Christ Teaching Humility
During the earthly life of our blessed Saviour, we see how everything connected with it teaches the lesson of humility. This is pointed out in the beautiful collect in The Book of Common Prayer for the first Sunday in Advent. Here we are taught to say: -- "Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in -- great humility."

If Jesus had come into our world as an angel, it would have been an act of humility. If he had come as a great and mighty king, it would have been an act of humility. But when he was born in a stable, and cradled in a manger; when he could say of himself, "the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head;" when there never was an acre, or a foot of ground that he called his own, although he made the world and all things in it; when he sailed in a borrowed boat, and was buried in a borrowed tomb; how well it might be said that he was teaching humility all the days of his life on earth! Yet he did not think that this was enough. And so he gave his disciples a special lesson on this subject.

We have an account of this lesson in St. John xiii: 4-15. It is taught us in these words: -- "He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel and girdled himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash his disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded." Then occurs the incident about the objection which Peter made to letting Jesus wash his feet, and the way in which that objection was overcome. And then the story goes on thus: -- "So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, 'Know ye what I have done unto you? Ye call me Master, and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye ought also to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.'"

This was a very surprising scene. How astonished the angels must have been when they looked upon it! They had known Jesus in heaven, before he took upon him our nature, and came into this fallen world. They had seen him in "the glory which he had with the Father, before the world was." They had worshipped him in the midst of all that glory. And then, when they saw him, girded with a towel and washing the feet of poor sinful men whom he came from heaven to save, how surprising it must have seemed to them! And when Jesus told his disciples that his object in doing this was to set them an example, that they should do as he had done to them, he did not mean that they should literally make a practice of washing each other's feet; but that they should show the same humility to others that he had shown to them, by being willing to do anything, however humble it might be, in order to promote their comfort and happiness. It is not the act itself, here spoken of, that Jesus teaches us to do; but the spirit of humility in which the act was performed that he teaches us to cultivate. We might go through the form of washing the feet of other persons, and yet feel proud and haughty all the time we were doing it. Then we should not be following the example of Jesus at all. When Jesus washed his disciples' feet, what he wished to teach them, and us, and all his people, is how earnestly he desires us to learn this lesson of humility. And when we think of the wondrous scene which took place on that occasion, the one thought it should impress on our minds, above all others is -- the importance of humility.

And if any one asks what is meant by humility? No better answer can be given to this question than we find in Romans xii: 3, where St. Paul tells us "not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but to think soberly." Pride is "thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think." Humility is -- not "thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think." And humility is the lesson we are now to study. This is the lesson that Jesus wishes all who love him to learn. It is easy to speak of five reasons why we should learn this lesson.

And the first reason for learning it is -- the COMMAND -- of Jesus.

When he had finished washing his disciples' feet, he told them that "they should do as he had done to them." This was his command to his disciples, and to us, to learn the lesson of humility. And this is not the only place in which Jesus taught this lesson. He gave some of his beautiful parables to teach humility. We find one of these in St. Luke xiv: 7-12.

On one occasion when he saw the people all pressing forward to get the best seats for themselves at a feast, he took the opportunity of giving his disciples a lesson about humility. He told them, when they were bidden to a wedding feast, not to take the highest seats; because some more honorable person might be bidden, and when the master of the feast came in he might say to them 'let this man have that seat, and you go and take a lower seat'; then they would feel mortified, and ashamed. And then he gave his disciples this command: "When thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room," or seat; "that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship" -- or honor -- "in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee." Here we have Jesus repeating his command to all his people to learn and practise the lesson of humility.

And then we have another of our Saviour's parables in which he taught this same lesson of humility, and that is the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. We find it in St. Luke xviii: 10-15. The parable reads thus: "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.'" Here we have a picture of a proud man. He pretended to pray, but asked for nothing, because he did not feel his need of anything. And so his pretended prayer brought him no blessing.

And then in the rest of the parable we have our Saviour's description of a man who was learning the lesson of humility, and of the blessing which it brought to him.

Here is a story told by one of our missionaries of the way in which this parable brought a heathen man to Christ.

