Charles Bridges Quote
I just read an incredible quote from the Charles Bridges commentary on Proverbs. Commenting on Prov. 10:18, he says:
"...But is this 'root of bitterness' thoroughly mortified in the Christian's heart? Is there no insincerity in our intercourse with those, to whom we feel, if not hatred, at least strong repugnance? In the language of polite courtesy, there is much that is hollow, if not false. Do we really mean what we say? Or rather is not the profession of regard often absolutely contrary to our real feelings? Do we never bring them under ridicule, set them out in an unfavorable light, assert things upon mere suspicion, or attempt to raise our own name upon the ruin of their reputation? In common society, how is it often considered the acme of disappointment, when this conversation flags, or comes to a pause; whereas the reverse ought to be the true subject of regret. This spirit surely in the eyes of God is slander; an offence against the 'new commandment of love' - which is the badge of all the disciplies of Jesus. (John, xiii. 34, 35.) These noxious humours are the bane of true godliness. They must not only be restrained, but 'laid aside,' if ever we would, 'as new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby.' (1 Pet. ii. 1, 2. Jam. i. 21.) Lord, purge our hearts from these hateful hidden corruptions; even though it be by 'the Spirit of judgment and the Spirit of burning.' (Isa. iv. 4.)" (emphasis original)
Wow!! Incidentally, I do not think Bridges here is arguing against common courtesy; rather, the abuse of it. For true courtesy must tell the truth. True courtesy will not praise falsely. On the other hand, it will search out ways to praise another sincerely.