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Some see pride as only that which manifests itself in costly apparel and bodily ornaments, beyond the degree and rank of the person. Some look no further than the treatment of one man towards another. Now consider with me that the greatest pride in the world is man’s undue esteem of himself toward God, and this is in the heart of everyone by nature. Everyone by nature lifts up himself against God, goes about to dethrone God, and to crown himself. Everyone takes counsel in his heart against the Lord, saying, “Let us break His bands asunder, and cast His cords from us” (Psalm 2:3). This is the voice of everyone that dares willfully to sin. This is the working of the pride of a man against God, to thrust God out of the throne of His majesty, and to set himself in. For what is God’s glory and respect among His creatures? Is it not that He, being the beginning and Author of all, should be likewise the end of all?

This is the very purpose for which God made man, that having received himself from God, he should have what he might freely give up to God. All man is, and all that he has, is to be offered to God, as the end and center of all. But a sinning creature brings God under to serve him, to provide for him. And though this pride of man against God is not always so easily noticed, it is the very daring sin of the world. …

Consider how far man’s pride is from his true excellency in his union with God. We must therefore distinguish between the high esteem that man is to have of himself, and pride. For man to look on himself as a noble being, of rank above all the natural world, is not pride, for in this way he is (being a spiritual understanding agent) in a capacity of being acquainted with God and of being united to God.

—James Janeway
Heaven upon Earth (London: Dilbourn, 1673), 38-39.

Just so no one accuses me again of forbidding good works, let me say that one should with all seriousness be contrite and remorseful, confess and do good works. … After [the grace of God] we can do a lot of good [works]—to the glory of God alone and to the benefit of our fellow-men, and not in order that we might depend upon that as sufficient to pay for our sin. For God gives us his grace freely and without cost; so we should also serve him freely and without cost.

—Martin Luther
“Word and Sacrament I” in LW, 35:17.

It is the antithesis of all false preachers, as they are described in Galatians (Gal. 6:13): “They desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.” So all false teachers seek their own glory, although they give lip service to the glory of God. … Yet the Gospel proclaims the glory of God alone. “The heavens are telling the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1), not their own glory. The glory of God is that God alone is wise, righteous, and the Redeemer. It follows that we are foolish and lost sinners, because the glory of God is not set forth unless we ourselves are confounded. The papists do not want this confounding, yea, they ascribe a part of righteousness to their own glory, and therefore it cannot bear the Gospel. The Holy Spirit convicts the whole world of sin (John 16:8) and proclaims the righteous Christ and His glory alone. It is the office of an evangelical preacher to proclaim the glory of God alone.

—Martin Luther
“Lectures on Isaiah: Chapters 40-66” in LW, 17:172–173.

Happiness is the end of the creation, as appears by this, because the creation had as good not be, as not rejoice in its being. For certainly it was the goodness of the Creator that moved Him to create; and how can we conceive of another end proposed by goodness, than that He might delight in seeing the creatures He made rejoice in that being that He has given them?

It appears also by this, because the end of the creation is that the creation might glorify Him. Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory He has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for He had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of the creation be the declaring God’s glory to others; for the declaring God’s glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise joy in ourselves and others at what is declared.

Wherefore, seeing happiness is the highest end of the creation of the universe, and intelligent beings are that consciousness of the creation that is to be the immediate subject of this happiness, how happy may we conclude will be those intelligent beings that are to be made eternally happy!

—Jonathan Edwards
“Miscellanies”, WJE (Yale University Press, 1994), 199–200.

How many good duties are lost and spoiled by sinful indulgence to our bodies? Alas! we are generally more solicitous to live long, than to live usefully. How many saints have active, vigorous bodies, yet God hath little service from them. If your bodies were animated by some other souls that love God more than you do, and burn with holy zeal to his service, more work would be done for God by your bodies in a day, than is now done in a month. To have an able, healthy body, and not use it for God, for fear of hurting it, is as if one should give you a strong and stately horse, upon condition you must not work or ride him. Wherein is the mercy of having a body, exeept it be employed for God? Will not its reward at the resurrection be sufficient for all the pains you now put it to in his service?

—John Flavel
The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel, 1:497–498.

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