"That's Me." A poor Hottentot in Southern Africa lived with a Dutch farmer, who was a good Christian man, and kept up family prayer in his home. One day, at their family worship he read this parable. He began, "Two men went up into the temple to pray." The poor savage, who had been led to feel himself a sinner, and was anxious for the salvation of his soul, looked earnestly at the reader, and whispered to himself, "Now I'll learn how to pray." The farmer read on, "God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are." "No, I am not," whispered the Hottentot, "but I'm worse." Again the farmer read, "I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess." "I don't do that. I don't pray in that way. What shall I do?" said the distressed savage.

The good man read on till he came to the publican, "standing afar off." "That's where I am," said the Hottentot. "Would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven," read the farmer. "That's me," cried his hearer. "But smote upon his breast saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." "That's me; that's my prayer," cried the poor creature, and smiting on his dark breast, he prayed for himself in the words of the parable, -- "God be merciful to me a sinner!" And he went on offering this prayer till the loving Saviour heard and answered him, and he went down to his house a saved and happy man.

Thus we see how this poor man learned the lesson of humility which Jesus taught, and how much good it did to him.

And it is Jesus who is speaking to us and commanding us to learn this lesson of humility, when we read, in other passages of Scripture, such words as these: -- "Put on therefore -- humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering." Col. iii: 12. "Humble yourself therefore in the sight of God." James iv: 10. "Be clothed with humility." I. Pet. v: 5. In all these places we have Jesus repeating his command to us to learn the lesson of humility. And this command is urged thus earnestly upon us because it is so important.

When St. Augustine, one of the celebrated fathers of the early Church, was asked -- What is the first important thing in the Christian religion? his reply was -- "Humility." "What is the second?" "Humility." "And what is the third?" -- the reply still was -- "Humility."

And if this be true, we need not wonder that Jesus should have been so earnest in teaching this lesson; or that he should have urged so strongly on his disciples to learn it.

The command of Christ is the first reason why we should learn the lesson of humility.

But the second reason why we should learn this lesson is, because of the -- EXAMPLE -- of Christ.

There are many persons "who say and do not." There are some ministers who preach very well, but they do not practise what they preach. Such persons may well be compared to finger-boards. They point out the way to others, but they do not walk in it themselves. But this was not the case with our blessed Saviour. He practised everything that he preached. And when he gave us his command to learn this lesson of humility, he gave us, at the same time, his example to show us how to do it.

He was illustrating this command by his example when he washed his disciples' feet. And this was only one out of many things in which he set us this example. When he chose to be born of poor parents, he was giving an example of humility. When he lived at Nazareth till he was thirty years of age, working with his reputed father as a carpenter, and during the latter part of the time, as is supposed, laboring for the support of his mother, he was giving an example of humility. When he said, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister," Matt. xx: 28; and again -- "I am among you as he that serveth," Luke xxii: 27, he was giving an example of humility. When he borrowed an ass to make his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem; though he could say in truth, "every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills;" -- (Ps.1: 10), he was setting an example of humility. When he hid himself away from the people because he saw that they wanted to take him by force and make him king, he was giving a lesson of humility. When he allowed himself to be taken prisoner, though he knew that if he had asked his Father in heaven, he would, at once, have sent "more than twelve legions of angels" to deliver him, he was giving an example of humility. When he kept silence, at the bar of the high-priest, of Herod, of Pontius Pilate, like "a lamb dumb before her shearers," while his enemies were charging him falsely with all kinds of wickedness; when he allowed the Roman soldiers to scourge him with rods, till his back was all bleeding; to put a crown of thorns upon his head; to array him in a purple robe in mockery of his being a king; to smite him with the palms of their hands, and spit upon him; and then to nail him to the cross, and put him to the most shameful of all deaths -- as if he were a wicked man, who did not deserve to live -- he was giving the most wonderful example of humility that ever was heard of. Jesus, the Lord of glory hanging on the shameful cross! -- O, this was an example of humility that must have filled the angels of heaven with surprise, and wonder!

And when we think of all that Jesus did and suffered, to set us an example of humility, it should make us ashamed of being proud; and anxious, above all things, to learn this lesson which he did so much to teach us.

