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In a former chapter I have spoken of temptations to a spirit of insubordination, when the duty of obedience is manifest and incontrovertible; as, for instance, in the case of a wife, or a child. It will be more difficult to detect the sin of pride in the frequently-recurring occasions, when those who insist on the adoption of their own wishes and their own plans, in preference to yours, have no direct claims to your compliance. It is far from my purpose to recommend to you as a matter of principle, the sacrifice of your own reasonable wishes or interests, to the injustice or the caprice of others. Even in point of expediency—even for peace sake - such concessions seldom answer the expected purpose. They lead to new claims, each more unreasonable than the preceding, and cultivate and cherish ima→ ginary rights into real ones; so that a late resistance, when it at last becomes inevitable, is felt as a far greater grievance

than early firmness would have been. But it is in opposition to unreasonable claims in a right spirit, that much of the difficulty of daily life consists. Some of this day's discipline may be the enforcement of what may appear to you an unreasonable claim, in a haughty tone and in an overbearing manner. If this wounds you very much, is it not your pride that is wounded? Being thus, by the pain you feel, set on your guard against your besetting sin, you ought to be careful that your own looks and tones should not reflect the same spirit that you blame in others. An answer proceeding from a meek and lowly heart will make it far less likely that you will be soon again pained by the haughtiness you complain of; for if we examined closely, we should find that the manners of each of the individuals kept in close and constant contact with each other will be little else than a reflection of the impression made

on their own mind, by the habitual manner of the individual they address. (Of course I do not speak here of the few whose deportment is modelled by high principle or high breeding. The very point that constitutes their external superiority is a total absence of that quick reflection of other people's manner before-mentioned.) Believing, therefore, that the looks and tones that have irritated you may have been very much owing to the former faults of your own, you must try to judge of the claim thus ungraciously put forward on its own independent merits alone. If it be not very unreasonable, if it do not involve a dangerous precedent, you might prove satisfactorily to yourself your repentance for the temporary feeling of wounded pride, by making the concession demanded, - making it cheerfully and unrepiningly. If you are sure (remember it is a point on which it will be easy for you to deceive yourself) that the concession

would be inexpedient, a difficult task still remains; for your own view of the case must be stated with gentleness, with good humour, with patience; and maintained with a firmness combining all these several qualities. In the provocations you may be exposed to while thus employed, much of this day's discipline may consist. The pain they give you will arise from wounded pride. Doubt it not; but be thankful for the discovery, and seek for strength to triumph in the conflict,-a strength that will be "made perfect in your weak


And when, the discipline of the day being over, you kneel before God at the evening hour, let the spirit of penitence and self-abasement be ever stronger than that of confidence and consciousness of well-doing. For any successful struggle against your besetting sin, you should indeed thank God, and gain encourage* 2 Corinthians, xii. 9.

ment to hope for the future. But your eyes should chiefly be turned towards the contemplation of your failures, of your transgressions during the past hours; chiefly should you consider in what instances you have failed to profit by the discipline appointed for you; how many opportunities for conflict or for victory have been unnoticed or neglected; how many feelings and thoughts allowed or cherished that ought to have been instantly subdued. Above all, your sense of indwelling sin* should be so strengthened and deepened by the experience obtained from this day's discipline, that the free salvation offered in the Gospel will become more than ever precious to you, and you will be ready to exclaim, with the apostle, "O, wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."†

* Romans, vii. 17.

† Ibid, 24, 25.

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