The queen of the Christian graces!
(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858)
"Everyone who exalts himself — will be humbled; and he who humbles himself — will be exalted." Luke 14:11
Humility may well be called the queen of the Christian graces. To know our own sinfulness and weakness, and to feel our need of Christ — is the start of saving religion.
Humility is a grace which has always been a distinguishing feature in the character of the holiest saints in every age. Abraham and Moses and Job and David and Daniel and Paul — were all eminently humble men.
Above all, humility is a grace within the reach of every true Christian. All converted people should work to adorn the doctrine they profess, with humility. If they can do nothing else — they can strive to be humble.
Do you want to know the root and spring of humility?
One word describes it. The root of humility is right knowledge.
The person . . .
who really knows himself, and his own heart,
who knows God, and His infinite majesty and holiness,
who knows Christ, and the price at which he was redeemed
— that person will never be a proud person.
He will count himself, like Jacob, unworthy of the least of all God's mercies. He will say of himself, like Job, "I am vile!" He will cry, like Paul, "I am the chief of sinners." He will consider others better than himself. Philippians 2:3
Ignorance, nothing but sheer ignorance — ignorance of self, of God, and of Christ — is the real secret of pride.
From that miserable self-ignorance, may we daily pray to be delivered.
The wise person knows himself — and will find nothing within to make him proud.