Self Denial

This excerpt from Zenas Trivett’s Christian Duties appeared in the February 1810 edition of the Baptist Magazine, on page 66.

He who will not use self-denial, can never make a peaceable member of society, for men in a state of imperfect knowledge, can never all see alike, and it would be unreasonable to expect it; but proud nature, far from compliant, does not like to yield: without the exercise of self-denial, then, there must be an end of peace; for where men see differently, in many cases they will act differently; and if it be in a matter of church-discipline, there will most likely be a majority on one side, and consequently a minority on the other, whose duty, no doubt, it is to submit to the greater number; but submission calls for self-denial, and which in such a case ought to be exercised, and submission rendered, without murmuring.–Self denial is essential to christianity, it is the christian’s duty, when he is considered personally; but when he becomes a member of a christian society, duty binds him to exercise it differently.–Probably there may be some part of our conduct which in itself, may be innocent, but it may not be so in the view of some of our brethren, their minds, being weak, may be hurt by it; now in such a case we ought to use self-denial, or else we ‘walk not charitably,’ for, as saith St. Paul, ‘We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves:’ and according to this rule the apostle himself determined to act, for, although ‘he knew and was persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there was nothing unclean of itself,’ yet, so great was his charity and self-denial, that ‘if meat made his brother to offend, he would eat no flesh while the world should stand, lest he made his brother to offend.’ Excellent example! Let us copy it, my brethren; and let us ‘look, not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others;’ and let us not be self-willed, but ‘submit ourselves one to another, in the fear of God.’

Trivett’s Christian Duties.