That sweet grace
(J. C. Philpot, "Pilgrims'
Hunger and Pilgrims' Food")
"Remember how the Lord your God led you through the
wilderness for forty years, to humble you." Deut. 8:2
We learn humility by a deep discovery of
what we are; by an opening up of . . .
of our fallen nature.
The Lord's way of teaching His people humility is
by placing them first in one trying spot, and then
in another; by allowing . . .
some temptation to arise;
some stumbling block to be in their path;
some besetting sin to work upon their corrupt affections;
some idol to be embraced by their idolatrous heart;
something to take place to draw out the sin which is
in their heart; and thus make it manifest to their sight.
As a general rule, we learn humility, not by hearing
ministers tell us what wicked creatures we are; nor
by merely looking into our bosoms and seeing a whole
swarm of evils working there; but from being compelled
by painful necessity to believe that we are vile, through
circumstances and events time after time bringing to
light those hidden evils in our heart, which we once
thought ourselves pretty free from.
We learn humility, not merely by a discovery of what
we are, but also by a discovery of what Jesus is.
We need a glimpse . . .
of His love,
of His grace,
of His blood.
When these two feelings meet together
in our bosom . . .
our shame, and the Lord's goodness;
our guilt, and His forgiveness;
our wickedness, and His superabounding mercy;
they break us, humble us, and lay us, dissolved in tears
of godly sorrow and contrition, at the footstool of mercy!
And thus we learn humility, that sweet grace,
blessed fruit of the Spirit in real, vital, soul-experience.