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Rick Bates
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
by chestnutmare
chestnutmare
...persons are not sufficiently sensible of the danger of self-righteousness after conversion. They seem to be sensible that persons are in danger of it before they are converted, but they think that when a man is converted, he is brought off wholly from his own righteousness, just as if there was no danger of any workings of self-righteousness afterwards. But this is from a great mistake of what is intended by a man's being brought wholly off from his own righteousness when he is converted. 'Tis not meant that a self-righteousness principle is wholly done away, that there is no remains of such a disposition in the heart. There is as much of the remains of that as there is of any other corruption in the heart.

So a man is brought, when converted, wholly to renounce all his sins as well as to renounce all his own righteousness. But that don't argue that he is wholly freed from all remains of sin. So no more is he wholly freed from remains of self-righteousness. There is a fountain of it left. There is an exceeding disposition in men, as long as they live, to make a righteousness of what is in themselves, and an exceeding disposition in men to make a righteousness of spiritual experiences, as well as other things; and it was well if some more were sensible of it. [A convert is] apt to be exalted with high thoughts of his own eminency in grace. Let everyone examine himself. There is no pride in the world more secret and more difficult for persons to discern in themselves than this pride.

You that think that God has done great things for you: how has it been with you? Have you been really lifted up? Don't go away with a notion that you are above danger of it. There is not one of you, no, not the best saint of you all, that is above danger of it. Don't think that you are above danger of it because discoveries have had a tendency to make you lie low and to work by humility. You are in danger of being lifted up with that very humility. None of [you] are better than the apostle Paul, and he was in danger of [being “exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations” given him] (2 Corinthians 12:7).


~ Jonathan Edwards Excerpts from the Sermon Bringing the Ark to Zion a Second Time
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by chestnutmare
chestnutmare
How was it with you in that wonderful time, wherein you received so much? Was not you very apt to look on yourself as an eminent saint, one more eminent than most others? Was it sometimes natural to you to think that God would show you some peculiar favors above others?

Was there not prevailing in you the reverse of that disposition, spoken of, Philippians 2:3, “Each esteem others better than themselves”; and the disposition that the apostle Paul was of, who calls himself “less than the least of all saints” (Ephesians 3:8)?

Let everyone examine himself what has commonly been his motive in speaking of his own experience, whether it has not often been your own honor, and that you might be well accounted of by men. And hasn't this been a temptation to some of you, to set out your own experience as much as you could?

You that think that God has done great things for you: how has it been with you? Have you been really lifted up? Don't go away with a notion that you are above danger of it. There is not one of you, no, not the best saint of you all, that is above danger of it. Don't think that you are above danger of it because discoveries have had a tendency to make you lie low and to work by humility. You are in danger of being lifted up with that very humility. None of [you] are better than the apostle Paul, and he was in danger of [being “exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations” given him] (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Therefore, don't think there is no need for you to keep a strict eye upon your own heart with respect to those things. There is need of the strictest scrutiny imaginable, and a continual watch. Therefore let every one deal faithfully with himself in examining what is past, and let us all keep the strictest watch over ourselves for the future. Let us watch over our own hearts and over our behavior. Let us be careful to avoid all appearance of being lifted up with what God has done for us. And if you think that God has given you better experiences than others, yet it will be very imprudent in you to say so, or to say what implies it: for though you seem to ascribe it to God and not yourself, yet it will be as much as to say that your opinion of yourself is that you are a more eminent saint than most of your neighbors. Therefore 'tis best to avoid such expressions concerning what you have met with: “It seems to me I have met with great things”; “It seems to me God has done great things for me”; “It seems to me I have no cause to be ashamed to speak before kings,” and the like. Whatever you think, you had better avoid such expositions and all expressions that carry in it that you think you are an eminent saint. If you talk of your own experiences, talk of 'em in a very humble manner, and don't be forward to talk of your experience unless it be for good ends. Don't do it for the sake of the good thoughts of others.

~ Jonathan Edwards
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