27 August 2022

Bishop Challoner's Meditations - August 27th


Consider first, that in order to teach us humility God has sent us down a master from heaven, even his own eternal Son, who is no less God that his Father. Of what importance, then, must it be for us, my soul, to study well this great lesson, which the Son of God himself has come down from heaven to teach? O, who could have thought that we, who are of ourselves so very little, so very wretched and contemptible, so near the brink of nothing, and by our sins beneath nothing, should be so strangely conceited of ourselves, and so monstrously corrupted with pride and self-love, that nothing less should suffice to teach us to be little and humble than the great example of the Son of God himself coming down from heaven and becoming a little one amongst us - 'yea, as a worm and no man, the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people,' Ps. xxi. And yet, even so, how few are there of us that are content to be little and contemptible with him! How few are willing to be scholars of this heavenly master, or even to submit to the least humiliations for the love of him!

Consider 2ndly, the sweet invitation of our Lord, St. Matt. xi. 28, 29, calling us to 'come to him, and to take up his yoke upon us, and to learn of him because he is meek and humble of heart,' and promising us 'refreshment and rest for our souls' upon our compliance with this invitation. O what encouragements are here, my soul, to engage us to spare no pains in learning in this heavenly school of humility, opened by the Son of God, and to make us quite in love with the study of truth! a most excellent master! The Son of God himself, the sovereign truth! Blessed schoolfellows, all the saints of God and favourites of heaven! A most excellent science, which brings the soul through the gate of her own unworthiness to the contemplation of her God, the pure truth! Excellent fruits, the peace of the soul, refreshment and rest from her labours and burdens, a victory over all her passions, and a happy acquisition of all other virtues! O let us frequent this heavenly school of Christ!

Consider 3rdly, the great example of humility given us by the Son of God, 'who being in the form of God,' (true God no less than his Father,) and therefore 'thought it no robbery to be equal with God, yet debased himself, taking the form of a servant, viz., the servile nature of man, and humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the most disgraceful death of the Cross,' Philip. ii. 6, 7, 8. His whole life was full of lessons of humility. He chose to be born in a stable; to be circumcised as a sinner; to flee into Egypt, as if he were unable to resist a petty mortal; to be brought up in poverty and labour; to work at a laborious mechanical trade; to be obedient to his creatures; to be baptized amongst sinners; to suffer himself to be tempted by the devil; to make choice of the poorer and meaner sort of men for his companions and disciples; to make himself as their servant, even to the washing of their feet; to fly from honours and applause, to conceal his glory; to enjoin secrecy with regard to his wonderful works; and to embrace on all occasions, both in life and death, whatsoever was most humbling and most despicable in the eyes of men. O divine Jesus, teach us to follow the blessed example! O teach us to be meek and humble of heart like thee, that so we may be thy disciples indeed!

Conclude to set always before your eyes the life and doctrine of Jesus Christ, in order to conform yourself to his divine maxims and examples, and to learn of him to be truly humble. No other master but he can effectually teach you this divine lesson.

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