am gentle and humble in heart." Matthew 11:29
Learn humility--from Christ's humility. For lack of humility--some angels became devils! Proud sinners are fit companions, for none but proud devils! When men glory in their pride--God stains the pride of their glory! "The Lord Almighty planned it--to stain the pride of all glory, and to humble all who are renowned on the earth." Isaiah 23:9
The most lowly Christian--is the most lovely Christian! A believer is like a vessel in the sea: the more it fills--the more it sinks! None live so humble on earth--as those who live highest in heaven. See how one of the best of saints looks upon himself--as one of the least of saints, "Unto me who am less than the least of all saints," said the great Paul in Ephesians 3:8.
The most holy men--are always the most lowly men. Where humility is the corner-stone, there piety is the top-stone. The coat of humility--should always be worn on the back of Christianity. "Clothe yourselves with humility." 1 Peter 5:5
God Almighty has two houses in which He dwells: His city-house, and His country-house. His city-house is the heaven of heavens; and His country-house is the humble and lowly heart! Isaiah 57:15, "I dwell in the high and holy place," that is, in heaven, God's city-house; "and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit," that is God's country-house.
Humility is a 'Bethel' for God's dwelling-place!
Pride is a 'Babel' for the devil's residence!
If you do not keep pride out of your soul, and your soul out of pride--pride will keep your soul out of heaven!
I will not say, that a poor man is never proud--but I will say, that a proud man is never godly. James 4:16, "God resists the proud--but gives grace to the humble." The face of piety--shines brightest through the mask of humility.
"Clothe yourselves with humility." Of all garments, humility best fits Christians, and best adorns their profession. A Christian should look with one eye upon God's grace--to keep him thankful; and with the other eye upon himself--to keep him mournful. When you begin to grow proud of your glistening feathers--look down upon your black feet!
Revelation 4:10, "The twenty-four elders fall down before the throne, and cast down their crowns before Him who sits on the throne." The only way of keeping our crowns on our heads--is the casting them down at Christ's feet!
Alas! sirs--what are you proud of?
Are you proud . . .
of your riches,
of your honors,
of your relations,
of your beauty,
of your strength?
Alas! alas! these are poor base things to boast in!
Oh, go to the graves of those who have died before you. Are not their bones scattered, their eyes rotted, their flesh consumed, their mouth corrupted! Where now are their ruddy lips, their lovely cheeks, their fluent tongue, their sparkling eyes, their flowing hair? Are they not all gone, as a dream!
And where will you be before long?
And will you be proud of these things?
"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13
"He is able to humble those who walk in pride!" Daniel 4:37