(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
~ Numbers 12:3
That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.
~ 1 Samuel 16:18
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
~ Matthew 11:29
And Saul’s servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
~ 1 Samuel 18:23
He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
~ Psalm 78:70-72
Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
~ Amos 7:14-15
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
~ Romans 12:16
A Sermon on Psalm 131:1, by Thomas Manton. Sermon II.
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
— Ps. cxxxi. 1.
The purpose of David in this psalm is both to exhort and direct the people of God constantly and perpetually to place all their hopes and confidence in God. He exhorteth them to hope, and directeth them in the right way of hoping and trusting God. He doth both by propounding his own example; wherein —
First, He professeth his humility, and so denieth the opposite of this hope, and that is presumption and self-conceit, ver. 1.
Secondly, By declaring his submission and absolute resignation of himself to the will of God. Both together teach us this lesson —
Doctrine. That an holy humble heart, that is content to live at God’s finding, can best trust in God.
It must needs be so —
1. Partly in regard of God; for those that exalt themselves shall be humbled. He is a party against the proud: James iv. 6, ‘ He resisteth the proud,’ avrndaverai. Pride crosseth God’s design of abasing all flesh before him.
2. Partly in regard of trust. Pride and self-conceit are contrary to trust, to the very nature of it; for it is an humble dependence upon God for all: Zeph. iii. 12, ‘ I will leave an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.’ Whereas a proud spirit beareth up itself upon itself, its own merit and sufficiency. So if we seek great things for ourselves, and not refer ourselves to God, we set him a task to provide meat for our lusts. Therefore it is said, Heb. xiii. 5, ‘ Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’ Implying that the heart must be purged from covetousness, ambitious affectation, or aspiring after worldly greatness, before it is fit to meddle with promises.
Use. Therefore, if we would trust in God, we must be sensible of sin and impotency to help ourselves, and, however matters be, refer all to God, with an humble and quiet mind.
I begin, first, with his profession of humility. Therein I shall a little discourse —
(1.) Of the exactness or integrity of it:
(2.) The sincerity of it;
(3.) The lawfulness and usefulness of it.
First, The integrity and exactness of it. He did carefully beware of all pride in heart, gesture, and practice. For you may observe three degrees —
1. Pride is seated in the heart; therefore he saith, ‘ My heart is not haughty.’
2. It bewrayeth itself in the members and gestures of the body; therefore he saith, ‘ Mine eyes are not lofty.’
3. It showeth forth itself in some unwarrantable actions besides our calling or beyond our power; therefore he saith, ‘ I do not exercise myself in things too high for me.’ He that would be a complete humble man must show it in his heart, gesture, and behaviour.
Secondly, The truth and sincerity of it; for a doubt may arise how he could wholly acquit himself of pride, since it is called ‘ pride of life,’ 1 John ii. 16, because it sticketh by us as long as we live; and the best of God’s children have been troubled with it to the last. Therefore one compareth it to the shirt, the garment which we last put off. The Apostle Paul, who was an elect vessel, one rapt into the third heaven, found some seeds of pride in his heart, which would have sprung forth, but that God repressed them by a sharp correction: 2 Cor. xii. 7, ‘Lest I should be lifted up above measure, by the abundance of revelation, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to buffet me/ I answer —
1. Not absolute perfection is here asserted, but gospel sincerity. He endeavoured to keep pride and ambition out of his heart, and did in a great measure prevail against it. Till we get rid of the flesh we shall never wholly get rid of pride; but if we watch and strive against it, and overcome it in any considerable measure, we are accounted and accepted as humble.
2. As to David’s instance; we have great evidences of his humility, though also some few signs of remaining pride.
Instances of his humility are these —
(1.) That he continued in his mean vocation as a shepherd, following the ewes great with young, till God called him to an higher course of life. He never affected the royal diadem, neither would it have been any grief of heart to him if God, passing him by, had made another king. When for his merit Saul called him to court, and he was to be the king’s son-in-law, he thought himself unworthy of that honour: 1 Sam. xviii. 22, ‘ Seemeth it a light thing to be a king’s son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed? ‘ When Saul was in his power, who chased him, and pursued him to the death, he was tender of ravishing the blessing, and therefore said, 1 Sam. xxiv. 7, ‘ The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed; ‘ so 1 Sam. xxvi. 8, 9, ‘ God hath delivered thine enemy into thy hand this day.’ ‘ Who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be innocent? ‘ These are not words of a man affecting the crown.
