BODY OF PRACTICAL DIVINITY
Self-denial accompanies humility; where the one is the other is; a self-denying man is an humble man, and an humble man is a self-denying man. “Proud, boasters, are lovers of their own selves,” and cannot by any means deny themselves; but the meek and humble, the followers of the lowly Jesus, “deny themselves,” and go after him; “If any man will come after me,” says Christ, that is, be a disciple of his, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24), this is one of the hardest lessons to be learnt in the school of Christ, by his disciples; and no man can be a disciple of Christ without learning it.
1. It will be proper to inquire what self-denial is, or what it is for a man to deny himself.
1a. It is not to deny what a man is or has; what he truly is, and what he really has; for that would be a falsehood; in this sense “God cannot deny himself” (2 Tim. 2:13), not his nature, and the perfections of it; or do, or affirm anything contrary thereunto. So a man ought not to deny himself as a man, nor the rational powers which he is possessed of; one may indeed, speaking in the language of another, and as expressing the meanness and contempt in which he is held by such, say, “I am a worm, and no man,” as David the type, and Christ his antitype, did; a man may also, in a comparative sense, with respect to others, and as exaggerating his own folly, ignorance, and stupidity, say, as Asaph did, “So foolish was I and ignorant, I was as a beast;” or was a very beast, “before thee,” in thy sight, or could not be otherwise reckoned of by thee: and so Agur; “Surely, I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man,” in comparison of others, and having a very low share of it, in his own opinion (Ps. 73:22; Prov. 30:2), in these senses such phrases may be admitted; otherwise it would not be true of a man, nor doing justice to himself, to say that he was no other than “a horse and a mule, which have no understanding.” Nor should a man deny what he has of the external benefits and blessings of providence; if God bestows riches and honour upon a man, as he did on David, he should own them as coming to him from God, as David did, and bless God for such benefits, and make use of them for the glory of God, and the good of his interest; and if God has bestowed internal endowments on men, gifts and talents, qualifying for public service and usefulness, some way or another, they are to own them, and use them, and not wrap them up in a napkin, or hide them in the earth, which is interpretatively to deny that they have them. Nor should a truly good and gracious man deny what he is and has; but acknowledge it, and how by grace he came by it; and say with the apostle, “By the grace of God I am what I am;” if a man is a believer in Christ he should confess his faith in him (Rom. 10:10), there were some among the Jews, in the times of Christ, who believed he was the Messiah, and yet confessed him not; because they “loved the praise of men,” were lovers of themselves, and could not deny themselves of praise from men; yet such non-confession of Christ is tacitly a denial of him, and is so interpreted by Christ (Matthew 10:31, 32), but especially when a man has true faith in Christ, has spiritual knowledge of him, and is a real disciple of his, to deny this is very criminal; this was the sin of Peter, when challenged with being acquainted with Jesus, and being a disciple of his, denied that he knew him, and that he was one of them that belonged to him. And so if a man has faith in Christ, and good hope through grace, and the grace of God has been exceeding abundant, with faith and love, which is in Christ, he ought to be very careful that he does not deny these things. There is in some weaker Christians, I do not know well what name to call it by, it is an over modesty, a thinking and speaking over meanly of themselves; and which they affect to do, and carry things to too great a length very much this way, as if they had no faith, nor love, and scarce any hope; and are ready to express themselves in such sort as seems to border, at least, upon a denial of the work of grace upon their souls; and is like a tearing up by the roots, as much as in them lies, the very principles of grace in them; which should never be encouraged, but discountenanced; the least measure of grace should be owned, and men should be thankful for it, and pray for an increase of it.
1b. To deny a man’s self is not to refuse favors conferred on him in a course of providence; nor to neglect a lawful use of them; nor to take no care of himself and of his affairs.
1b1. Self-denial does not require that a man should refuse temporal honours and riches bestowed on him in a providential way; so Joseph, though a self-denying man, did not refuse the honours, and the tokens of them, Pharaoh gave him, when he made him ruler over the land of Egypt; nor David, when the tribes made him king over all Israel; nor Daniel, when he was advanced in Nebuchadnezzar’s court, and was honored by Belshazzar, and prospered in the reigns of Darius and Cyrus; but these good men improved them all to the glory of God and the good of others.
