Jesus departed from the desert and entered into Jerusalem; whereupon all the people ran to the temple to see him. So after the reading of the psalms Jesus mounted up on the pinnacle where the scribe used to mount, and having beckoned for silence with his hand, he said: `Blessed be the holy name of God, O brethren, who hath created us of the clay of the earth, and not of flaming spirit. For when we sin we find mercy before God, which Satan will never find, because through his pride he is incorrigible, saying that he is always noble, for that he is flaming spirit.
`Have ye heard, brethren, that which our father David saith of our God, that he remembereth that we are dust and that our spirit goeth and returneth not again, wherefore he hath had mercy upon us? Blessed are they that know these words, for they will not sin against their Lord eternally, seeing that after the sin they repent, wherefore their sin abideth not. Woe unto them that extol themselves, for they shall be humbled to the burning coals of hell. Tell me, brethren, what is the cause for self-exaltation? Is there, perchance, any good here upon earth? No, assuredly, for as saith Solomon, the prophet of God: “Everything that is under the sun is vanity.” But if the things of the world do not give us cause to extol ourselves in our heart, much less doth our life give us cause; for it is burdened with many miseries, since all the creatures inferior to man fight against us. O, how many have been slain by the burning heat of summer; how many have been slain by lightning and by hail; how many have been drowned in the sea by the fury of winds; how many have died of pestilence, of famine, or because they have been devoured of wild beasts, bitten of serpents, choked by food! Hapless man, who extolleth himself having so much to weigh him down, being laid wait for by all the creatures in every place! But what shall I say of the flesh and the sense that desire only iniquity; of the world, that offereth nought but sin; of the wicked, who, serving Satan, persecute whosoever would live according to the law of God? Certain it is, brethren, that if man, as saith our father David, with his eyes should consider eternity, he would not sin.
`To extol oneself in one’s heart is but to lock up the pity and mercy of God, that he pardon not. For our father David saith that our God remembereth that we are but dust and that our spirit goeth and returneth not a gain. Whoso extolleth himself, then, denieth that he is dust, and hence, not knowing his need, he asketh not help, and so angereth God his helper. As God liveth in whose presence my soul standeth, God would pardon Satan if Satan should know his own misery, and ask mercy of his Creator, who is blessed for evermore.’
Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC