3065. The Third Beatitude

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No. 3065-53:541. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, December 11, 1873, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, November 7, 1907.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. {Mt 5:5}


For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3065, “Third Beatitude, The” 3066}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3155, “Beatitudes, The” 3156}

   Exposition on Mt 5:1-12 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3065, “Third Beatitude, The” 3066 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Mt 5:1-30 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3155, “Beatitudes, The” 3156 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ps 149 Mt 5:1-12 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2508, “Beautiful For Ever” 2509 @@ "Exposition"}


1. I have often reminded you that the beatitudes in this chapter rise one above the other, and spring out of each other, and that those that come before are always necessary for those that follow after. This third beatitude, “Blessed are the meek,” could not have stood first, — it would have been quite out of place there. When a man is converted, the first operation of the grace of God within his soul is to give him true poverty of spirit, so the first beatitude is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” The Lord first makes us know our emptiness, and so humbles us; and then, next, he makes us mourn over the deficiencies that are so obvious in us. Then comes the second beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn.” First there is a true knowledge of ourselves; and then a sacred grief arising out of that knowledge. Now, no man ever becomes truly meek, in the Christian sense of that word, until he first knows himself, and then begins to mourn and lament that he is so far short of what he ought to be. Self-righteousness is never meek; the man who is proud of himself will be quite sure to be hard-hearted in his dealings with others. To reach this rung of the ladder of light, he must first set his feet on the other two. There must be poverty of spirit and mourning of heart before there will come that gracious meekness of which our text speaks.

2. Note too, that this third beatitude is of a higher order than the other two. There is something positive in it concerning virtue. The first two are rather expressive of deficiency, but here there is something supplied. A man is poor in spirit; that is, he feels that he lacks a thousand things that he ought to possess. The man mourns; that is, he laments over his state of spiritual poverty. But now there is something really given to him by the grace of God; — not a negative quality, but a positive proof of the work of the Holy Spirit within his soul, so that he has become meek. The first two characters that receive a blessing appear to be wrapped up in themselves. The man is poor in spirit; that relates to himself. His mourning is his own personal mourning which ends when he is comforted; but the meekness has to do with other people. It is true that it has a relationship to God, but a man’s meekness is especially towards his fellow men. He is not simply meek within himself; his meekness is revealed in his dealings with others. You would not speak of a hermit, who never saw a fellow creature, as being meek; the only way in which you could prove whether he was meek would be to put him with those who would try his temper. So that this meekness is a virtue, larger, more expansive, working in a wider sphere than the first two characteristics which Christ has pronounced blessed. It is superior to the others, as it should be, since it grows out of them; yet, at the same time, as there is through all of the beatitudes, a fall parallel with the rise, so it is here. In the first case, the man was poor, that was low; in the second case, the man was mourning, that also was low; but if he kept his mourning to himself, he might still seem great among his fellow men. But now he has come to be meek among them, — lowly and humble in the midst of society, so that he is going lower and lower; yet he is rising with spiritual exaltation, although he is sinking concerning personal humiliation, and so has become more truly gracious.

3. Now, having spoken of the context of this beatitude, we will make two enquiries with the view of expounding it. They are these, — first, who are the meek? and, secondly, how and in what sense can they be said to inherit the earth?

4. I. First, then, WHO ARE THE MEEK?

5. I have already said that they are those who have been made poor in spirit by God, and who have been made to mourn before God, and have been comforted; but here we learn that they are also meek, that is, lowly and gentle in mind before God and before men. They are meek before God, and good old Watson divides that quality under two points, namely, that they are submissive to his will, and flexible to his Word. May these two very expressive qualities be found in each one of us!