1b2. Nor are the creatures of God, and the use of them, to be rejected; “Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused” (1 Tim. 4:4), nor ought a man to debar himself of the free and lawful use of them; we are told there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy the fruit of his labour, and that it is his portion, and the gift of God; and that to withhold it from himself is a sore evil under the sun, vanity, and an evil disease (Eccl. 2:24; 5:19; 6:1, 2), only care should be taken in using the world, and worldly things, that they are not abused (1 Cor. 7:31), this is all with respect to worldly things that self-denial requires; even a non-gratification of the carnal and sensual appetite to excess; which branch of self-denial the wise man expresses by “putting a knife to the throat;” (see Prov. 23:2).
1b3. Nor should a man be careless of his life, and health, and family, though he should not be anxiously careful for life, for food, and raiment to support and secure it; yet he may be lawfully careful for life, which is better than them; and so likewise for his health, to preserve it by proper means; as the apostle Paul advised the mariners with him, to take meat for their health’s sake; and Timothy to the use of wine for his often infirmities (Acts 27:33, 34; 1 Tim. 5:23), and in like manner a man should be careful for his family; which should he not, it would be so far from being reckoned self-denial, in a good sense, that it might be justly treated as a denial of the faith (1 Tim. 5:8).
1b4. There is a self-love which is not criminal, nor contrary to the grace of self-denial; “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh” (Eph. 5:29), himself, which he is not obliged to by, yea, would be contrary to, the law of nature, and the law of God; to take care of a man’s self, and to preserve his life, is the first principle and law of nature;42 and it is commanded by the law of God, that a man should love himself; for according to that, he is to “love his neighbour as himself,” and therefore must first love himself to love his neighbour as himself; there is a φιλαυτια, an inordinate love of a man’s self, which is the source of all sin, of covetousness, pride, blasphemy, disobedience to parents, ingratitude, &c. which is carefully to be avoided (2 Tim. 3:2-4).
1b5. Nor is it self-denial, or any part of it, to abuse the body in any respect, and even on religious accounts, by cutting it with knives and lances, as Baal’s priests; or by lashing it with whips and scourges, as the papists for penance; or by severe fastings and abstinence, “by neglecting it, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh,” as some ancient heretics in the apostle’s days (Col. 2:23), nor should any thing be done that endangers life, and much less should any, under whatsoever pretence, lay violent hands on themselves, to which sometimes the temptations of Satan lead (Matthew 4:6). But,
1c. Self-denial lies in a man’s renouncing, foregoing, and postponing all his pleasures, profits, relations, interest, and whatever he enjoys, which may be in competition with Christ from love to him, and to be given up at his command; a self-denying man seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and leaves all other things with God, to bestow upon him as he thinks fit; and what he has given him he is ready to give back again when called for, preferring Christ to all things in heaven and earth; he is ready at command to bring all he has, and lay it at his feet; as the first Christians brought all they had and laid at the feet of the apostles. This is self-denial. The common distribution of it is not amiss, into natural or civil self, sinful self, and righteous self; all which a self-denying Christian is made willing to part with.
1c1. First, with natural and civil self, with things relative both to soul and body, of which a man’s self consists.
1c1a. The soul, with its powers and faculties of understanding, will, and affections; and there are self-denying acts, which respect each of these.
1c1a1. The understanding; and it is a self-denying act in a man, “to lean not to his own understanding,” which is natural to him; but give it up to God, to be instructed, guided, and directed by him in all religious matters, according to his word, and the influenced of his grace and Spirit; thus Saul, when called by grace, “conferred not with flesh and blood,” with the carnal reasonings of his mind, whether he should profess and preach Christ the Son of God, or not; but immediately set about it, following the divine light and supernatural instructions given him: and this is the case of all self denying Christians, when their reason is brought to stoop to divine revelation; and their carnal reasonings, and vain imaginations, and their high towering and exalted thoughts of themselves, and of their own understandings, are cast down, and brought into the obedience of Christ.
