Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of
Now he knew that the heavens ruled, and that there was a God and a King there, above all gods and kings; who had brought him low, and raised him up again, and to whom were owing all his present glory and magnificence, and therefore worthy of his highest praises; and which he in the most public manner gave by words before his lords and counsellors, and by writing under his own hand, by this edict and proclamation: all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment:
everything he does in providence, and every step he takes therein, are according to truth and righteousness; he is true to his word, and righteous in his works, as he had been to him: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase;
not only that show it now and then, but always, and in everything; in their looks and gestures, in their talk and walk, and throughout the whole of their conversation; in whom it is public, visible, notorious, and constant; but let them carry their heads ever so high, and be as proud and haughty as they will, God is able to humble them; he has various ways of doing it. Such as are proud of their outward beauty, or the strength of their bodies, he can, by sending a disease upon them, make their beauty to consume like a moth, and weaken their strength in the way; such as are elated with their wealth and substance, and with honours conferred upon them, or dignity they are raised to, he can soon strip them of all their riches by one providence or another, and bring down those that stand in slippery places of honour and dignity to destruction in a moment; and such as pride and plume themselves with their wit and knowledge, the natural endowments of their mind, he can take away their reason and understanding from them, as he did from this monarch, and put them upon a level with brutes: such who behest of their own righteousness and good works, and trust in themselves, that they are righteous and holy persons, and despise others; and think to be justified and saved by them, and not to be beholden to any other, but be their own saviours; these the Lord, by his Spirit, can humble, by showing them the impurity of their nature; their impotence to that which is spiritually good; the imperfection of their best righteousness to justify them in his sight; so that they shall appear to be polluted and defiled creatures, who thought themselves very holy; and to be very weak and insufficient of themselves, to do anything spiritually good, who gloried in the power and strength of their free will; and see that their best works are no other than filthy rags, and to be renounced in the business of their justification and salvation: in short, he humbles by showing them that all their temporal good things are owing to the good providence of God, and are dependent on it; and that all they have in spirituals is owing to the grace of God, and not to any desert of theirs; in consequence of which they become meek and lowly, and walk humbly with their God, who before walked in the pride of their hearts, and in the vanity of their minds. And a power to do this is peculiar to God himself; none but God can look upon him that is proud, and abase him, and bring him low; and sooner or later, by one means, or in one way or another, he will stain the pride of all glory: it is his usual way to abase him that exalts himself, and exalt him that humbles himself; see ( Job 40:11 Job 40:12 ) ( Isaiah 23:9 ) ( Matthew 23:12 ) ( Luke 14:11 ) , pride being a most hateful sin to him, contrary to his nature and glory, to his grace and to his Gospel; the first sin of angels and men. And of abasement and humiliation of such proud ones, Nebuchadnezzar was an instance in various respects; who was one of the proudest monarchs upon earth, yet was humbled with a witness; but, after all, whether truly converted, is a question.