6. So the truly meek are, first of all, submissive to God’s will. Whatever God wills, they will. They are of the mind of that shepherd, on Salisbury Plain, of whom good Dr. Stenhouse enquired, “What kind of weather shall we have tomorrow?” “Well,” replied the shepherd, “we shall have the kind of whether that pleases me.” The doctor then asked, “What do you mean?” And the shepherd answered, “What weather pleases God always pleases me.” “Shepherd,” said the doctor, “your lot seems somewhat hard.” “Oh, no, sir!” he replied, “I do not think so; for it abounds with mercies.” “But you have to work very hard, do you not?” “Yes,” he answered, “there is a good deal of labour, but that is better than being lazy.” “But you have to endure many hardships, do you not?” “Oh, yes, sir!” he said, “a great many; but then I do not have so many temptations as those people have who live in the midst of towns, and I have more time for meditating on my God. So I am perfectly satisfied that where God has placed me is the best position I could be in.” With such a happy, contented spirit as that, those who are meek do not quarrel with God. They do not talk, as some foolish people do, of having been born under a wrong star, and placed in circumstances unfavourable to their development. And even when they are struck by God’s rod, they do not rebel against him, and call him a hard Master; but they are either dumb with silence, and do not open their mouth because God has done it, or if they do speak, it is to ask for grace that the trial they are enduring may be sanctified to them, or they may even rise so high in grace as to boast in infirmities, so that the power of Christ may rest on them. The proud-hearted may, if they wish, arraign their Maker, and the thing formed may say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” But these men of grace will not do so. It is enough for them if God wills anything; if he wills it, so let it be, — Solomon’s throne or Job’s dunghill; they desire to be equally happy wherever the Lord may place them, or however he may deal with them.

7. They are also flexible to God’s Word; if they are really meek, they are always willing to bend. They do not imagine what the truth ought to be, and then come to the Bible for texts to prove what they think should be there; but they go to the inspired Book with a candid mind, and they pray with the psalmist, “Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” And when, in searching the Scriptures, they find deep mysteries which they cannot comprehend, they believe where they cannot understand; and where, sometimes, different parts of Scripture seem to conflict with each other, they leave the explanation to the great Interpreter who alone can make everything plain. When they find doctrines that are contrary to their own notions, and hard for flesh and blood to receive, they yield themselves up to the Divine Spirit, and pray, “What we do not know, teach to us.” When the meek in spirit find in the Word of God any precept, they seek to obey it at once. They do not criticise it or ask if they can avoid it, or raise that oft-repeated question, “Is it essential for salvation?” They are not so selfish that they would do nothing unless salvation depends on it; they love their God so much that they desire to obey even the least command that he gives, simply out of love for him. The meek in spirit are like a photographer’s sensitive plates, and as the Word of God passes before them, they desire to have its image imprinted on their hearts. Their hearts are the fleshy tablets on which the mind of God is recorded; God is the Writer, and they become living epistles, written, not with ink, but with the finger of the living God. So they are meek towards God.

8. But meekness is a quality which also relates largely to men; and I think it means, first, that the man is humble. He bears himself among his fellow men, not as a Caesar who, as Shakespeare says, does “bestride the narrow world like a Colossus,” beneath whose huge legs ordinary men may walk, and peep about to find themselves dishonourable graves; but he knows that he is only a man, and that the best of men are only men at the best, and he does not even claim to be one of the best of men. He knows himself to be less than the least of all saints; and, in some respects, the very chief of sinners. Therefore he does not expect to have the first place in the synagogue, nor the highest seat at the feast; but he is quite satisfied if he may pass among his fellow men as a notable example of the power of God’s grace, and may be known by them as one who is a great debtor to the lovingkindness of the Lord. He does not set himself up to be a very superior being. If he is of high birth, he does not boast about it; if he is of low birth, he does not try to put himself on a level with those who are in a higher rank of life. He is not one who boasts of his wealth, or of his talents; he knows that a man is not judged by God by any of these things; and if the Lord is pleased to give him much grace, and to make him very useful in his service, he only feels that he owes all the more to his Master, and is all the more responsible to him. So he lies all the lower before God, and walks all the more humbly among men. The meek-spirited man is always of a humble temperament and disposition. He is the very opposite of the proud man who, you feel must be a person of note, at any rate to himself; and to whom you know that you must give way, unless you would have an altercation with him. He is a gentleman who always expects to have his topgallants {a} flying in all weather, he must always have his banner borne in front of him, and everyone else must pay respect to him. The great “I” stands conspicuous in him at all times. He lives in the first house on the street, in the best room, in the front parlour; and when he wakes up in the morning, he shakes hands with himself, and congratulates himself on being such a fine fellow as he is! That is the very opposite of being meek; and, therefore, humility, although it is not all that there is in meekness, is one of the chief characteristics of it.

