Fuller first editions, the irksomeness of e-bay, and a precious truth

I recently missed out in bidding for an item on e-bay by Andrew Fuller, a first edition of his sermon Christian Patriotism: or, The Duty of Religious People Towards Their Country. A Discourse delivered at the Baptist Meeting-House in Kettering, on Lord’s-Day Evening, Aug. 14, 1803 (Printed and sold by J. W. Morris, Dunstable, 1803). Measuring 6½ inches x 4¼ inches, it is 34 pages in length. The going price for this piece was $162.00. To be utterly honest, I found the whole experience of bidding for this—watching my bids escalate in price as I tried vainly to outbid the person who bought this item—quite irksome. Why so irksome. Well, here is how my train of thinking ran. Here am I, the director of the Andrew Fuller Center, involved in the publication of the critical edition of Fuller’s works. Why shouldn’t I be given some special access to such works like this at a reasonable price to further the cause of Fuller scholarship? I must admit that such thoughts, essentially unwholesome thoughts, ran through my mind. In fact, they did more than run through it. They lodged there for a few days, and are still there, I fear. But Romans 12:3 calls me to think much more soberly of myself and my calling. My calling may involve me in the editing of some of Fuller’s works, but the world of Fuller scholarship does not revolve around me or this project. Why should I be entitled to some sort of special privilege?

This is even truer on another, far more important level: my place in this universe and my standing with God. This universe is not centred around me. I can lay claim to no special privilege with God. I must come the way of all sinners: seeking mercy through the merits of the stainless life and sweet death of the Lord Jesus.