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A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit

by Rev. Matthew Henry


Reformed Protestant, Bible Commentator

c. 1859
Religious Tract Society Edition


A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit, by Rev. Matthew Henry


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A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit by Rev. Matthew Henry


"Meekness approaches to that innocence which is commonly an effectual security against wrongs and injuries. However some base and servile spirits may insult over the tame and humble; yet, with all persons of honor, it is confessedly a piece of cowardice to attack an unarmed, unresisting man, that resents not provocation. 'And who is he that will harm you if you be followers of that which is good?' Who draws his sword and cocks his pistol at the harmless silent lamb, while everyone is ready to do it at the furious

Chapter I. The Nature of Meekness, Quietness of Spirit ... 5

Chapter II. The Excellency of Meekness ... 32

Chapter III. Want of Meekness lamented ... 78

Chapter IV. Encouragement to Meekness - Scripture Precepts ... 88

Chapter V. Scripture Patterns ... 99

Chapter VI. When Meekness is specially required ... 118

Chapter VII. Arguments for Meekness ... 132

Chapter VIII. Some Rules of Direction ... 145

barking dog? Thus does the meek man escape many of those perplexing troubles, those woes, and sorrows, and wounds without cause, which he that is passionate, provoking, and revengeful pulls upon his own head. Wise men turn away wrath, but a fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for strokes. It is an honor to a man to cease from strife, but every fool will be meddling to his own hurt."

"The excellency of a meek and quiet spirit will appear, if we consider the credit of it, and the comfort of it - the present profit there is by it, and the preparedness there is in it for future blessings.

Consider how creditable a meek and quiet spirit is. Credit or reputation all desire, though few consider aright either what it is, or what is the right way of obtaining it; and particularly it is little believed what a great deal of true honor there is in the grace of meekness, and what a sure and ready way mild and quiet souls take to gain the approval of their Master, and of all their fellow-servants who love him, and are like him.

There is in it the credit of a victory. What a great figure do the names of high and mighty conquerors make in the records of fame! How are their conduct, their valor and success cried up and celebrated! But if we will believe the word of truth, and pass a judgment upon things acording to it, 'He that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.' Behold, a greater than Alexander or Caesar is here; the former of whom (some think) lost more true honor by yielding to his own ungoverned anger, than he got by all his conquests. No triumphant chariot so easy, so safe, so truly glorious, as that in which the meek and quiet soul rides over all the provocations of an injurious world with a gracious unconcernedness; no train so splendid, so noble, as that train of comforts and graces which attend this chariot. The conquest of an unruly passion is more honorable than that of an unruly people, for it requires more true courage. It is easier to kill an enemy without, which may be done at a blow, than to chain up and govern an enemy within, which requires a constant, even, steady hand and a long and regular management. It was more to the honor of David to yield himself conquered by Abigail's persuasions, than to have made himself a conqueror over Nabal and all his house. Arational victory must needs be allowed more honorable to a rational creature than a brutal one. This is a cheap, safe and unbloody conquest that does nobody any harm, no lives, no treasures are sacrificed to it, the glory of these triumphs are not stained as others generally are, with funerals. Every battle of the warrior, says the prophet, 'is with confused noise, and garmets rolled in blood;' but this victory shall be obtained by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts. Nay, in meek and quiet sufferings we are "more than conquerors with little loss, we lose nothing but the gratifying of a base lust; conquerors with great gain, the spoils we divide are very rich - the favor of God, the comforts of the Spirit, the foretastes of everlasting pleasures; these are more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey. We are more than conquerors; that is, triumphers; we live a life of victory; every day is a day of triumph to the meek and quiet soul.

Meekness is a victory over ourselves and the rebellious lusts in our own bosoms; it is the quieting of intestine broils, the stilling of an insurrection at home, which is often harder than to resist a foreign invasion. It is an effectual victory over those that injure us, and make themselves enemies to us, and is often a means of winning their hearts. The law of meekness is, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, not only give him drink, (which is an act of charity,) but drink to him, in token of friendship, and true love, and reconciliation; and in so doing thou shalt "heap coals of fire upon his head," not to consume him, but to melt and soften him, that he may be cast into a new mould; and thus while the angry and revengeful man, that will bear down all before him with a high hand, is overcome of evil; and forasmuch as their 'ways please the Lord, he makes even their enemies to be at peace with them.' Nay, meekness is a victory over Satan, the greatest enemy of all; and what conquest can be more honorable than this? It is written for caution to us all, and it reflects honor on those who through grace overcome, that, 'we wrestle not against ... '"

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"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48 KJV
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