1c1a2. The will; and then does a man deny himself, when his will becomes subject to the will of God; when, with good old Eli, he says, “It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good,” though ever so disagreeable to himself, and the interests of his family; and so the friends of the apostle Paul, when they were so desirous of his continuance, and found that all entreaties prevailed not, said, “The will of the Lord be done!” and when in all cases, the will of a man is brought to this, then may he be said to deny himself, of which Christ is a pattern to him; “Not my will, but thine be done!” (see 1 Sam. 3:18; Acts 21:14; Luke 22:42).
意志；当一个人否认己的时候，当他的意志开始顺服神的旨意的时候；当那位老好人以利说，『那是主，让祂照着祂喜悦二性，』虽然他完全不认可，也完全与他的家族利益相悖的时候；使徒保罗的朋友们非常渴慕他的同在，却又发现所有的恳求都没有用的时候，说，『愿主的旨意成就！』并在所有的境况下，人的意志被带到这样的状态下，希望他能够说，否热己，因为基督已经成型在他里面；『不是我的意思，而是你的旨意成就！』(see 1 Sam. 3:18; Acts 21:14; Luke 22:42)
1c1a3. The affections; these are sometimes called “inordinate affections” (Col. 3:5), as when they are out of due course and order; when the world, and the things of it, are loved with an immoderate love, in a manner inconsistent with the love of God, and when friends and relations are loved more than Christ; now self-denial checks and restrains the affections, and reduces them to proper order, and forbids such a love of the world, and the things of it; and will not suffer a man to love father or mother, son or daughter, more than Christ; but will declare such unworthy of him (1 John 2:15; Matthew 10:37).
情感；有时候被称作『邪情』（Col. 3:5），就好像它们是从咒诅而来的；当世界于其中的事物被无节制的爱，以一种与神的爱不相符的方式所爱的时候，当面朋友与亲属以超越对基督的爱所爱；如今否认己会检查并限制情感，把它们消减入正常的次序中，并禁止对世界并其中事物的爱；并不会容许人爱自己的父亲或母亲，儿子或女儿过于爱基督；但是会宣告，那种行为是配不上祂的。（1 John 2:15; Matthew 10:37）
1c1b. The body, and its members, and things relative to that, and all external things: about these self-denial is exercised; as,
1c1b1. When the members of the body are restrained from the service of sin; when “sin” is not “suffered to reign in the mortal body,” and the “members” thereof are not “yielded as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but the deeds of it are mortified, and no provision is made for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 6:12, 13; 8:13; 13:14).
当身体的肢体被约束不去为罪服务；『罪』并不是『在必死的身体掌权中受苦』，并且，『肢体不能屈服而成为罪不义的工具；但是，它的行为羞辱人，并没有规定要求肉身去满足情欲。』（Rom. 6:12, 13; 8:13; 13:14）
1c1b2. When external honours from men are not sought for, only the honour which comes from God; when a man is content to suffer the loss of fame, name, and credit among men for Christ’s sake; to be defamed, made the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things; to pass through honour and dishonor, good report and bad report, and suffer all indignities for the sake of religion. This is self-denial; an instance of this we have in Moses, who for forty years lived in the court of Pharaoh, and enjoyed the honours, pleasures, and riches of that court; yet denied himself of them all, chose to visit and rank himself among his brethren the Israelites, then in a low and despicable condition, and refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, and reproach for Christ’s sake, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin and the riches of Egypt (Acts 7:23; Heb. 11:25, 26).
