(from Jonathan Edwards, "Charity and Its Fruits")
Humility is a most essential and
distinguishing trait in all true piety.
Humility may be defined to be a habit of
and heart corresponding to our comparative
unworthiness and vileness before God, or
a sense of our own comparative lowliness in
his sight, with the disposition to a behavior
We are not truly humble unless we have
a sense of our nothingness as compared
We are little, despicable creatures, even
worms of the dust, and we should feel that
we are as nothing, and less than nothing,
in comparison with the Majesty of heaven
The truly humble man is also sensible
of his vileness and filthiness as a sinner.
He sees how exceedingly polluted he is before
an infinitely holy God, in whose sight the
heavens are not clean. He sees how pure God is,
and how filthy and abominable he is before him.
Humility disposes a person heartily and
to acknowledge his lowliness and littleness
before God. He sees how fit and suitable it is
that he should do this, and he does it willingly,
and even with delight.
He freely confesses his own nothingness
and vileness, and owns himself unworthy
of any mercy, and deserving of all misery.