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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Victory Over Ourselves

Matthew Henry

Will the meek truly inherit the earth? The following excellent article is by reformed Protestant, revival preacher, and Bible commentator Matthew Henry (1662-1714):

“We are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37)

“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 according 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 his entire house. A rational 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 garments 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. (“A Discourse on Meekness and Quietness of Spirit” by Matthew Henry)

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