当人不在寻求从人而来，外在的荣誉，而只寻求从神来的荣誉；当人因着基督的缘故在人群中满足于忍受名誉、名声并信誉的伤害；被毁谤，成为世界的残渣，万有中的废物；不论是名誉或污名，好并坏的报告，为了信仰的缘故认识各种侮辱。这是否认己；摩西就给我们提供了一个例子，他花了四十年活在法老的宫殿中，享受名誉、快乐并那个宫殿的财富；然而，他向着那一切否认己，选择亲自访问他的以色列同胞，并与他们同列，然后落入一个低微并被人藐视的境况，拒绝被称为法老女儿的儿子；选择宁愿与神的百姓一同受苦，因着基督的缘故被责骂，而不是享受罪的快乐并埃及的财富。（Acts 7:23; Heb. 11:25, 26）
1c1b3. When worldly profits and emoluments are left for the sake of Christ, and the interest of religion; this is self-denial: as when the disciples, one and another of them, left their fishing nets and boats, and worldly employments, and followed Christ; yea, Peter, in the name of them all, could say, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee” (Matthew 4:20, 22; 19:27). So Matthew, at the receipt of custom, which, perhaps, was a lucrative and profitable employment; yet, called by Christ, left it and followed him; (Matthew 9:9). And so many a gospel minister has given up himself to the ministry of the word, when worldly offers and views have directed him another way; and many private Christians have joyfully suffered the confiscation of goods, and even imprisonment of the body, for the sake of religion and a good conscience; this is self-denial. An instance to the contrary of all this we have in a young man, who could not part with his worldly substance and follow Christ, of whom he asked, what good thing he must do to have eternal life? and was answered, “Keep the commandments;” these he thought an easy task, and what he had been always used to, and seemed highly delighted with it; “All these things I have kept from my youth; what lack I yet?” a hard lesson is then set him to learn; “Sell that thou hast and give to the poor;” and though he was promised treasure in heaven, it did not countervail; “He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions,” which he could not part with and deny himself of (Matthew 19:16-22).
当属世的利益和报酬因为基督并宗教的缘故被撇弃；这就是否认己：就如同当梦土们一个一个的抛弃了他们的渔网和渔船，并世界的职业，跟随基督；是的，在他们中间的彼得就能够说，『看啊！我们放弃了一切跟随你』（Matthew 4:20,22; 19:27）。所以马太，根据当时的习俗，或许拥有一个利润丰厚的职业；然而因为被基督呼召，就抛弃了它并跟随祂；（Matthew 9:9）。许多福音的执事都为了神的话的职事放弃了自我，当世界提供的机会并观点把他引导到临一个方向的时候；许多个别的基督徒快乐的忍受财产被没收，甚至被下在监牢中，为了宗教并良心的缘故；这是否认己。我们看见有一个与此相悖逆的案例，就是一个年轻人不能脱离他属世的财产跟随基督，他问基督，他要做什么善事才能得到永远的生命？他得到的回答是，『守诫命』；他以为这是一件很容易的事情，他向来就是如此，这使得他看起来兴高采烈；『我从小都守住了那一切；我还需要做什么？』他就立刻学到了一个非常困难的公开；『卖掉你一切所有的，送给穷人』；虽然基督应许他天上的财宝，但是也没有用；『他忧愁的离开了，因为他有非常多的财富，』他无法离开并否认他自己（Matthew 19:16-22）。
1c1b4. The nearest and dearest friends and relations, which are a part of a man’s self, these are to be left, when God calls for it; so Abraham was commanded to come out from his country and kindred, and his father’s house, which, though a self-denying order, he was obedient to; and so the people of God, when called by grace, are directed to forsake their own people, and their father’s house and when these attempt to obstruct them in the ways of God, they are not to be obeyed, but resisted; yea, even to be “hated,” comparatively, that is, less love and respect are to be shown them than to Christ (Luke 14:26), a great instance of self-denial of this kind we have in Abraham, who was called to part with his son, his only son, his beloved son, the son of the promise, from whom the Messiah was to spring, to offer him upon a mount he should be shown; this was a great trial of faith, an hard lesson of self-denial to learn, and yet he withheld not his son from God; by which he gave evidence of a self-denying spirit, of his love to God, his fear of him, and obedience to his command.
1c1b5. Health and hazard of life; as when men risk their health in the service of God and Christ, and true religion; so Epaphroditus, for the work of Christ was nigh unto death; and many, like the apostle Paul, have spent and been spent in the cause of God, by hard studies and frequent ministrations; so Paul and Barnabas hazarded their lives, through the rage of men, for the name of our Lord Jesus, preaching the gospel; and Aquila and Priscilla were ready to lay down their own necks for the apostle, that is, to risk their lives for his sake.
