22 July, 2007
Sabbath a'Brakel: Self-Denial
Self-denial is, first of all, a Christian virtue. Pagans have observed that their inner peace has been disturbed by their lusts. Some therefore sought to extinguish them by way of reason and appeared to practice self-denial in regard to some things. However, it did not issue forth from the right motive--love for the will of God. They did not have the right objective in view, but rather it was a seeking of self (be it in a different manner than others), resting in this as their peace and seeking to be honored by men. Their self-denial was thus a splendid sin which had a counterfeit luster, and was not accompanied by deeds (III: 397-398).