9. Out of this grows gentleness of spirit. The man is gentle; he does not speak harshly; his tones are not imperious, his spirit is not domineering. He will often give up what he thinks to be lawful, because he does not think it is expedient for the good of others. He seeks to be a true brother among his brethren, thinks himself most honoured when he can be the doorkeeper of the house of the Lord, or perform any menial service for the household of faith. I know some professing Christians who are very harsh and repulsive. You would not think of going to tell them your troubles; you could not open your heart to them. They do not seem to be able to come down to your level. They are up on a mountain, and they speak down to you as a poor creature far below them. That is not the true Christian spirit; that is not being meek. The Christian who is really superior to others among whom he moves is just the man who lowers himself to the level of the lowest for the general good of all. He imitates his Master, who, though he was equal with God, “made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant.” And as a result, he is loved and trusted as his Master was, and even little children come to him, and he does not repel them. He is gentle towards them, as a loving mother avoids all harshness in dealing with her children.

10. In addition to being humble and gentle, the meek are patient. They know “it is necessary that offences come”; yet they are too meek either to give offence or to take offence. If others grieve them, they put up with it. They do not merely forgive seven times, but seventy times seven; in fact, they often do not feel as if anything had been done that needed any forgiveness, for they have not taken it as an insult; they consider that a mistake was made, so they are not angry about it. He may be angry for a moment; he would not be a man if he were not. But there is such a thing as being angry, and yet not sinning; and the meek man turns his anger entirely on the evil, and away from the person who did the wrong, and is as ready to show him kindness as if he had never transgressed at all. If there should be anyone here who is of an angry spirit, kindly take home these remarks, and try to mend that matter, for a Christian must get the better of an angry temper. Little pots soon boil over; and I have known some professing Christians, who are such very little pots, that the smallest fire has made them boil over. When you never meant anything to hurt their feelings, they have been terribly hurt. The simplest remark has been taken as an insult, and a construction put on things that never was intended, and they make their brethren offenders for a word, or for half a word, indeed, and even for not saying a word. Sometimes, if a man does not see them in the street through being short-sighted, they are sure he passed them by on purpose, and would not speak to them because they are not so well off as he is. Whether a thing is done or is left undone, it equally fails to please them. They are always on the alert for some reason for annoyance, and almost remind one of the Irishman at Donnybrook Fair, trailing his coat in the dirt, and asking for someone to step on it, so that he may have the pleasure of knocking that someone down. When I hear of anyone like that losing his temper, I always pray that he may not find it again, for such tempers are best lost. The meek-spirited man may be, naturally, very hot and fiery, but he has had grace given to him to keep his temper in subjection. He does not say, “That is my constitution, and I cannot help it,” as so many do. God will never excuse us because of our constitution; his grace is given to us to cure our evil constitutions, and to kill our corruptions. We are not to spare any Amalekites because they are called constitutional sins, but we are to bring them all out, — even Agag who goes delicately, — and kill them before the Lord, who can make us more than conquerors over every sin, whether constitutional or otherwise.

11. But since this is a wicked world, and there are some men who will persecute us, and others who will try to rob us of our rights, and do us serious injury, the meek man goes beyond merely bearing what has to be borne, for he freely forgives the injury that is done to him. It is a bad sign when anyone refuses to forgive another. I have heard of a father saying that his child should never darken his door again. Does that father know that he can never enter heaven while he cherishes such a spirit as that? I have heard of one saying, “I will never forgive So-and-so.” Do you know that God will never hear your prayer for forgiveness until you forgive others? That is the very condition which Christ taught his disciples to present: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” If you take your brother by the throat, because he owes you a hundred pence, can you think that God will forgive you the thousand talents which you owe to him? So the meek-spirited man forgives those who wrong him; he thinks that injuries are permitted to be done to him as trials of his grace, to see whether he can forgive them, and he does so, and does so very heartily. It used to be said of Archbishop Cranmer, “Do my lord of Canterbury a bad turn, and he will be a friend to you as long as you live.” That was a noble spirit, to take the man who had been his enemy, and to make him henceforth to be a friend. This is the way to imitate him who prayed for his murderers, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing”; and this is the very opposite of a revengeful spirit. There are some who say that they have been wronged, and they will retaliate; but “retaliation” is not a Christian word. “Revenge” is not a word that ought to be found in a Christian’s dictionary; he thinks it to be of the Babylonian dialect, and of the language of Satan. His only revenge is to heap coals of fire on his adversary’s head by doing him all the good he can in return for the evil that he has done.