1c1b6. Life itself is to be laid down when called for; the apostle Paul did not count his life dear to himself, but was ready to part with it for the sake of the gospel: and of others we read, that they loved not their lives unto death; and this is the great instance of self-denial Christ gives (Matthew 16:24, 25).
1c2. Secondly, another branch of self-denial lies in denying sinful self; this lesson, not nature, but grace teaches, even to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts,” which include all kinds of sin; internal lusts and external actions of sin; sins of heart, lip, and life; everything that is contrary to God and his righteous law. This is a hard lesson to learn; to part with sinful self is not an easy task, sin is so natural to men, they are conceived and born in it, are transgressors from the womb, and have lived in sin from their youth upward; sin and the soul have been long companions, and are loath to part; sin is as natural to the sinner as blackness to the Ethiopian, and spots to the leopard; it is as grateful to him as cold water to a thirsty soul; and is like a sweet morsel in his mouth, and he hides and spares it, and cares not to forsake it; it promises him much pleasure, though short lived, vain, and fallacious; some sins are right hand and right eye sins, as dear as the right hand and right eye be; and to cut off and pluck out such and cast them away is a great piece of self-denial; and is hard work, until the Spirit of God thoroughly convinces a man of the exceeding sinfulness or sin, what an evil and bitter thing it is, and how pernicious in its effects and consequences; and then being called and required to forsake it, does, and says with Ephraim, “What have I to do any more with idols?” and this self-denial appears by loathing it and themselves for it; by detesting and abhorring it, and themselves on account of it; and by repenting of it in deep humiliation for it, by lamenting the indwelling and prevalence of it, and by praying against it; by abstaining from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, and from all appearance of sin; by making no provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts of it; by opposing them, resisting unto blood, striving against sin; and by declaring to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness: so persons and things are said to be denied, when there is an aversion to them, a rejection of them, a disowning them as belonging to them, and as having any connection with them; so Moses was denied by the Israelites, and Christ by the Jews (Acts 3:14; 7:35). A branch of this part of self-denial lies in parting with sinful companions, which are a sort of second self; and especially sinful relations, whom to part with is difficult work, as to withstand their solicitations, earnest entreaties, enticing language, and fair promises of pleasure and profit; as also to bear their reproaches, revilings, and censures, on refusing to associate with them; for “he that departs from evil maketh himself a prey” (Isa. 59:15), but being called by divine grace to come out from among them, and to be separate from them; and being convinced of the folly and danger of keeping company with them, and having better companions, and more preferable communion and fellowship, they are called into; and having had too long an abode with them to their great grief and loss, determine through the grace of God to leave them, and to have nothing more to do with them; which is self-denial.
