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Mornings In The College Chapel by Francis Greenwood Peabody

XXIV THE MEEK.

Matthew v.5.

Whom does Jesus call the blessed people? Again he answers: |Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.| And who are the meek? We think of a meek man as a limp and mild creature who has no capacity to hurt or courage to help. But that is not what the Bible word means. Meekness is not weakness. The Book of Numbers says that Moses was the meekest man that ever lived; but one of the first illustrations of his character was in slaying an Egyptian who insulted his people. The meek man of the Bible is simply what we call the gentle-man -- the man without swagger or arrogance, not self-assertive or forthputting, but honorable and considerate. This is the sense in which it has been said of Jesus that he was the first of gentlemen. Now these people, the gracious and generous, -- not the self-important and ostentatious, -- are, according to Jesus, in the end to rule. {63} They are not to get what we call the prizes of life, the social notoriety and position, but they are to have the leadership of their time and its remembrance when they are gone. Long after showy ambition has its little day and ceases to be, the world will remember the magnanimous and self-effacing leader. He does not have to grasp the prizes of earth; he, as Jesus says, |inherits the earth.| It is his by right. The meek, says the thirty-seventh Psalm, shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in abundance of peace. The meek escape the quarrelsomeness of ambition. They live in a world of peace and good-will. And when we sing of peace on earth and good-will to men, we are only repeating the beatitude of Jesus: |Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.|

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