12. I think that meekness also involves contentment. The meek-spirited man is not ambitious; he is satisfied with what God provides for him. He does not say that his soul loathes the daily manna, and the water from the rock never loses its sweetness to his taste. His motto is, “God’s providence is my inheritance.” He has his ups and his downs, but he blesses the Lord that his God is a God of the hills, and also of the valleys; and if he can have God’s face shining on him, he cares little whether it is hills or valleys on which he walks. He is content with what he has, and he says, “Enough is as good as a feast.” Whatever happens to him, since his times are in God’s hand, it is well with him, in the best and most emphatic sense. The meek man is no Napoleon who will wade through human blood to reach a throne, and shut the gates of mercy on mankind. The meek man is no miser, hoarding up, with an all-devouring greed, everything that comes to his hand, and adding house to house, and field to field, as long as he lives. The meek man has a laudable desire to make use of his God-given talents, and to find for himself a position in which he may do more good to his fellow men; but he is not unrestful, anxious, fretful, grieving, grasping; he is contented and thankful.

13. Put those five qualities together, and you have the truly meek man, — humble, gentle, patient, forgiving, and contented; the very opposite of the man who is proud, harsh, angry, revengeful, and ambitious. It is only the grace of God, as it works in us by the Holy Spirit, that can make us so meek. There have been some who have thought themselves meek when they were not. The Fifth Monarchy men, {b} in Cromwell’s day, said that they were meek, and that they were, therefore, to inherit the earth; so they wanted to turn other men out of their estates and houses so that they might have them, and by it they proved that they were not meek; for if they had been, they would have been content with what they had, and let other people enjoy what belonged to them. There are some people who are very gentle and meek as long as no one crosses them. All of us are remarkably good-tempered while we have our own way; but the true meekness, which is a work of grace, will stand the fire of persecution, and will endure the test of enmity, cruelty, and wrong, even as the meekness of Christ did on the cross of Calvary.

14. II. Now, in the second place, let us think of HOW THE MEEK INHERIT THE EARTH.

15. Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” This promise is similar to the inspired declaration of Paul, “Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of what is to come.” So, first, it is the meek man who inherits the earth, for he is the earth’s conqueror. He is the conqueror of the world wherever he goes. William the Conqueror came to England with sword and fire, but the Christian conqueror wins his victories in a superior manner by the weapons of kindness and meekness. In the Puritan times, there was an eminent and godly minister, named Mr. Deering, who has left some writings that are still valuable. While sitting dining one day, a graceless fellow insulted him by throwing a glass of beer in his face. The good man simply took his handkerchief, wiped his face, and went on eating his dinner. The man provoked him a second time by doing the same thing, and he even did it a third time with many oaths and blasphemy. Mr. Deering made no reply, but simply wiped his face; and, on the third occasion, the man came, and fell at his feet, and said that the spectacle of his Christian meekness, and the look of tender, compassionate love that Mr. Deering had cast on him, had quite subdued him. So the good man was the conqueror of the bad one. No Alexander was ever greater than the man who could bear such insults as that. And holy Mr. Dodd, when he spoke to a man who was swearing in the street, received a blow in the mouth that knocked out two of his teeth. The holy man wiped the blood from his face, and said to his assailant, “You may knock out all my teeth if you will permit me just to speak to you so that your soul may be saved”; and the man was won by this Christian forbearance. It is amazing what rough natures will yield before gentle natures. After all, it is not the strong who conquer, but the weak. There has been a long enmity, as you know, between the wolves and the sheep; and the sheep have never taken to fighting, yet they have won the victory, and there are more sheep than wolves in the world today. In our own country, the wolves are all dead, but the sheep have multiplied by tens of thousands. The anvil stands still while the hammer beats on it, but one anvil wears out many hammers. And gentleness and patience will ultimately win the day. At this present moment, who is the mightier? Caesar with his legions or Christ with his cross? We know who will be the victor before long, — Mohammed with his sharp scimitar or Christ with his doctrine of love. When all earthly forces are overthrown, Christ’s kingdom will still stand. Nothing is mightier than meekness, and it is the meek who inherit the earth in that sense.