第二，另一类的否认己乃是否认有罪的己；这个功课不是人自己的能力能够完成的，需要恩典来教导，甚至要否认『不敬虔并属世的情欲，』包括各种的罪；内在的欲望和外在罪的行为；心、嘴唇和生活中的罪；每一件与神并其公义律法向悖逆的事物。这是一个非常艰难的功课；抛弃有罪的己不是一件容易的是，罪对人而言是非常自然的，他们都是生在罪中，并从小就活在罪里面；罪和魂向来就是亲密好友，不愿意彼此分离；罪对于罪人而言是天然的，就像埃塞尔比亚人天使就是黑的，猎豹天生就是有斑点的一样；对人而言，罪就像冷水对于饥渴的魂一样令人感戴；也就像在口中甜蜜的食物，他把罪藏起来慢慢享用，不愿意放弃罪；罪应许人极大的享乐，虽然是短暂、虚空并靠不住的；有些罪是右手和右眼犯的罪，就如同右手和右眼一样对人是亲密的；切掉手并挖掉眼睛，并抛弃它们是否认己极大的代价；是一件挑战，直到神的灵完全说服一个人超越他的罪行或罪性，罪是何等邪恶并苦涩的事，它的结果并影响是何等的错谬；所以神呼召人撇弃罪，以法莲说，『我跟偶像还有什么关系呢？』这个否认己看起来是不愿意跟随罪；他因着罪，痛恨并厌恶罪；透过因着它造成的羞辱而悔改，透过悲叹罪住在人里面并在人中流行，透过祷告与罪对抗；透过戒除属肉体的情欲并与魂，在所有罪的征兆上征战；不要供应肉体，面对它完成其情欲；要反对它们，以血抗争，与罪对抗；并宣告绝对不与黑暗不会产生果子的工作有任何的交通：所以，否认预其有关的人事物，当它们成为令人厌恶的时候，拒绝他们，要断绝与他们并属他们的一切事物的关系；就如同摩西被以色列人否认，基督被犹太人否认一样（Acts 3:14; 7:35）。这类的否认己乃是不再作罪的同伴，罪也是某种的己；特别是抛弃罪恶的关系是一件困难的工作，要拒绝罪的诱惑，热切的恳求，迷人的语言，并对于快乐和益处美丽的应许；也要忍受羞辱的事物、辱骂、并谴责，并拒绝与它们一切有关的事物；因为『想离恶的人被抢劫』（Isa. 59:15），他们乃是被神圣的恩典呼召，脱离他么，并从他们中被分别出来；并要相信与那些事为伍的愚蠢和危险，而要选择更好的同步，更好的交通，更符合他们的呼召；他们一直沉迷在他们自己的哀伤并损失中，透过神的恩典能够离开那一切，并完全与那些事无关；这也是否认己。
1c3. Thirdly, another branch of self-denial is to deny righteous self, which is not to refuse to do works of righteousness for necessary uses, to glorify God, to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, and a profession of it; to show the genuineness and truth of faith, and to do good to others; this the grace of God teaches and obliges unto: but to deny righteous self, is to renounce all trust in and dependence on a man’s own righteousness for justification before God, and acceptance with him; and to submit to the righteousness of Christ, and depend upon that for such purposes. Now this is a hard lesson to learn, for a man to quit all trust in himself that he is righteous, and to depend upon the righteousness of another; to live out of himself upon another; to be beholden entirely to the free grace of God, and to the righteousness of Christ, disclaiming all works done by himself for his justification and whole salvation, is disagreeable to self: it is against the grain; a man’s righteousness is his own, and he does not care to part with it, he would fain hold it fast; it is the effect of great toil and labour, and which he has endeavoured to establish and settle fast, and to have it all pulled down at once he cannot bear it; it is matter of glorying and boasting, and to have this excluded, and to be stripped of all his feathers, is not pleasing to flesh and blood; it is his idol he has bowed unto, and to take this away from him is as cutting as it was to Micah, when his images were stolen from him, and he said, “Ye have taken away my Gods, and what have I more?” but when the Spirit of God convinces a man of the insufficiency of his own righteousness to justify him before God, and of the excellency of the righteousness of Christ for such a purpose, then he quits his own, and lays hold on that; an instance of this kind of self-denial we have in the apostle Paul, who was at first a self-righteous man, who thought that touching the righteousness of the law he was blameless; he counted it gain unto him, and trusted in it, and expected to be justified and saved by it; but when be came to see the imperfection of it, and was convinced of its unprofitableness to God, he counted it loss and dung, and rejected it as such, desiring to be “found in Christ,” and in his righteousness, and not his own (Phil. 2:6-9).
第三，另一种否认己就是要否认公义的己，就是不拒绝去为了需要，荣耀神，让神我们救主的教义更为生色，并承认它等等的善工；要见证信心之真理的真实性，并对他人性善；这乃是神的恩典所教导，并要求我们去做的；但是，否认公义的己乃是要拒绝相信人靠自己的公义在神面前得到称义，而被神所接受；而要顺服基督的公义，并依靠基督的旨意。这乃是一个艰难的功课，因为要一个人不要相信他自己是公义的，而要依靠另一个人的公义；不要活出自己，而要靠别人而生活；要完全注视神白白的恩典，基督的公义并否认他自己为了自己的称义并整个救赎所做的工，就是否认己：这与人所得着的好处相对；一个人的公义是他自己的，他不愿意抛弃它，并乐意紧紧抓住自己的公义；它乃是自己长期辛苦努力的结果，就他竭力所建立并坚固的，他不能忍受一下子就拆毁它；这是一个荣誉和自吹自擂的问题，要拔除这一切并拔除他所有的羽毛，对于肉与血而已并不是一件赏心悦目的事；它就是他所膜拜的偶像，挪去那个偶像，就好像把偶像从弥迦手上夺取一样，当他的偶像被偷走的时候，他说『你多做了我的神（Gods），我还剩下什么呢？』但是，当神的灵说服一个人，他的公义没办法在神的面前称义他，而基督的超越则可以满足这个目的的时候，他就能够放下他自己的公义，并依靠基督；这就是我们在保罗身上所看见的那种否认己，他先是一个自义的人，认为根据律法的公义他是无可指责的；他完全相信律法，并期望能够根据律法被称义并被拯救；但是当他看见律法的缺陷的时候，就相信律法对于神是无益的，他就视律法为损失和令人厌弃的废物，并因此拒绝律法，而寻求『在基督里被寻见（found in Christ）』，并活在基督的公义，而不是在自己的公义中（Phil. 2:6-9）。
2. There are various arguments or motives, which may be made use of to excite truly gracious souls to the exercise of this grace of self-denial in the several branches of it.
