(Guest Sermon by Rev. Anthony Forster)
“Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Matt. 11:29
To the sincere Christian, whose heart is filled with the love of truth, nothing affords so pleasing and so instructive a subject for meditation as the character of our Lord. In his conduct we beheld all his divine precepts of moral duty illustriously exemplified.
So truly was he the light of the world, and so evidently was he a teacher sent from God, that what he taught he practiced; thereby setting an example for his followers, as well as enlightening them by his instruction. A moral glory ever adorned his presence and his conduct; for in him shone "the brightness of his Father's glory."
Surely, then, wisely meditating on his character and conduct is calculated to fill the heart of the pious believer with inexpressible delight. For, from him, must we receive all those examples of moral excellence which constitute the image of God in the soul; and without which, we never can, in any degree, be assimilated to the divine perfection; or be at all prepared for the enjoyment of Heaven.
That trait in our Savior’s character, my friends, of which our text reminds us, and to which I would invite your most serious attention, is one of the happiest and most interesting graces which the Gospel inculcates. It is, indeed, a high attainment in virtue; for the peaceful possession of which, no self-denying sacrifice can be too great.
Meekness is the result of a due self-knowledge and self-control, of wise reflection and pious exertion. It has for its object, the immediate subjection of those turbulent dispositions of our nature, which would urge us to acts of violence. It particularly keeps in view the suppression of the passion of anger; and thereby prevents all those unhappy consequences which would flow from its unbridled indulgence. It guards us against passionate storms without, and unhappy agitations within - against the provocations of others, and the vengeful emotions of our own breasts.
Says Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls.” And, on another occasion, “Blessed are the meek,” he proclaimed, “for they shall inherit the earth.” And, says the Psalmist; “The meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” May God grant that we may so far drink in his spirit, that that mind which was in him may be also in us, that, like him, we may be "meek and lowly in heart.”
Let, then, the words of our Savior be ever present on our minds, and by zealously striving thus to possess the mind which was in Christ Jesus our Master, in humble dependence on God’s divine assistance, we shall not be disappointed in the end.
Rev. Anthony Forster (Jan. 11, 1785- Jan. 18, 1820) was a former Presbyterian minister who converted to Unitarianism and was founding pastor of Second Independent Church of Charleston, SC in 1817.