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PREFACE.

There are three great motives that urge us to humility. It

becomes me as a creature, as a sinner, as a saint. The first we see in the

heavenly hosts, in unfallen man, in Jesus as Son of Man. The second appeals to

us in our fallen state, and points out the only way through which we can return

to our right place as creatures. In the third we have the mystery of grace,

which teaches us that, as we lose ourselves in the overwhelming greatness of

redeeming love, humility becomes to us the consummation of everlasting

blessedness and adoration.

In our ordinary religious teaching, the second aspect has

been too exclusively put in the foreground, so that some have even gone to the

extreme of saying that we must keep sinning if we are indeed to keep humble.

Others again have thought that the strength of self-condemnation is the secret

of humility. And the Christian life has suffered loss, where believers have not

been distinctly guided to see that, even in our relation as creatures, nothing

is more natural and beautiful and blessed than to be nothing, that God may be

all; or where it has not been made clear that it is not sin that humbles most,

but grace, and that it is the soul, led through its sinfulness to be occupied

with God in His wonderful glory as God, as Creator and Redeemer, that will

truly take the lowest place before Him.

In these meditations I have, for more than one reason,

almost exclusively directed attention to the humility that becomes us as

creatures. It is not only that the connection between humility and sin is so

abundantly set forth in all our religious teaching, but because I believe that

for the fullness of the Christian life it is indispensable that prominence be

given to the other aspect. If Jesus is indeed to be our example in His

lowliness, we need to understand the principles in which it was rooted, and in

which we find the common ground on which we stand with Him, and in which our

likeness to Him is to be attained. If we are indeed to be humble, not only

before God but towards men, if humility is to be our joy, we must see that it

is not only the mark of shame, because of sin, but, apart from all sin, a being

clothed upon with the very beauty and blessedness of heaven and of Jesus. We

shall see that just as Jesus found His glory in taking the form of a servant,

so when He said to us, ‘Whosoever would be first among you, shall be your

servant,’ He simply taught us the blessed truth that there is nothing so divine

and heavenly as being the servant and helper of all. The faithful servant, who

recognises his position, finds a real pleasure in supplying the wants of the

master or his guests. When we see that humility is something infinitely deeper

than contrition, and accept it as our participation in the life of Jesus, we

shall begin to learn that it is our true nobility, and that to prove it in

being servants of all is the highest fulfilment of our destiny, as men created

in the image of God.

When I look back upon my own religious experience, or round

upon the Church of Christ in the world, I stand amazed at the thought of how

little humility is sought after as the distinguishing feature of the

discipleship of Jesus. In preaching and living, in the daily intercourse of the

home and social life, in the more special fellowship with Christians, in the

direction and performance of work for Christ,—alas! how much proof there is

that humility is not esteemed the cardinal virtue, the only root from which the

graces can grow, the one indispensable condition of true fellowship with Jesus.

That it should have been possible for men to say of those who claim to be

seeking the higher holiness, that the profession has not been accompanied with

increasing humility, is a loud call to all earnest Christians, however much or

little truth there be in the charge, to prove that meekness and lowliness of

heart are the chief mark by which they who follow the meek and lowly Lamb of

God are to be known.

GENRE
Religion & Spirituality
RELEASED
2018
May 10
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
108
Pages
PUBLISHER
CrossReach Publications
SELLER
PublishDrive Inc.
SIZE
795.9
KB

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