"Imitating Christ's Humility." I think I never heard of a more beautiful instance of persons learning to imitate the humility of Christ, than is told of some Moravian Missionaries. These good men had heard the story of the unhappy slaves in the West Indies. Those poor creatures were wearing out their lives in hard bondage. They had very little comfort in this life, and no knowledge of that gracious Saviour who alone can secure, for sinful creatures, such as we are, a better portion in the life to come. These missionaries offered to go out to the West Indies, and teach those slaves about Jesus, and the great salvation that is to be found in him. But they were told that the owners of the slaves would not let them go to school or to church. They would not allow them to take time enough from their work to learn anything about the salvation of their souls. There was only one way in which those poor slaves could be taught anything about Jesus and his love, and that was, for those who wished to teach them, to go and be slaves on the plantations, to work, and toil, if need be, under the lash, so that they could get right beside them and then tell them about the way of salvation that is in Christ Jesus. This was a hard thing to undertake. But those good missionaries said they were willing to do it. And they not only said it, but did it. They left their homes, and went to the West Indies. They worked on the plantations as slaves. And working thus, by the side of the slaves, they got close to their hearts. The slaves heard them. Their hearts were touched because these teachers of the gospel had humbled themselves to their condition. While they were teaching the commands of Christ, they were illustrating and following his example. How beautiful this was! How grand! How glorious!

And yet Christ's own example was still more glorious. He laid aside the glory of his Godhead, and came down from heaven to earth, that he might get by our side. He laid himself beside us that we might feel the throbbings of his bosom and the embrace of his loving arms; and he draws us close to himself, while he whispers in our ears the sweet words, "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

And so, when we think of the example of Christ, we should strive to learn the lesson of humility which he taught.

A third reason why we should learn this lesson of humility is because of the -- COMFORT -- that is found in it.

Just think for a moment what God says on this subject, in Is. lvii: 15. These are his words: -- "Thus saith the high and mighty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Here, the same loving Saviour who gave us the command to learn the lesson of humility promises to give comfort to all who learn this lesson. And the way in which he secures this comfort to them is by coming and dwelling in their hearts. And who can tell what a comfort it is for a poor pardoned sinner to have Jesus -- the Lord of heaven and earth -- dwelling in his heart? It is his presence in heaven which makes those who dwell there feel so happy. This is what David taught, when he looked up to him, and said -- "In thy presence is fulness of joy." Ps.16: 11. And when that presence is felt, here on earth, it gives comfort and joy, as certainly as it does in heaven. It was the presence of Jesus which enabled Paul and Silas to sing at midnight, for very joyfulness, in the prison at Philippi, though their feet were fastened in the stocks, and their backs were torn and bleeding from the cruel scourging which they had suffered. And it was this presence of Christ in the hearts of his people that good John Newton was speaking of, in one of his sweet hymns, when he said:

"While blest with a sense of his love
A palace a toy would appear;
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there."

But it is only those who learn the lesson of humility that Jesus will dwell with. He says himself, "If any man love me, he will keep my words; and My Father will love him; and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." St. John xiv: 23. And among the words of Christ which we must keep, if we wish him to dwell in our hearts, are those in which he commands the lesson of humility. It is only the humble with whom he will dwell. For "every one that is proud in heart is an abomination unto the Lord." Prov. xvi: 5.

The reason why so many people are unhappy in this world is that they do not learn the lesson of humility.

"Learn to Stoop." The story is told of some celebrated man -- I think it was Dr. Franklin -- who had a friend visiting him on one occasion. When the gentleman was about to leave, the doctor accompanied him to the front door. In going through the entry there was a low beam across it, which made it necessary to stoop, in order to avoid being struck by it. As they approached it the doctor stooped himself, and called out to his friend to do the same. He did not heed the caution, and received a severe thump on his head as the result of his neglect. In bidding him good-bye, the doctor said -- "Learn to stoop, my friend; and it will save you from many a hard knock, as you go on through life." This illustrates the comfort which comes from learning the lesson of humility. It is those who are unwilling to stoop; or to be anything, or nothing, as God wants them to be, who have no comfort.

