Sunday, April 15, 2007
Directions against inordinate Man-pleasing; or that
overvaluing the Favour and Censure of Man, which
is the fruit of Pride, and a great cause of Hypocrisy
; or, Directions against Idolizing Man.
As in other cases, so in this, iniquity consisteth not simply in the heart's neglect of God, but in the preferring of some competitor, and prevalence of some object which standeth up for an opposite interest. And so the obeying man before God and against him, and the valuing the favour and approbation of man before or against the approbation of God, and the fearing of man's censnre or displeasure more than God's, is an idolizing man, or setting him up in the place of God. It turneth our chiefest observance, and care, and labour, and pleasure, and grief into this human fleshly channel, and maketh all that to be but human in our hearts and lives, which (objectively) should be divine:. Which is so great and dangerous a sin, partaking of so much impiety, hypocrisy, and pride, as that it deserveth a special place in my directions, and in all watchfulness and consideration to escape it.
As all other creatures, so especially man, must be regarded and valued only in a due subordination and subserviency to God. If they be valued otherwise, they are made his enemies, and so are to be hated, and are made the principal engine of the ruin of himsuch as overvalue them. See what the Scripture saith of this sin: Isa. ii. 22, " Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of ?" Matt, xxiii. 9, " And call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father which is in heaven."' Ver. 8, " And be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ: but he that is greatest among you shall be your servant." Jer. xx. 15, " Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." Psal. cxviii. 6, 8, 9, " The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do unto me. It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man,—yea, in princes." Job xxxii. 21, 22, "Let me not accept any man's person; neither let me give flattering titles unto man: for I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away." Job xxi. 4, " As for me, is my complaint to man P" Gal. i. 10, " Do I seek to please men ? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be a servant of Christ." 1 Cor. iv. 3, " But with me it is a very small thing to be judged of you, or of man's judgment." Luke xiv. 26, " If a man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." " Blessed are ye when man shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven," Matt. v. 11,12. " Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers," Eph. vi. 6; Col. iii.22. 1 Thess. ii. 4, " So we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who trieth our hearts." Jude 16, " Having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." This is enough to show you what Scripture saith of this inordinate man-pleasing, or respect to man: and now I shall proceed to direct you to escape it.
Direct. I. Understand well wherein the nature of this sin consi...
- Richard Baxter