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"And walk humbly with thy God," — Micah 6:8.

Why not joyfully? There is a foundation laid for this. It is their privilege, and it is said, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord. This is not, however, absolutely necessary. In a sense, Christians may go on without it. We have known much self-denial, and deadness to the world, and spirituality of devotion, and zeal for the glory of God and the welfare of others, in persons who may be said to be saved by hope rather than confidence. But with regard to humbleness of mind, this is indispensable — always, and in every thing, and no progress can be made without it. So that when Luther was asked what was the first step in religion, he replied, Humility; and when asked what was the second, and the third, answered in the same way. And Peter admonishes Christians to be clothed with humility; as if he would say, This is to cover, to defend, to distinguish, to adorn all. But how is our walking humbly with God to appear?

It is to appear in connexion with divine truth. Here God is our teacher; and if, as learners, we walk humbly with him, we shall cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of Christ; we shall sacrifice the pride of reason and having ascertained that the Scriptures are the word of God, and discovered what they really contain, we shall not speculate upon their principles, but admit them on the divine authority. Nothing can be more proud and vain than to believe no more than we can comprehend, or can make appear to be credible in itself. Is not this founding our faith on knowledge, and not on testimony? Is not this trusting God like a discredited witness in Court, whose disposition is regarded only as it is collaterally supported? Is this honouring his wisdom, or veracity? Is this receiving with meekness the engrafted word? Is this receiving the kingdom of heaven as a little child?

It will appear in connexion with divine ordinances. Here we walk with God as worshippers; and if we walk humbly with him, we shall have grace, whereby we may serve him acceptably, with reverence and with godly fear. We have, indeed, in Christ, boldness and access with confidence; but it is by the faith of him; that is, by the confidence of one who feels his encouragement derived from a mediator. We may come boldly to the throne of grace, but it is to obtain mercy, and find grace to help us; the boldness, therefore, can only be the boldness of the indigent and the guilty, who have nothing of their own to plead. We approach him as a father; but if I am a father, says He, where is mine honour? We have heard some address the Supreme Being with such levity and freedom as they would not have used to a fellow-creature a little above their own level in life. We should keep our feet when we go to the house of God. He is in heaven and we upon the earth, therefore our words should be few.

It will appear in connexion with his mercies. Here we walk with God as our benefactor; and if we walk humbly with him, we shall own and feel that we have no claim upon God for any thing we possess or enjoy. Am I indulged? I am not worthy of the least of all his mercies. Am I distinguished?

"Not more than others I deserve,
Yet God has given me more."

Am I successful? I shall not ascribe it to my own skill, or the power of my own arm. I shall not sacrifice to my own net, or burn incense to my own drag. "The blessing of the Lord it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."

It will appear, with regard to our trials. Here we walk with God as our reprover and corrector; and if we walk humbly, we shall not charge him foolishly; we shall not arraign his authority, or ask, What doest thou? We shall not expose ourselves to the reflection, Thou hast smitten them, and they have not grieved. We shall be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live. We shall be dumb, and open not our mouth, because He does it. Or if we speak, it will be to acknowledge that his judgments are right, and that in faithfulness he has afflicted us. "I mourn, but I do not murmur. I wonder not that my troubles are so heavy, but that they are so light. I more than deserve them all, and I need them all. I would not only bear, but kiss the rod. It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good."

It will appear, with regard to our conditions. Here we walk with God as our disposer and governor; and if we walk humbly, we shall hold ourselves at his control; we shall be willing that he should choose our inheritance for us; we shall not lean to our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge him. We shall be satisfied with our own allotment, and learn, in whatsoever state we are, therewith to be content. We shall abide in the callings wherein his providence has placed us, and not be eager to rise into superior office, feeling our unfitness for them, and fearful of their perils; saying, "Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quited myself as a child that is weaned of his mother; my soul is even as a weaned child."

It will appear, with regard to our qualification and ability for our work. Here we walk with God, as our helper and strength; and if we walk humbly, we shall be sensible of our insufficiency for all the purposes of the divine life. We shall feel that we know not what to pray for as we ought, unless the Spirit itself helpeth our infirmities; that the preparation of the heart, and the answer of the tongue, are from the Lord; that with regard to the exercise of every grace, and the performance of every duty, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can we, except we abide in him, for without him we can do nothing. Did Peter walk humbly with him, when, even after the warning he had received, he leaned on his own resolution for superior constancy? Here humility is to fear always, and to pray, Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.

It will appear, with regard to the whole of our recovery. Here we walk with God, as a Saviour; and if we walk humbly, we shall not go about to establish our own righteousness, but submit ourselves unto the righteousness which is of God; and acknowledge that we have nothing to glory in before him. "Not by works of righteousness which I had done, but according to his mercy he saved me. I look to the rock whence I was hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence I was digged. How long did he wait for me! What pains were used in vain to bring my heart to him! He was found of me, when I sought him not. And how little have I attained! I am still an unprofitable servant. The sins of my holy things would condemn me; I must look only for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. If I am called, he called me by his grace. If I have a good hope, it is a good hope through grace. By the grace of God, I am what I am."

Happy this humble walker with God. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

"All joy to the believer! He can speak —
Trembling, yet happy, confident yet meek.
Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot,
And cut up all my follies by the root,
I never trusted in an arm but thine,
Nor hoped, but in thy righteousness divine.
My prayers and alms, imperfect and defiled,
Were but the feeble efforts of a child;
Howe'er perform'd, it was their brightest part,
That they proceeded from a grateful heart.
Cleansed in thine own all-purifying blood,
Forgive their evil, and accept their good;
I cast them at thy feet; my only plea
Is, what it was, dependence upon thee:
While struggling in the vale of tears below,
That never fail'd, nor shall it fail me now.
Angelic gratulations rend the skies;
Pride falls unpitied, never more to rise;
Humility is crown'd, and Faith receives the prize."

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

 
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