"The Fable of the Oak and the Violet." In a large garden there grew a fine oak tree, with its wide-spreading branches, and at its foot there grew a sweet and modest violet. The oak one day looked down in scorn upon the violet, and said: "You, poor little thing, will soon be dead and withered; for you have no strength, no size, and are of no good to anyone. But I am large and strong; I shall still live for ages, and then I shall be made into a large ship to sail on the ocean, or into coffins to hold the dust of princes."

"Yes," answered the violet, in its humility, "God has given you strength, and me sweetness. I offer him back my fragrance, and am thankful. I hope to die fragrantly, as I have lived fragrantly, but we are both only what God made us, and both where God placed us."

Not long after the oak was struck by lightning and shivered to splinters. Its end was to be burned. But the violet was gently gathered by the hand of a Christian lady, who carefully pressed it, and kept it for years, in the leaves of her Bible to refresh herself with its fragrance. Here we see illustrated the difference between pride and humility.

"The Secret of Comfort." Some years ago there was a boy who had been lame from his birth. He was a bright intelligent boy, but he was not a Christian. As he grew up, with no other prospect before him but that of being a cripple all his days, he was very unhappy. As he sat by his window, propped up in his chair, and saw the boys playing in the street, he would say to himself: "Why has God made me thus? Why have I not limbs to run and jump with like other boys?"

These thoughts filled him with distress, and caused him to shed many bitter tears.

One day a Christian friend, who was visiting him, gave him a book and requested him to read it. He did so; and it led to his becoming a Christian. His heart was renewed; the burden of his sin was removed; and the love of God was shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost. He learned the lesson of humble submission to the will of God. After this, as he looked out, and saw the young people happy at their sports; or, as he gazed on the green earth and the beautiful sky, and knew that he must remain a helpless cripple as long as he lived, he yet could say, with the utmost cheerfulness: -- "It's all right. My Father in heaven has done it. I love him. He loves me. I know he is making all things work together for my good." He had learned the lesson we are now considering, and we see what comfort it gave him. And the thought of the comfort which this lesson gives, should be a good reason with us all for learning it.

A fourth reason why we should learn the lesson of humility is because of the -- USEFULNESS -- connected with it.

Jesus tells us, by his apostle, that "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." St. James iv: 6. If we have the grace of God we can be useful in many ways, but, without that grace we cannot be useful at all. And this is what our Saviour taught his disciples, when he said to them -- "without me ye can do nothing." St. John xv: 5. By the words "without me" he meant without my help, or without my grace; or without the help of my grace. And it was of this grace that St. Paul was speaking when he said -- "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." Phil, iv: 13.

And we could not possibly have a stronger reason for trying to learn the lesson of humility than this, that our receiving the grace of God, and consequently our usefulness, depends upon it. God will not give us his grace to enable us to be truly good and to make ourselves useful, unless we learn this lesson. And unless we have the grace of God, we cannot be useful. Like barren fig-trees we shall be useless cumberers of the ground.

Now let us look at one or two illustrations which show us how pride hinders the usefulness of men, while humility helps it.

"The Fisherman's Mistake." An English gentleman was spending his summer holidays in Scotland. He concluded to try his hand at fishing for trout in one of the neighboring streams. He bought one of the handsomest fishing rods he could find, with line and reel, and artificial flies, and everything necessary to make a perfect outfit for a fisherman. He went to the trout stream, and toiled all day, but never caught a single fish.

Towards the close of the day he saw a ragged little farmer boy, with a bean pole for a rod, and the simplest possible sort of a line, who was nipping the fish out of the water about as fast as he could throw his line in. He watched the boy in amazement for awhile, and then asked him how it was that one, with so fine a rod and line, could catch no fish, while he with his poor outfit was catching so many. The boy's prompt reply was: -- "Ye'll no catch ony fish Sir, as lang as ye dinna keep yersel' oot o' sicht."

The gentleman was proud of his handsome rod and line, and was showing it off all the time. His pride hindered his usefulness as a fisherman. The farmer's boy had nothing to show off; so he kept himself out of sight, and thus his humility helped his usefulness in fishing.