(2.) That he bore insufferable injuries and contempts with so much patience: 2 Sam. xvi. 10, ‘ Let him curse, because the Lord hath said, Curse David.’
(3.) That he could love them that reproved him for his sins: Ps. cxli. 5, ‘ Let the righteous smite me, and it shall be a kindness; let him reprove me, and it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break mine head.’ Far meaner people would not take it so kindly.
(4.) That he was so submissively ready to take what portion God would carve out for him, when God began to chastise him for his sins: 2 Sam. xv. 25, 26, ‘ And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and show me both it and his habitation. But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here I am, let him do to me as it seemeth good to him.’
(5.) That in all his heroical acts he did not seek his own honour, but the glory of God: Ps. cxv. 1, ‘ Not unto us, Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give the glory.’
(6.) That in his whole dealing with God he durst not trust in his own righteousness, but wholly took sanctuary in the new covenant: Ps. cxxx. 3, 4, ‘ If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who should stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared;’ Ps. cxliii. 2, ‘Enter not into judgment with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.’ Now judge you whether a man that found all this in himself could not say, ‘ Lord, my heart is not haughty ‘?
Yet, notwithstanding this, David was not wholly divested of this evil habit of pride, but something of it remained in his heart; some strings of this evil root were found there. Why else doth he beg of the Lord to be kept back from presumptuous sins? Ps. xix. 14; in the Hebrew, from prides. He found some inclination, else why should he pray they had dominion over him? So when the people all about were subdued by him, he began to be drunk with worldly prosperity: Ps. xxx. 6, ‘ In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.’ Again, no man can deny but that his heart was lifted up with pride when he caused the people to be numbered from Dan to Beersheba, that he might know what a mighty king he was, 2 Sam. xxiv. 2 , which vain glory of his cost him and the people dear. Yet, notwithstanding all these remnants of pride, he doth and might say, ‘ Lord, my heart is not haughty.’
3. Therefore I add, for the truth of his plea he appealeth to God; and from all those that are affected like David, God will accept of the appeal.
(1.) He could in truth of heart appeal to God: ‘ Lord, my heart is not haughty.’ He appealeth to him who knoweth all things. Lord, from whom nothing is hid, thou knowest that this is the very disposition of my soul. If I have anything, it is from thee; it is thy providence which brought me from following the ewes great with young to feed and govern thy people.’ Such an holy man would not rashly invoke God, and take his holy name in vain; but knowing his integrity, durst call God to witness. The saints are wont to do so upon like occasions; as Peter, John xxi. 17, ‘ Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.’ They know they have a God that will not be deceived with any shows, and that he knoweth and approveth them for such as he tindeth them to be. So Job doth in the sincerity of his heart appeal to God: ‘ Behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is “on high/ Job xvi. 19. So Jeremiah, chap. xvii. 16, ‘ I have not desired the evil day, Lord, thou knowest.’ Bold men, that mind not what they say, may falsely and rashly appeal to God; but it is one thing what some do in passion and with a troubled mind; as Sarah, Gen. xvi. 5, ‘ The Lord judge between me and thee; ‘ and it is another thing what holy persons, divinely inspired, do upon deliberation, and having considered what it is to make an appeal to God out of the tranquillity of a good conscience, and upon new covenant terms.
(2.) From those that are affected like David, God will accept the appeal; for in the account of God we are that which we sincerely desire and endeavour to be, and for the general course and tenor of our lives are, thoughth ere be some intermixtures of failing. David saith, ‘ Lord, my heart is not haughty; ‘ and yet he was not altogether free from pride. His profession respecteth his sincere purpose and constant endeavour, and that predominant disposition of his soul. God himself confirmeth such appeals by his own testimony: 1 Kings xv. 5, ‘ My servant David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, neither departed from all that which he had commanded him, save only in the matter of Uriah.’ And yet we have many failings of David upon record. He sinned many other times and ways besides in the matter of Uriah. His distrust that he should perish one day by the hand of Saul, 1 Sam. xxvii. 1, when he had God’s promise that he should out live him. His deep dissimulation before Achish, especially when he tendered his service to him in the wars against Israel, 1 Sam, xxvii. 10. His rash choleric vow to destroy Nabal and all that belonged to him, 1 Sam. xxv. 22, when indeed he had done him, in rigour of justice, no wrong. His injustice to Mephibosheth, and that contrary to the kindness of his old trusty friend Jonathan, upon the bare suggestion of a servant and false informer, 1 Sam. xvi. 4, and then restoring but half when he knew the suggestion to be false; he was blinded by reason of state, &c. His fond affection to Absalom, and taking his death with such impatience. His numbering the people, and perhaps some other sinful oversights, are recorded of David, as well as the murder of Uriah; yet these are passed over in silence; only his presumptuous sin is mentioned. Such a testimony also doth God give of Job, when he saith to Eliphaz the Temanite, Job xlii. 7, ‘ My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends, because ye have not spoke of me that which is right, as my servant Job.’ Yet he himself confesseth that he had spoken amiss of God, ver. 3 and 6; and in the 3d verse, ‘ I have uttered that I understood not.’ Therefore, ver. 6, he abhorred himself, and repented in dust and ashes. But these things, so inconsiderately spoken by him, fell from him besides his purpose, and out of mere human infirmity, and therefore not laid to his charge; he was right in his main cause, though he had his failings.
