By Hugh Binning
If a Christian will take an impartial view of himself, he cannot but this way reason himself to a meek, composed, and affectionate temper towards other brethren. What is it in another that offends me, when I search within, I will not also find the same, or worse, or as evil in myself? Is there a mote in my brother’s eye? Perhaps there may be a beam in my own; and why then should I look to the mote that is in my brother’s eye? ←Matthew 7:3. When I look inwardly, I find a desperately wicked heart, which lodges all that iniquity I saw in others. And if I am not so sensible of it, it is because it is also deceitful above all things, and would flatter me in my own eyes,←Jeremiah 17:9.
If my brother offends me in some things, how these things are caused to vanish out of sight in the view of my own guiltiness before God, and the abominations of my own heart, known to his holiness and my conscience? Surely I cannot see so much evil in my brother as I find in my own heart; and whenever I withdraw back within this, I find the sea of corruption so great, that I wonder not at the streams which break forth in others. But all my wonder is that God has set bounds to it in me or in any.
Whenever I find my spirit rising against the infirmities of others, and my mind swelling over them, I restrain myself with this thought, “I myself also am a man,” as Peter said to Cornelius when he would have worshipped him. As he restrained another’s idolizing of him, I may cure my own self-idolizing heart. Is it anything strange that weak men fail, and sinful men fall? Is not all flesh grass, and all the perfection and goodliness of it as the flower of the field? ←Isaiah 40:6. —Is not every man at his best state altogether vanity? ←Psalm:39:5. Is not man’s breath in his nostrils?←Isaiah 2:22. —And am I not myself a man? Therefore I will not be high minded but fear, ←Romans 11:20. — I will not be moved to indignation but provoked to compassion, knowing that I myself am compassed with infirmities, ← Hebrews 5:2.
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