"The Thames' Tunnel Teaching Humility." Most strangers who visit the great city of London go to see the famous tunnel under the river Thames. This is a large, substantial road that has been built, in the form of an arch, directly under the bed of the river. It is one of the most wonderful works that human skill ever succeeded in making. The man who planned and built it was made one of the nobility of England. His name was Sir Isambard Brunel. He was so humble that he was willing to learn a lesson from a tiny little ship worm. These worms bore small round holes through the solid timbers of our ships.

One day Mr. Brunel visited a ship-yard. An old ship was on the dry-dock getting repaired. A quantity of worm-eaten timber had been taken out from her sides. He picked up one of these pieces of timber, and saw a worm at work, boring its way through. If he had been a proud man, he might have thrown the timber aside, and said -- "Get away you poor little worm. I am a great master builder. You can't teach me anything." And if he had done so that famous tunnel under the Thames would probably never have been built. But Mr. Brunel had learned the lesson of humility. He was willing to learn from anything that God had made, however insignificant it might be. So he sat down and watched the worm at its work. He studied carefully the form of the hole it was boring. The thought occurred to him how strong a tunnel would be, that was made in the shape of this hole! And when he was asked whether it would be possible to build a tunnel under the Thames, he said he thought it could be done. He undertook to build it. He succeeded in the work. But, in accomplishing the great undertaking that little ship-worm was his teacher.

And now, if any of my young friends who may read this book should ever visit London, and go to see the great tunnel, as they gaze in wonder at it, let them remember Sir I. Brunel, and that little ship-worm; and then, let them say to themselves: "This mighty tunnel is an illustration of the truth that humility helps to make us useful."

"George Washington and His Humility." Here is a story connected with the great and good Washington -- "the Father of his country," which illustrates very well this part of our subject.

During the war of the American Revolution, the commander of a little squad of soldiers was superintending their operations as they were trying to raise a heavy piece of timber to the top of some military works which they were engaged in repairing. It was hard work to get the timber up, and so the commander, who was a proud man and thought himself of great importance, kept calling out to them from time to time, "Push away, boys! There she goes! Heave ho!"

While this was going on, an officer on horseback, but not in military dress, rode by. He asked the commander why he did not take hold, and give the men a little help. He looked at the stranger in great astonishment, and then, with all the pride of an emperor, said:

"Sir, I'd have you know that I am a corporal!"

"You are -- are you?" replied the officer, "I was not aware of that," and then taking off his hat, and making a low bow, said, "I ask your pardon Mr. Corporal."

After this he got off his horse, and throwing aside his coat, he took hold and helped the men at their work till they got the timber into its place. By this time the perspiration stood in drops upon his forehead. He took out his handkerchief and wiped his brow. Then turning to the commander he said:

"Mr. Corporal, when you have another such job on hand, and have not men enough to do it, send for your Commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again."

It was General Washington who did and said this. The Corporal was thunderstruck! The great Washington, though honored above all men on the continent, was humble enough to put his hand and shoulder to the timber, that he might help the humblest of his soldiers, who were struggling for the defence of their country, to bear the burdens appointed to them.

This is an excellent illustration of the truth we are now considering. And certainly we should all try to learn the lesson of humility which Jesus taught, when we see how it helps to make us useful.

And then there is one other reason why we should learn this lesson, and that is because of the -- BLESSING -- that attends it.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in her noble song about the birth of her wonderful Son, said that God "filleth the hungry with good things, and sendeth the rich empty away." By the "hungry" she meant the humble and by the "rich" the proud. And the "good things" with which God fills them mean the blessings He bestows on the humble. Our Saviour taught the same truth when he said, "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Luke xiv: 11. Being exalted here means being honored and blessed. These passages teach very clearly the truth of which we are now speaking. They show us that we must learn the lesson of humility if we hope to have God's blessing rest upon us. And it is not more true that two and two make four, than it is that God's blessing does attend and follow those who learn the lesson of humility.

How many illustrations of this truth we find in the Bible! Moses had learned the lesson of humility before God sent him on his great mission, which has given him a name and a place among the most famous men of the world.

Gideon had learned the lesson of humility before God made choice of him to be the deliverer of his people Israel from the hands of their enemies; and then, for years to be their honored ruler. John the Baptist was so humble that he said of himself that he was not worthy to stoop down and unloose the latchet of our Saviour's shoe; and yet Jesus said of him that he was one of the greatest men that ever had been born.

