‘At that time Berodach-baladan … king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah … And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things … and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.’ 2 Kings 20:12–13
Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 2:16–23
Should we not be taught by this narrative to cry out every day against vainglory? It is not those standing in prominent spheres who are alone in danger of it, but all others. I recollect firing a shot once with much greater success than I knew of. A certain person had frequently said to me that I had been the subject of her earnest prayers lest I should be exalted above measure, for she could see my danger, and after having heard this so many times that I really knew it by heart, I just made the remark, that I thought it would be my duty to pray for her too, lest she should be exalted above measure. I was greatly amused when this answer came, ‘I have no temptation to be proud; my experience is such that I am in no danger whatever of being puffed up;’ not knowing that her little speech was about the proudest statement that could have been made, and that everybody else thought her to be the most officious and haughty person within ten miles. Why, do you not believe there may be as much pride in rags as in an alderman’s gown? Is it not just as possible for a man to be proud in a dust cart, as if he rode in her Majesty’s chariot? A man may be just as proud with half a yard of ground as Alexander with all his kingdoms, and may be just as lifted up with a few pence as Croesus with all his treasure. Pray against pride, dear friends, wherever you may be. Pride will grow on a dunghill, as well as in the king’s garden. Pray against pride and vainglory, and God give you grace to keep it under!
Sermon no. 704
5 August (1866)