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I. Its general nature. II. Its different forms. III. Its guilt. IV. Its causes and cure.

I. Its general nature.

It is an overestimate of ourselves; our own powers, merit or importance. It is a sentiment or feeling. It designates a state of mind and not of the outward bearing. The manifestation of pride in look, language or deportment, is arrogance. Vanity is nearly related to pride, but is very different. It is the desire of admiration. It is something light and trivial, as its etymology indicates. The vain man is often amiable, the proud man is malignant.

II. The different forms of pride.

1. When it arises from some outward distinction, as ancestry, title, office, wealth.

2. When it arises from mental superiority, real or supposed. This is intellectual pride, which may be manifested towards God, or is evinced in an undue reliance on human reason and an unwillingness to submit to the mysteries of divine revelation. Of this the apostle speaks when he says every proud thought and high imagination must be brought low to the obedience of the faith. And our Savior speaks of it when he says, we must be converted and become as little children. This intellectual pride is the characteristic of the Greeks, of Rationalists, of philosophers, and one of the great evils which beset every student of the Bible.

3. When it arises from an undue estimate of our own goodness. This is spiritual pride. We have its type in the Jews, especially the Pharisees, who regarded themselves as so much better than other men, and said, “Stand by, for I am holier than thou!”, It lurks in every heart. We are disposed to compare ourselves with others and think ourselves better than others, more conscientious, more faithful, more holy. Even our most sacred experiences are apt to be attended by a rising feeling of self–complacency, and pride gathers food even from humility, and makes self–abasement a means of self–exaltation.

III. Its moral hatefulness and guilt.

1. It is a lie. It is a falsehood, i.e., false estimate of ourselves.

2. It is irreligious in its essence. It is the substitution and exaltation of self in the place of God.

3. It is diabolical, both because it was the sin of Satan, and because it allies us to Satan. The most Satanic men are proud, malignant men.

4. It is essentially selfish, making self supreme, exalting it above our equals and superiors, and even above and against God.

5. It is on all these accounts specially hateful in itself and in the sight of God, as is evinced:

a. By the frequent and severe denunciation of it in the Bible.

b. By the opposite state of mind being made essential to salvation.

c. By the whole plan of redemption in its providence and administration being deigned to abase the pride of men.

IV. Its causes and cure.

1. It arises from ignorance and apostasy from God, and from false standards of excellence.

2. Its cure is,

a. A due sense of our insignificance and dependence.

b. A due sense of our unworthiness.

c. Being filled with due apprehensions of the glory of God.

Subordinate means.

1. Always humble yourselves, i.e., never seek exaltation or honor or praise.

2. Do not dwell on your own superiority, real or imaginary.

3. Condescend to men of low estate.

4. Seek not your own but the things of Jesus Christ, and how you may do good to others


Note:Sermon Preached by Charles Hodge. I posted the sermon as is. As I have written on the What’s on page, I will temporarily post sermons which have blessed me long time back. My body is still recuperating from sickness and my secular job is causing me physical exhaustion.

Preached: 07 July 2013

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