The Centurion: or, An Exhortation to the Virtuous
Charles H. Spurgeon
This centurion certainly had a high reputation. Two features of character blend in him which do not often meet in such graceful harmony. He won the high opinion of others and yet he held a low estimation of himself. There are some who think little of themselves; and they are quite correct in their feelings, as all the world would endorse the estimate of their littleness. Others there are who think great things of themselves; but the more they are known, the less they are praised; and the higher they shall carry their heads, the more shall the world laugh them to scorn. Nor is it unusual for men to think great things of themselves because the world commends or flatters them; so they robe themselves with pride and cloak themselves with vanity, because they have by some means, either rightly or wrongly, won the good opinion of others. There are very few who have the happy combination of the text. The elders say of the centurion, that he is worthy; but he says of himself, "Lord, I am not worthy!" They commend him for building God a house; but he thinks that he is not worthy that Christ should come under the roof of his house. They plead his merit; but he pleads his demerit. Thus he appeals to the power of Christ, apart from anything that he felt in himself or thought of himself. O that you and I might have this blessed combination in ourselves; to win the high opinion of others, so far as it can be gained by integrity, by uprightness, and by decision of character, and yet at the same time to walk humbly with our God!
Now there are three things I shall speak about tonight, and may God make them profitable. First, here is a high character; secondly, here is deep humility; and, thirdly, here is, notwithstanding that deep humility, a very mighty faith.
To begin, then, dear friends, here is a high character; let us thoroughly appreciate it, and give it a full measur ...
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