16. They inherit the earth in another sense, namely, that they enjoy what they have. If you find me a man who thoroughly enjoys life, I will tell you at once that he is a meek, quiet-spirited man. Enjoyment of life does not consist in the possession of riches. There are many rich men who are utterly miserable, and there are many poor men who are equally miserable. You may have misery, or you may have happiness, according to your state of heart in any condition of life. The meek man is thankful, happy, and contented, and it is contentment that makes life enjoyable. It is so at our common meals. Here comes a man home to his dinner; he bows his head, and says, “For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful”; and then opens his eyes, and grumbles, “What! cold mutton again?” His spirit is very different from that of the good old Christian who, when he reached home, found two herrings and two or three potatoes on the table, and he pronounced over them this blessing, “Heavenly Father, we thank you that you have ransacked both earth and sea to find us this provision.” His dinner was not so good as the other man’s, but he was content with it, and that made it better. Oh, the grumblings that some have, when rolling in wealth, and the enjoyment that others have, where they have very little, for the dinner of herbs is sweeter than the stalled ox if contentment is only there. “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses,” but in the meek and quiet spirit which thanks God for whatever he pleases to give.

17. “Oh!” says someone, “but that is not inheriting the earth; it is only inheriting a part of it.” Well, it is inheriting as much of it as we need, and there is a sense in which the meek do really inherit the whole earth. I have often felt, when I have been in a meek and quiet spirit, as if everything around belonged to me. I have walked through a gentleman’s park, and I have been very much obliged to him for keeping it in such order on purpose for me to walk through it. I have gone inside his house, and seen his picture gallery, and I have been very grateful to him for buying such grand pictures, and I have hoped that he would buy a few more so that I might see them when I came next time. I was very glad that I did not have to buy them, and to pay the servants to watch over them, and that everything was done for me. And I have sometimes looked from a hill, on some far-reaching plain, or some quiet village, or some manufacturing town, crowded with houses and shops, and I have felt that they were all mine, although I did not have the trouble of collecting the rents which people perhaps might not like to pay. I had only to look over it all as the sun shone on it, and then to look up to heaven, and say, “My Father, this is all yours; and, therefore, it is all mine; for I am an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.” So, in this sense, the meek-spirited man inherits the whole earth.

18. They also inherits it in another sense, — that is to say, whatever other men have, he is glad to think that they have it. Perhaps he is walking, and gets weary; someone comes riding by, and he says to himself, “Thank God that man does not need to walk, and get tired, as I do. I am glad there is someone who is free from that trial.” He works very hard, and perhaps earns very little; but he lives next door to a working man who has twice his wages, and he says, “Thank God that my neighbour does not have such a pinch as I have; I should not like to see him in such a plight as I am in.” Sometimes, when I am ill, someone comes in, and says, “I have been to see someone who is worse than you are”; but I never get any comfort out of such a remark as that, and my usual answer is, “You have made me feel worse than I was before by telling me that there is someone worse even than I am.” The greater comfort for a meek man is this, “Though I am ill, there are plenty of people who are well”; or this, “Though I am blind, I bless God that my dear brethren can see the flowers and the sun”; or this, “Though I am lame, I am thankful that others can run”; or this, “Though I am depressed in spirit, I am glad that there are sweet-voiced singers”; or this, “Though I am an owl, I rejoice that there are larks to soar and sing, and eagles to mount towards the sun.” The meek-spirited man is glad to know that other people are happy, and their happiness is his happiness; he will have a great number of heavens, for everyone else’s heaven will be a heaven to him. It will be a heaven to him to know that so many other people are in heaven, and for each one whom he sees there he will praise the Lord. Meekness gives us the enjoyment of what is other people’s, yet they have none the less because of our enjoyment of it.

