Great Humility

John Witherspoon“There is no disposition more the object of divine abhorrence and detestation than pride; nor consequently, any more amiable and necessary than humility. We are told, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble (James 4:6). To the same purpose the prophet Isaiah, “For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15). Pride was the sin by which the angels fell from their glory and happiness. It appears to have been the chief ingredient in the first sin of man; and in general, the leading part of a sinful character. Before there can be any saving change; before there can be any esteem or relish of the Gospel of the grace of God, there must be a deep humility of mind, and thorough conviction of guilt and wretchedness. This must still continue, and have a constant and visible effect upon the believer’s temper and carriage. The truth is, the way in which a sinner’s peace is made with God, the ground on which his hope and comfort is founded, and the means of his improvement in the spiritual life, all conspire in making him humble. “Where is boasting? It is excluded. No flesh is permitted to glory” in the divine presence. Every sincere penitent, every real believer, every profitable disciple of Christ, learns the emptiness of the creature, the fulness, sovereignty, power, wisdom, and grace of the Creator and Redeemer, from all that he hears, and from all that he feels.”

– John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon, vol. 1, pp. 132, 133.