2 Timothy 3:2-5
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,…
1. Self-love is vicious, when it leads us to judge too favourably of our faults.
(1) Sometimes it finds out other names for them, and by miscalling them endeavours to take away their bad qualities.
(2) Sometimes it represents our sins as weaknesses, infirmities, the effect of natural constitution, and deserving more pity than blame.
(3) Sometimes it excuses them upon account of the intent, pretending that some good or other is promoted by them, and that the motive and the end sanctify the means, or greatly lessen the faultiness of them.
(4) It leads us to set our good in opposition to our bad qualities, and to persuade ourselves that wharfs laudable in us far outweighs what is evil.
(4) It teaches us to compare ourselves with others, and thence to draw favourable conclusions, because we are not so bad as several whom we could name; it shows us the general corruption that is in the world, represents it worse than it is, and then tells us that we must not hope, and need not endeavour to be remarkably and singularly good.
2. Our self-love is irregular, when we think too well of our righteousness, and overvalue our good actions, and are pure in our own eyes.
3. Our self-love is blameable when we overvalue our abilities, and entertain too good an opinion of our knowledge and capacity; and this kind of self-love is called self-conceit. One evil which men reap from it is to be disliked and despised. The reason why self conceit is so much disliked is that it is always attended with a mean opinion of others. From self-conceit arise rash undertakings, hasty determinations, stubbornness, insolence, envy, censoriousness, confidence, vanity, the love of flattery, and sometimes irreligion, and a kind of idolatry, by which a man worships his own abilities, and places his whole trust in them. The unreasonableness of this con ceit appears from the imperfections of the human understanding, and the obstacles which lie between us and wisdom.
4. Our self-love is irregular when we are proud and vain of things inferior in nature to those before mentioned, when we value our selves upon the station and circumstances in which not our own deserts, but favour or birth, hath placed us, upon mere show and outside, upon these and the like advantages in which we surpass others. This conceit is unreasonable and foolish; for these are either things which the possessors can hardly call their own, as having done little or nothing to acquire them, or they are of small value, or they are liable to be irrecoverably lost by many unforeseen accidents.
5. Lastly, our self-love is vicious when we make our worldly interest, convenience, humour, ease, or pleasure, the great end of our actions. This is selfishness, a very disingenuous and sordid kind of self-love. It is a passion that leads a man to any baseness which is joined to lucre, and to any method of growing rich which may be practised with impunity.
(J. Jortin, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,