19. Again, the meek-spirited man inherits the earth in this sense, — if there is anyone who is good anywhere near him, he is sure to see him. I have known people to join the church, and after they have been a little while in it, they have said, “There is no love there.” Now, when a brother says, “There is no love there,” I know that he has been looking in the mirror, and that his own reflection has suggested his remark. Such people cry out about the deceptions and hypocrisies in the professing church, and they have some reason for doing so; only it is a pity that they cannot also see the good people, the true saints who are there. The Lord still has a people who love and fear him, a people who will be his in the day when he makes up his jewels; and it is a pity if we are not able to see what God admires so much. If we are meek, we shall all the more readily see the excellencies of other people. That is a very beautiful passage, in the second part of “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” which tells that, when Christiana and Mercy had both been bathed in the bath, and clothed in the fine linen, white and clean, “they began to esteem each other better than themselves.” If we also do this, we shall not think so badly as some of us now do of this poor present life, but shall go through it thanking God, and praising his name, and so inheriting the earth.

20. With a gentle temperament, and a quiet spirit, and grace to keep you so, you will be inheriting the earth under any circumstances. If trouble should come, you will bow to it, as the willow bows to the wind, and so escapes the injury that happens to sturdier trees. If there should come little vexations, you will not allow yourself to be vexed by them; but will say, “With a little patience, they will all pass away.” I think I never admired Archbishop Leighton more than when I read a certain incident that is recorded in his life. He lived in a small house in Scotland, and had only a man-servant beside himself in the house. John, the man-servant, was very forgetful; and, one morning, when he got up before his master, he thought he would like to have a day’s fishing, so he went off, and locked his master in. He fished until late in the evening, forgot all about his master, and when he came back, what do you think the bishop said to him? He simply said, “John, if you go out for a day’s fishing another time, kindly leave me the key.” He had had a happy day of prayer and study all by himself. If it had been some of us, we should have been fuming, and fretting, and getting up a nice lecture for John when he came back; and he richly deserved it; but I do not suppose it was worth while for the good man to put himself out about him. The incident is, I think, a good illustration of our text.

21. But the text means more than I have yet said, for the promise, “They shall inherit the earth,” may be read, “they shall inherit the land,” that is, the promised land, the heavenly Canaan. These are the men who shall inherit heaven, for up there they are all meek-spirited. There are no contentions there; pride cannot enter there. Anger, wrath, and malice never pollute the atmosphere of the celestial city. There, all bow before the King of kings, and all rejoice in communion with him and with each other. Ah, beloved, if we are ever to enter heaven, we must fling away ambition, and discontentment, and wrath, and self-seeking, and selfishness. May God’s grace purge us of all these; for, as long as any of that evil leaven is in our soul, where God is we cannot go.

22. And then, dear friends, the text means even more than that, — we shall eventually inherit this earth. David wrote, “The meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” After this earth has been purified by fire, after God shall have burned the works of men to ashes, and every trace of corrupt humanity shall have been destroyed by the fervent heat, then this earth shall be recreated, and angels shall descend with new songs to sing, and the New Jerusalem shall come down out of heaven from God in all her glory. And then on this earth, where once was war, the clarion shall ring no more; there shall be neither swords nor spears, and men shall learn the arts of war no more. The meek shall then possess the land, and every hill and valley shall be glad, and every fruitful plain shall ring with shoutings of joy, and peace, and gladness, throughout the long millennial day. May the Lord send it, and may we all be among the meek who shall possess the new Eden, whose flowers shall never wither, and where no serpent’s trail shall ever be seen!

23. But this must be the work of grace. We must be born again, or else our proud spirits will never be meek. And if we have been born again, let it be our joy, as long as we live, to show that we are the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, with whose gracious words I close my discourse: “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” So may it be, for Christ’s sake! Amen.


