Today I was reading Robert Bolton again (1572-1631). His General Directions for a Comfortable Walking with God has been a favorite of mine for almost ten years now. Today I was working through his warnings concerning the danger of spiritual pride. One of the things he wrote was that some men fall into the danger of trusting in their knowledge and zeal as the measure of their spiritual life. He says many mistakenly take comfort in,
Much knowledge and [a] noble defense of that blessed orthodox truth which we profess, without a kindly saving impression of goodness and grace in the heart. Many great men and great scholars, more is the pity, are empoisoned with this conceit; they are self-conceited, that if they be zealous patrons and protectors of true religion, they are safe enough for salvation, though alas! They be mere strangers, nay too many time opposers, to the power and practice thereof.
For relevant material see my post on John Newton. Reading like this (Robert Bolton, Jeremiah Burrows, etc.) is always helpful to me, and especially so as I am looking back on this past year and forward to the next determining where and how I need to repent. I hope you all find similar encouragement through your pastors, friends and good books.