Pristine Grace

The Mother and Mistress of All the Sins!
by J.C. Philpot
The Mother and Mistress of All the Sins!

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. - Proverbs - 8:13

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. - Proverbs 16:5

    Of all sins, pride seems most deeply imbedded in the very heart of man. Unbelief, sensuality, covetousness, rebellion, presumption, contempt of God's holy will and word, deceit and falsehood, cruelty and wrath, violence and murder—these, and a forest of other sins have indeed struck deep roots into the black and noxious soil of our fallen nature; and, interlacing their lofty stems and gigantic arms, have wholly shut out the light of heaven from man's benighted soul.

    But these and their associate evils do not seem so thoroughly interwoven into the very constitution of the human heart, nor so to be its very life-blood, as pride. The lust of the flesh is strong, but there are respites from its workings. Unbelief is powerful, but there are times when it seems to lie dormant. Covetousness is ensnaring, but there is not always a bargain to be made, or an advantage to be clutched. These sins differ also in strength in different individuals. Some seem not much tempted with the grosser passions of our fallen nature; others are naturally liberal and benevolent, and whatever other idol they may serve, they bend not their knee to the golden calf.

    But where lust may have no power, covetousness no dominion, and anger no sway—there, down, down in the inmost depths, heaving and boiling like the lava in the crater of a volcano, works that master sin—that sin of sins, pride!

    Pride is the mother and mistress of all the sins; for where she does not conceive them in her ever-teeming womb, she instigates their movements, and compels them to pay tribute to her glory.

    The 'origin of evil' is hidden from our eyes. Whence it sprang, and why God allowed it to arise in His fair creation, are mysteries which we cannot fathom. But thus much is revealed—that of this mighty fire which has filled Hell with sulphurous flame, and will one day envelop earth and its inhabitants in the general conflagration, the first spark was pride!

    Pride is therefore emphatically the devil's own sin. We will not say his darling sin, for it is his torment—the serpent which is always biting him, the fire which is ever consuming him. But it is the sin which hurled him from heaven, and transformed him from a bright and holy seraph, into a foul and hideous demon!

    How subtle, then, and potent must that poison be, which could in a moment change an angel into a devil! How black in nature, how concentrated in virulence that venom—one drop of which could utterly deface the image of God in myriads of bright spirits before the throne—and degrade them into monsters of uncleanness and malignity!