But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
The popular definition or conception of meekness is not the scriptural one in two particulars; for, in the first place, the popular conception of meekness pictures it as a state of mind or mood of spirit in one man toward another man; whereas the scriptural idea makes it appear as a state of mind or mood of soul which a man has toward his God. I can be a meek man, for instance, and not be meek toward man at all; meekness relates to God. In ether words, whatever definition you put upon meekness, it does not describe my feelings toward or for others; it simply describes the attitude of my mind and soul towards the Deity. And this distinction, you can see, is of a character to change the entire line of thought running through the discourse. If meekness were a term descriptive of a state of a man's feelings toward his fellow-men, the line of thought would be in one direction; but if meekness be a term descriptive of a man's feelings toward his God, then the line of thought would run in altogether a different direction. To illustrate: When the Bible speaks of Moses as being the meekest man, does it describe the state of his disposition or the mannerism of his bearing toward his fellows; or does it describe the state of his disposition and the mannerism of his bearing toward the Deity? The apprehension of this distinction shed the first light my mind received on this subject: and I said, Very well; if meekness has nothing to do with .one's attitude toward his fellow-men, but is strictly and beautifully descriptive of the soul's feeling toward God, I know which way the path of my examination lies. This is the first difference I discerned between the popular and the scriptural conception of meekness. The second difference is as to the quality of meekness, or its character as a feeling. What is the feeling that we call meekness? We have found out what the proper object of it is; now let us discover, if we may, what the feeling is. In the first place, mark what it is not: it is not weak. Many a man and many a woman who has been filled with meekness toward God, has at the same time stood up in the might of a majestic strength and defied the power of man, even when that power appeared in the terrible guise of cruellest death. Then again, here is another characteristic of meekness. The Saviour said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." In other words, a man in whose soul is developed the filial fear of God-in whose soul is this inner strength which enables him in. the face of all human opposition to do right even at the cost of his life — is a man fitted to possess the whole earth. Pile all the treasures of the world into one heap; bring together its gems, its precious metals, its priceless ores, its beauties that grow out of the earth and hang pendant from the skies — bring these all together, I say, and over against them place the man who fears God and does not fear man, and he is worthy to possess them, is fit to use them, is great and noble enough to own and handle them. Not only so; but the soul that has in it this feeling toward God has in it also a sensing power to receive the richness of all this accumulated wealth. Nothing but love can appreciate the gifts of love; and love does appreciate such gifts invariably. So then, we conclude that meekness is —
1. Descriptive of a state of mind and soul toward God and not man;
2. Is strong and not weak;
3. Is expressive of a disposition that can receive of the beauty of the Lord as it stands revealed in the earth, and hence might truly be said to inherit it. It is not the kings of the earth, not its warriors, not those who are mighty in their command of material forces, and who are only thus mighty, that shall inherit the earth; not those who are proud in the sufficiency of their self-conceit, that shall own the earth; but those who have within them this spiritual enlightenment to apprehend the spirit that is hidden from eyes not thus enlightened, those who are humble before God, those who are meek, and therefore fully and sweetly receptive in their spirits, that shall possess the untold treasures which God bestows upon those that love Him. And if this were the day and the hour of Divine inspection and decision, if this were the moment for us all to be judged as to our inward state and ripeness of capacity, should we be of the number of those who are meek — should we be of the number of those within whom and upon whom the Divine Spirit has moved with its enlightening and refining influence? In thinking of this trait being fostered in your disposition, do not think of it as you stand related to men; but think of it as if you were not connected with men at all — as if there were no men living, if that will help your imagination, and you stood connected with God only. This brings out the blessed ministry of meekness. It connects us with God. And this makes it priceless to the soul; for what is so priceless as that which binds us so closely and happily to Him?
(W. H. Murray, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,