Hash expressions, in a fit of passion, are passed by, when there is not a corrupt disposition of heart. By all this it is shown that the plea of sincerity is allowed by God, though there be some mixture of failings and weaknesses.
Thirdly, The lawfulness and usefulness of it. Is not this boasting like the pharisee? Luke xviii. 9, ‘ God I thank thee, I am not like other men.’ If David were thus humble, why doth he speak of it? Is he not guilty of pride while he seemeth to speak against pride? It is a saying of Austin’s, Magis Deo placet humilitas in malis factis, quamsuperbia in bonis factis — Humility in bad actions is more pleasing to God than pride in good actions.
Ans. We must not conceive so of what was spoken through the instinct and inspiration of the Holy Ghost by such an holy person. This is spoken either as —
(1.) A necessary vindication; or
(2.) A necessary instruction.
1. As a necessary vindication against the censures and calumnies of his adversaries. Saul’s courtiers accused him as aspiring after the kingdom; yea, his own brother taxed him of pride when he came first abroad: 1 Sam. xvii. 28, ‘ I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down to see the battle.’ If his brother would calumniate his actions, much more might others. Now it is for the honour of God that his children, as they would not commit a fault, so they should not be under the suspicion of it; therefore he appealeth to God.
2. A necessary instruction; for whatsoever David said or wrote here, he said or wrote by the instinct of the Holy Ghost, that Israel may learn how to hope in God. Now herein David is a notable pattern of duty both to superiors and inferiors.
(I.) To superiors. God had required in his law, that when he had given them a king, their hearts were not to be lifted up above their brethren, Deut. xvii. 20. If any might seem to have cause to be lifted up, David much more; he was famous for notable exploits and heroical actions; he had vanquished the lion and the bear, vanquished Goliath, the great champion of the Philistines, waged great wars, and always returned a conqueror. If these things had been done by others, how would they vaunt themselves, and be puffed up with the thoughts of their own excellency! We see how mean people, upon far lighter occasions, are wont to boast.
(2.) To meaner people. If so great and powerful a king had neither an haughty heart, nor lofty eyes, nor high presumptions, surely they should be ashamed to be proud of lesser enjoyments and poor trifling actions.
As a pattern and instance of the power of grace. The grace of God is able to keep a man humble and lowly in any degree of excellency. David, a rich powerful king, a mighty conqueror, can appeal to God, and say, ‘ Lord, my heart is not haughty/ Vain man hath much ado to keep down his heart if conscious to any excellency, real or supposed; if wise, learned, honourable, rich. But though with man it is impossible, with God all things are possible.
Let me now come to the points. Time will only give leave to insist on the first clause, ‘ Lord, my heart is not haughty.’ Thence observe two things —
First, That those that have any dealing with God should be able to plead that they are not proud and haughty.
Secondly, If we would root out and remove pride from us, we must begin first with the heart.
First, They should be far from pride that would have any dealing with God.
1. Because God is a great enemy to pride, and his word ‘hath sufficiently declared how ill he is pleased with it. See Ps. cxxxviii. 6, ‘ Though the Lord be high, yet he hath respect unto the lowly; but the proud he knoweth afar off.’ God is far exalted above all creatures, and it is an abasement to him to take notice of man or angel; yet his superlative grandeur doth not hinder him to take notice of the meanest lost sinner who humbleth himself before him, or of the poorest supplicant; but with the proud he will have no communion, but proceed most severely with them. So James iv. 6, ‘ God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble; ‘ Prov. vi. 16, 17, ‘ These six things are an abomination to the Lord, yea, seven things doth the Lord hate; a proud look, a lying tongue,’ &c. All these places, and many more, do show that this is an hateful sin to God. Now what is hateful to God should not be lovely to us. See Prov. viii. 13, ‘ The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.’ Eadem velle et nolle, &c. We must will and nil the same things, if we would live in amity and friendship with God.