The apostle Paul was so humble that he considered himself "less than the least of all saints," and "the chief of sinners;" and yet God honored and blessed him till he became the most famous and useful of all the apostles.

If we turn from the Bible, and look out into the world around us, we may compare proud people to the tops of the mountains; these are bare and barren, and of little use to the world. We may compare humble people to the plains and valleys. These are fertile and beautiful, and are the greatest blessing to the world, in the abundance of grain, and fruit, and other good things which they yield.

And then, if we take notice of what is occurring in the scenes of daily life, we shall meet with incidents continually which furnish us with illustrations of the part of our subject now before us, that God crowns the humble with his blessing. Let us look at one or two of these illustrations.

"The Little Loaf." In a certain part of Germany, some years ago, a famine was prevailing, and many of the people were suffering from hunger. A kind-hearted rich man sent for twenty of the poorest children in the village where he lived, to come to his house. As they stood on the porch of his house, he came out to them bringing a large basket in his hand. He set it down before him and said: "Children, in this basket there is bread for you all. Take a loaf, each of you, and come back every day at this hour, till it shall please God to send us better times."

Then he left the children to themselves and went into the house, but watched them through the window. The hungry children seized the basket, quarreled and struggled for the bread, because each of them wished to get the best and largest loaf. Then they went away without ever thanking the good gentleman for his kindness.

But one little girl, named Gretchen, poorly but neatly dressed, remained, humbly standing by, till the rest were gone. Then she took the last loaf left in the basket, the smallest of the lot. She looked up to the window where the gentleman stood; smiled at him; threw him a kiss, and made a low curtsey in token of her gratitude, and then went quickly home.

The next day the other children were just as ill-behaved as they had been before, and the timid humble Gretchen received a loaf this time not more than half the size of the one she had on the previous day. But when she came home, and her poor sick mother cut the loaf open, a number of new silver pieces of money, fell rattling and shining out of it.

Her mother was frightened, and said, "Take the money back at once to the good gentleman; for it must certainly have dropped into the dough by accident. Be quick Gretchen! be quick!"

But when the little girl came to the good man and gave him her mother's message, he kindly said, "No, no, my child, it was no mistake. I had the silver pieces put into the smallest loaf as a reward for you. Continue to be as humble, peaceable, self-denying, and grateful as you have now shown yourself to be. A little girl who is humble enough to take the smallest loaf rather than quarrel for the larger ones, will be sure to receive greater blessings from God than if she had silver pieces of money baked in every loaf of bread she ate. Go home now, and greet your good mother very kindly for me." Here we see how God's blessing attends the humble.

"Humility Proving a Blessing." Some time ago a young man went into the office of one of the largest dry-goods houses in New York and asked for a situation. He was told to call again another day.

Going down Broadway that same afternoon, when opposite the Astor House, he saw an old apple woman, in trying to cross the street, struck by an omnibus, knocked down, and her basket of apples sent scattering into the gutter.

The young man stepped out of the crowd, helped the old woman to her feet, put her apples into her basket, and went on his way, without thinking of it.

Now a proud man would never have thought of doing such a thing as that. But this young man had learned the lesson of humility, and did not hesitate a moment to do this kind act.

When he called again to see about the situation, he was asked what wages he expected.

He stated what he thought would be right. His proposal was accepted. The situation was given him, and he went to work.

About a year afterwards, his employer took him aside one day, reminded him of the incident about the old apple woman; told him he was passing at the time, and saw it; and that it was this circumstance which induced him to offer the vacant situation to him, in preference to a hundred others who were applying for it.

Here we see what a blessing this young man's humility proved to him!

And thus we see that there are five good reasons why we should learn the lesson of humility. These are the command of Christ; the example of Christ; the comfort that humility gives; the usefulness to which it leads; and the blessing that attends it.

The first verse of the hymn we often sing contains a very suitable prayer to offer when we think of the lesson of humility we have now been considering:

"Lord forever at thy side
Let my place and portion be;
Strip me of the robe of pride
Clothe me with humility."

christ teaching liberality
Top of Page
Top of Page