Humility Interpreted by Christ
George H. Morrison
It has been said that the greatest of all differences between ancient and modern morality is not the introduction of new virtues but the changing of the order of the old ones. In this sphere, as in other spheres, Christ has put down the mighty from their seats. He has taken the little one of ancient ethics and made it as it were a thousand. And so it is said our Christian morality is not generically different from others; the difference is mainly one of emphasis. Now in this there is a large element of truth and of very fruitful and suggestive truth. No one will ever understand the Savior who forgets how largely He wrought by rearranging. But there is one point at which it is not true and that the most important point of all perhaps-it is not true in reference to humility. Humility was not a virtue in the old world. Humility in the old world was a vice. It was a thing abhorred and accursed, utterly unworthy of the gentleman. And the amazing thing is that in Christendom it has not merely ceased to be a vice but has been given the primacy of virtue. To be humble was once to be contemptible; now to be humble is to be blessed. It was once rejected as a thing of shame; it is now sought for as a grace of heaven. In every communion of universal Christendom, however deep the cleavages between them, the queen of Christian graces is humility.
Now for this Christian glorying in humility there are two reasons which suggest themselves. The first is the expansion given to life by the revelation of our faith. Had you lived within a little room and then been brought under the open heaven, can you not picture how your thought would change in that amazing moment of expansion? Seeing the sun and moon in all their beauty, the azure heaven, and the myriad stars, you would be silent and wonder and adore. Feelings hitherto repressed would awaken; thoughts would rise and soar into the infinite. In a world so high and ...
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