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CHECK THE PDF TO CHECK IT OUT:  https://outofmydepths.com/treatrise-on-self-denial-by-richard-baxter-and-other-puritanss-views-on-this-doctrine/

The Extent of Self-denial 
The Reasons for Self-denial 
Notes and Signs of Self-denial 
Means of Self-denial 
God the First Cause - Denying Self-dependence 
God the Highest Lord - Denying Self-will 
God the Chiefest Good - Denying Self-love 
God the Last End - Denying Self-seeking 
The Carnal Christian - Are you one? - Is there such a thing? 
SELF-DENIAL - by MacDonald, George (1824-1905) 
Self Denial by John Calvin 
The Extent and Reasonableness of Self-Denial Whitefield, George (1714-1770) 
The Benefits of Self-Denial by John of the Cross, St. (1542-1591) 
Self-Denial - Abraham Kuyper 
SELF-DENIAL - Gardiner Spring, 1829

The Reasons for Self-denial

Secondly, I come to handle some reasons, with the most effectual enforcements. It is the duty of all that would be Christ's disciples to deny themselves; I shall prove it by several grounds.

1. We cannot else be conformed to our great Master. Jesus Christ came from heaven on purpose to teach us the lesson of self-denial; his birth, his life, his death, was a pattern of self-denial. His birth, it was a great step from God's bosom into the virgin's lap; a great condescension: 2 Cor. 8.9, 'When he was rich, he became poor, that we might be rich.' None can deny themselves so much as Christ did, because none was so rich as he. We may talk of flocks and herds, and the poor ornaments and supplies of a frail life; but he had the possession of a perfect happiness and glory in the divine nature, he was rich indeed. He needed not to have the respect of the creature to make him more happy; he was the lord of glory, and heir of all things. Yet when he was thus rich he made himself poor. He did not only subject himself to the law, and abject condition of the creature, but came in a poor, mean way, not in pomp, not in a princely equipage. As soon as he took our nature, he would have a feeling of our wants and miseries, therefore was born in a mean, obscure way. Born of a poor mother, in a poor place, wrapt up in cheap and unworthy swaddling-clothes, the fellow of God, the heir of all things, the lord of angels, he is thrust out among beasts in a stable. Christ would not come in pomp, but with slender provision and furniture, to put a disgrace upon worldly greatness and bravery. He would overturn the idol of the world, not only by power, but by the choice of his life. And as his birth, so was his life; he was exercised with sorrows and labours. Christ was not a man of pleasure, but a man of sorrow. Rom. 15.3, the apostle saith, 'Christ pleased not himself,' neither in the choice of his own life, nor in any delights that he could propose to himself of his own profit aud advantage, he was happy enough without them. So in his death. If any had reason or cause to love his natural life, Jesus Christ had. His soul dwelt with God in such a fellowship as we are not capable of; and yet he gave up himself to redeem us from the present world, Gal.1.4 It is but ridiculous to profess Jesus Christ to be our master, and not to conform to his example. We have no reason to be more tender and delicate of our interest than Christ was. What is our self to Christ's self? We are poor creatures under a law; Christ was God over all, blessed for ever. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord - 'It is enough for the disciple to be as his master, the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household!' Mark 10.25. We should not murmur, we cannot be worse used than Christ was; we have no cause to complain if we be reduced to a coarse robe, when we remember Christ's swaddling clothes; to complain of a hard bed or prison, when Christ was laid in a manger. Certainly an innocent poverty is more comfortable than all the pomp in the world, if we would but choose what Christ chose. Christ was a pattern of suffering from the cradle to the cross. They that caress themselves in all the delights of the world seem to profess another master than Christ. We are of a base condition, but two or three degrees distant from dust and nothing. The sun can go back ten degrees; Christ, the Lord of glory, might go back ten degrees, but we have not so much to lose.

2.This hath been practised, not only by the master, but by all the fellows in the same school. Christ set the first copy, and all the saints have written after it, some better, some worse: Rom. 14.7, 'None of us liveth to himself, and none dieth to himself, for whether we live, we live to the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord.' In the context the apostle speaks of the difference of weak and strong believers; some weak, some strong, but they all agree in this, none of us, not one that hath given up his name to Christ is allowedly a self-seeker; none live to them-selves. The example of the saints is to be considered, lest we should think it exceeds the capacity of the creature, and that only Christ could practise it. We find the children of God, those among them that have made the highest progress in Christ's school, they have had lowest thoughts of self. Paul, that was a glorious apostle, yet he saith in one place, 1 Tim. 1.15, that 'he was the greatest of sinners;' and in another place, Eph. 3.8, that 'he was less than the least of saints.' A man would have thought that Paul, with more congruity of speech, might have said, the greatest of saints and least of sinners, but he saith, the greatest of sinners, and the least of saints; not to lessen grace, but still to lessen self, and put a disgrace upon it. They that are the best scholars in this school most abhor self-conceit and self-seeking. As the laden boughs hang the head and bend downward, so do the children of God that have been most fruitful in the christian course; as the aim, the higher it is, doth cast the least shadows; so for self-seeking. I wonder how a man can look upon these two great instances of Moses and Paul without blushing. Of Moses: Num. 32.32, 'Blot me out of thy book,' upon condition he would save the people; as if he could take no comfort in his great spiritual privileges, when the glory of God should suffer loss by the loss of his people. So Rom. 9.3, 'Let me be accursed from Christ, for my brethren that are in the flesh.' Paul, in an excess of zeal, could be willing to bear the common punishment for a common good. We, that are so tender of our honour and respect, so wedded to our ease and private interests, how can we look upon these without shame? Can Paul and Moses wish to be a common sacrifice for God's glory, and for the redemption of others, and we be so tender to our own respects? Moses speaketh to God himself, and Paul calls God to witness - 'I lie not:' Rom. 11.1, 'I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also beareth me witness in the Holy Ghost.' There is a treble oath and asseveration - 'I speak the truth,' 'I lie not,' 'the Spirit bears witness with my conscience.' Or rather, there is a double asseveration. with an appeal to two witnesses, both to the Spirit and conscience, Not as if they could wish for hardness of heart; but with an excess of zeal they were carried so high in imitation of Christ, to part with their own happiness for a public good.........

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