2. In the course of his providence, the Lord opposeth himself to them that lift up themselves, and giveth his grace and favour to them that abase themselves; so that his providence declareth his hatred as well as his word.
(1.) His judgments on the wicked are for this. What is God a-doing in heaven but debasing the proud and lifting up the humble? Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson at his own bitter cost: Dan. iv. 37, ‘All his works are truth, and his ways judgment; and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.’ God may suffer them to prosper for a while, yet he standeth in battle-array against them, and will take his fittest opportunity to bear down all them that live in the sin of pride: Isa. ii. 12, ‘The day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low.’ The humble need not be afraid of his power, majesty, and wrath, but the proud shall not escape the effects thereof. In short, God hath an especial quarrel against proud persons, and hath special knowledge of them, and will find them out, and bring them low.
(2.) His sharp corrections on his people. One special reason of his smart discipline is to correct pride or prevent pride: Job xxxiii. 17, ‘ That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.’ When God seeth his servants to be in danger of being lifted up, he provideth a sharp cure. Paul’s thorn in the flesh was that he might not be exalted above measure. God will keep them low that will not keep their hearts low; sometimes by sore sickness, sometimes by bitter reproaches, sometimes by disgraceful sufferings; yea, some times by some scandalous and grievous fall.
(3.) Consider the reasons why the Lord hateth it so, and sets himself against it.
(1.) It is a sin in most direct opposition to God, and therefore God standeth in most direct opposition to it. It usurpeth his honour and glory, and sets self as an idol in his place; as if we had the power of our own affairs, and all esteem were due to us. The prince of Tyre is charged with setting his heart as the heart of God, Ezek. xxviii. 2. Though we do not say it openly by so many explicit thoughts and words, we say it implicitly by secretly arrogating to ourselves glory and honour, or seeking to ourselves our own esteem and advancement in all that we do. This is like Reuben, who went in to his father’s bed. God is the first cause and last end; we have all from God and for God, not from ourselves nor for ourselves.
(2.) Because it is cross to his design, especially in the gospel, wherein his grace is offered to the humble and penitent and broken hearted, that no flesh might glory in his presence, 1 Cor. i. 29-31. God’s design is to abase all flesh before him, that the glory may redound to him alone.
(3.) It is an imitation of the devil. God’s great enemy and ours, who fell by pride and affectation of divine honour, and is the proudest creature and most discontented with his condition: 1 Tim. iii. 6, the Apostle would not have a novice ordained, lest he ‘fall into the condemnation of the devil; ‘ that is, lest so great dignity suddenly bestowed upon him may tempt him to pride and vanity, and so bring the same ruin upon himself that fell upon the devil, who was tempted in like manner by that glorious condition wherein he was created, and for his pride was cast out of heaven into the torments of hell.
(4.) It is a contradiction to the Lord Christ, ‘ who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, and humbled himself, and made himself of no reputation,’ Phil. ii. 6, 7; was not thrust down for robbery and usurpation, but came down, and lived a poor and mean life, that he might become a pattern and an example to us: Mat. xi. 29, ‘ Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.’ He went not before us in a life of pomp and ease and worldly glory, but meanness and abasement.
(5.) It is an unreasonable sin. How vain are all those things for which the hearts of men are wont to be puffed up! Usually pride feedeth upon empty shadows; and if any seem to arise out of any true worth and excellency, it is rather supposed and imaginary than really existing in us. What! are men proud of birth? Were not all our ancestors conceived and born in sin? and is not all blood of a colour? When the Jews were proud of their stock, the Lord telleth them their father was an Amorite and their mother an Hittite, Ezek. xvi. 2. Is it for our greatness and dignity? which, though it be never so great, will not warrant our pride; for our best estate is but vanity, brittle when it is brightest, Ps. xxxix. 9. We shall not long continue what we are, but death will level us with others, Ps. xlix. 10-12, and others will tread upon our graves, as we do upon the graves of our ancestors, who enjoyed the same honours before us. What is it we are proud of? acuteness of wit and singular erudition and learning? If it be not sanctified, our understanding will be our ruin: Isa. xxix. 10, ‘ The Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes; the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.’ By understanding we are undone. The devil is more subtle, Gen. iii. 1, yet a tormented creature. If it be sanctified, we shall see more cause to be humble than lifted up. Is it our riches we are proud of? 1 Tim. vi. 17, ‘ Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God.’ Who would trust in such an uncertain thing, without a man, no more to us than rich trappings to an horse? Is it for grace? To whom is the glory due, to thee or God? 1 Cor. iv. 7, ‘ Who maketh thee to differ from another, and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? ‘ Will you rob God to put the crown upon your own head? What a suspicion do you bring upon your gifts and graces, if you are proud of them, that they are rather common than saving, 1 Cor. viii. 1, 2, rather supposed and imaginary than real! Gal. vi. 3, ‘ If any man think himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.’ Usually common gifts and common graces are of a more swelling nature.