2a. It is required of them; it is an injunction of Christ on his disciples, even all of them, and therefore to be strictly regarded, complied with, and exercised; “If any man wilt come after me,” is desirous of being a disciple and follower of Christ, “let him deny himself” (Matthew 16:24), nay, this is necessary to a man’s being a disciple of Christ, he cannot be one without it; see (Luke 14:26, 21).
对他们有一个要求；基督对于他所有的门徒们有一个诫命，必须被严格的看待、遵守并操练，『如果任何人要跟随我』，很多人都想要成为门徒跟随基督，『让他否认己』（马太16：24），唉，这乃是对于基督门徒的要求，他若非如此不能成为耶稣的门徒；参考（Luke 14:26, 21）。
2b. Christ has not only commanded it, but he has set an example of it himself; he denied himself for our sakes; came forth from his Father, and came down from heaven to serve us; though he was rich, for our sakes he became poor, that we, through his poverty, might be made rich; though he was in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God, yet he so far humbled and denied himself as to be found in fashion as a man, and in the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, the death of the cross; he pleased not himself, but patiently bore the reproaches of men, which could not but be very disagreeable to him; and he endured the contradiction of sinners against himself; anti in all which and more he was an example of self-denial (Phil. 2:5-8).
2c. The examples of saints in all ages may serve to excite and encourage to it; as of Abraham, in leaving his country and father’s house, and especially in offering up his son at the command of God; in Moses, refusing to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; in the Old Testament saints and martyrs, who suffered bonds, imprisonment, trial of cruel mockings, and death itself, in various shapes; and so in others since: in the apostles of Christ, who left all and followed him; an instance of denial of sinful self may be observed in Zacchaeus and others; and of righteous self in the apostle Paul.
2d. If a man does not deny himself, as required of God, he sets up himself for god, makes a god of himself, and is guilty of idolatry; such live to themselves, and not unto God and Christ, which the love of Christ constrains unto; namely, that they who live, should not live to themselves, but to him who died for them and rose again; yea, that they should none of them neither live to themselves, nor die to themselves, but to the Lord; that both living and dying they may appear to be his, and not their own (2 Cor. 5:14, 15; Rom. 14:7, 8).
2e. The loss and gain of not denying and of denying self should be considered. Such who think to save themselves by not denying themselves, lose themselves and their own souls; lose Christ and his righteousness, heaven and eternal life; when those who deny themselves for Christ’s sake, find the life of their souls, gain Christ and his righteousness, have treasure in heaven, the recompence of reward, the more enduring substance (Matthew 16:25, 26; Phil. 3:7, 8; Heb. 11:26, 27; 10:34).
我们要考虑否认己和不否认己的得失。那些认为不否认己还能够拯救自己的人，就会失去他们自己和他们的魂；失去基督和祂的公义，天和永远的生命；那些因基督否认己的人，就会在他们的魂中找到生命，得到基督并祂的公义，在天上有财宝，得到奖赏为补偿，并得到更能够忍受万有的素质（Matthew 16:25, 26; Phil. 3:7, 8; Heb. 11:26, 27; 10:34）。