31 AUGUST (PREACHED 30 AUGUST 1767)
Meekness towards others
‘Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.’ Matthew 5:5
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 2 Samuel 16:5–14
Meekness is daily exercised in our conversation with men:
(i) in lowliness of mind, if the providence of God has favoured us with any outward distinction. The meek person is not lifted up, but knows that he is unworthy of bread and water, much more of so many comforts. Hence he knows how to condescend to men of low estate.
(ii) the meek are not stiff and stubborn in their temper and manners. They speak with diffidence of themselves, are sensible that they are fallible and prone to mistake, therefore will hear reason. A want of this is often observable in religious disputes.
(iii) the meek are not easily angry. They remember that the Lord is concerned, let who will be the instrument, so David in the affair of Shimei [2 Samuel 16:11].
(iv) the meek are easily reconciled. They owe 10,000 talents and therefore dare not stand out for a few pence.
(v) the meek, as they are not hasty in taking offence, so they are desirous to avoid giving offence. What they feel in their own hearts makes them unwilling to lay provocations in the way of others, or to do anything which they themselves would dislike from others in their own case.
How is the promise to be understood, when in fact we see little of the earth comes to the share of such? They shall have as much as the Lord sees good; and meekness, as I have hinted, cuts short the desire of more. What they have, they have with the Lord’s blessing, and this makes a little go a great way, and every sweet sweeter. They are freed from those hurrying passions which, when unrestricted, spoil the relish of every situation in life. They have an inheritance on high, of which every good here is an earnest. Here is a ground of examination for all, of humiliation for the best, yet, I hope, of comfort to many. If these things are begun, you are blessed of the Lord, and you shall be blessed.
FOR MEDITATION: Thou wert meek and lowly; O let this mind be also in me.
Miscellaneous Thoughts, Monday 3 July 1758
SERMON: MATTHEW 5:5 [2/2]