(6.) Because of the mischiefs of pride, what was the bane of our first parents, and the whole world of mankind, but pride? What hath divided the church and tore it in so many factions but pride? Therefore the Apostle, when he presseth to unity and like-mindedness, he giveth cautions against pride: Phil. ii. 1-3, ‘Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory,’ &c. What divideth friends and neighbours but pride? ‘Only by pride cometh contention,’ saith Solomon, Prov. xiii. 9. They that have a proud heart, envy superiors, contend with equals, disdain inferiors, they would shine alone in the earth. Why did Miriam and Aaron rise up against Moses, the meekest man upon earth? Nothing but their pride, Num. xviii. 2. Yea, was not this the cause of contention among the Apostles themselves? They strove who should be greatest. Therefore Christ telleth them, Mat. xviii. 1-3, ‘ Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye cannot be my disciples.’
Use. Oh, then, if we would enjoy communion with God, let us remove pride far from us; all sorts of pride.
1. There is a pride which consists in impenitency and disobedience, which maketh us slight the great business of reconciliation with God through Christ: Ps. x. 4, ‘ The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God.’ And also neglect the clearest and most necessary duties, which the word of God recommendeth to us: Neh. ix. 16, ‘ Our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments; ‘ ver. 29, ‘ They dealt proudly, and sinned against thee.’ What is pride if this be not, to contest and enter into the lists with God, and to set up our wills against the will of our Creator?
2. There is a pride which showeth itself by swelling against God’s providence, entertaining mercies with disdain, crosses with anger. It venteth itself by unthankful ness for his mercies: 2 Chron. xxxii. 25, 26, ‘ Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up; therefore there was wrath upon him,’ &c. Or slighting mercies: Mai. i. 2, ‘ I have loved you, saith the Lord; yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? ‘ Also by muttering and complaining of God’s dealings with us. Lev. xxvi. 41. Now, opposite to this, a Christian should always have a mean esteem of himself, flowing from a sense of his own sinfulness: 1 Cor. xv. 9, ‘ I am the least of the Apostles,’ &c. The undeserved goodness of God: 2 Sam. vii. 18, ‘David sat before the Lord, and said, Who nm I, Lord God. and what is ray house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? ‘ and kindly take all chastisements from him as less than our deserving.
3. There is a pride which consists in overvaluing ourselves, and showeth itself either in the mind and conceit or desires. In the mind and conceit, when we set an high price upon ourselves, and represent ourselves to ourselves in a feigned likeness: Rom. xii. 3, ‘ Let no man think of himself above what he ought to think.’ Alas! we that are so well acquainted with ourselves and our own weakness should be inclined to prefer others in honour before ourselves, Rom. xii. 10. “We know more by ourselves than we can by others. Let us not look upon our selves in the glass of self-love, for there is nothing more fallacious than that glass: Prov. xvi. 2, ‘ All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirit;’ if God put us into the balance.. But when we look upon ourselves in the glass of self-conceit, everything seemeth double to what it is, and we think ourselves much wiser and better than we are. On the other part, we should desire no more esteem from others than God alloweth us to have; and not overvalue that neither: 1 Cor. iv. 3, ‘ With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment.’ We should not make too great a matter of other men’s thoughts of us; otherwise how soon will it be a snare to us! John v. 44, ‘ How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another? ‘ John xii. 42, ‘ Among the rulers many believed on him; but because of the pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put but of the synagogue.’
Lastly, There is another sort of pride, and that is seeking great things for ourselves; we must have such honour, such estates. Surely they ascribe too much to themselves that would prescribe to God at what rate they would be maintained. No; let him choose our portion for us, who is wiser than we, and knoweth what condition is best for us: ‘ Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ Mat. v. 3. In the heart it is seated, and powerfully rooted.