{a} Topgallant: Naut. A top at the head of the topmast, and so in a loftier position than the original top-castle or top. OED. Hence topgallants are the highest sails on a mast. Editor.
{b} The Fifth Monarchists or Fifth Monarchy Men were active from 1649 to 1660 during the Interregnum, following the English Civil Wars of the 17th century. They took their name from a prophecy in the Book of Daniel that four ancient monarchies (Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman) would precede the kingdom of Christ. They also referred to the year 1666 and its relationship to the biblical Number of the Beast indicating the end of earthly rule by carnal human beings. They were one of a number of nonconformist dissenting groups that emerged around this time. See Explorer "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Monarchists"

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Mt 5:1-12}

1. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain:

For convenience, and tranquillity, and to be out of the way of traffic, he went up into a mountain. Elevated doctrines would seem most at home on the high places of the earth.

1. And when he was seated,

For that was the mode of Eastern teaching,

1. His disciples came to him:

They made the inner ring around him, and others gathered around them.

2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, — 

Chrysostom says that he taught them even when he did not open his mouth; his very silence was instructive. But when he did open his mouth, what streams of wisdom flowed out! He “taught them.” He did not open his mouth to make a speech, he was a Teacher, so his aim was to teach those who came to him; and his ministers best follow their Lord’s example when they keep to the vein of teaching. The pulpit is not the place for the display of oratory and eloquence, but for real instruction: “He opened his mouth, and taught them,”

2, 3. Saying, “Blessed — 

The Old Testament closes with the word “curse.” The New Testament begins here, in the preaching of Christ, with the word “Blessed.” He has changed the curse into a blessing: “Blessed” — 

3. Are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

This is a paradox that puzzles many, for the poor in spirit often seem to have nothing; yet they have the kingdom of heaven, so they have everything. He who thinks the least of himself is the man of whom God thinks the most. You are not poor in God’s sight if you are poor in spirit.

4. Blessed are those who mourn: for they shall be comforted.

They are not only poor in spirit, but they are weeping, lamenting, mourning. Worldlings are frivolous, frolicsome, light-hearted, and loving everything that is akin to mirth; yet it is not said of them, but of those who mourn, that “they shall be comforted.”

5. Blessed are the meek:

Not your high-spirited, quick-tempered men, who will put up with no insult, your bullying, lofty ones, who are always ready to resent any real or imagined disrespect, there is no blessing here for them; but blessed are the gentle, those who are ready to be thought nothing of, — 

5. For they shall inherit the earth.

Some say that the best way to get through the world is to swagger along with a coarse impudence, and to push out of your way all who may be in it; but there is no truth in that idea. The truth lies in quite another direction: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

6. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

The course of these beatitudes is like going downstairs. They began with spiritual poverty, went on to mourning, came down to gentle-spiritedness, and now we come to hunger and thirst. Yet we have been going up all the time, for here we read, “They shall be filled.” What more can we have than full satisfaction?

7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

“The merciful” are those who are always ready to forgive, always ready to help the poor and needy, always ready to overlook what they might well condemn; and “they shall obtain mercy.”

8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

When the heart is washed, the dirt is taken from the mental eye. The heart that loves God is connected with an understanding that perceives God. There is no way of seeing God until the heart is renewed by sovereign grace. It is not greatness of intellect, but purity of affection that enables us to see God.

9. Blessed are the peacemakers:

Not only the passively peaceful, but the actively peaceful, who try to rectify mistakes, and to end all quarrels in a peaceful way.

9. For they shall be called the children of God.

They shall not only be the children of God, but men shall call them so; they shall recognise in them the likeness to the peace-making God.

10. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

They have it now, they are participating in it already; for, as Christ was persecuted, and he is again persecuted in them, as they are partakers of his sufferings, so they are sharers in his kingdom.

11, 12. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be very glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

You have an elevation by persecution; you are lifted into the peerage of martyrdom, though you occupy only an inferior place in it, yet you are in it; therefore, “rejoice, and be very glad.”


Sermons on the Beatitudes:


{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3155, “The Beatitudes” 3156}


{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3156, “The First Beatitude” 3157}


{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3065, “The Third Beatitude” 3066}


{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2103, “The Hunger and Thirst Which Are Blessed” 2104}


{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3157, “The Fourth Beatitude” 3158}


{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3158, “The Fifth Beatitude” 3159}


{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3159, “The Sixth Beatitude” 3160}


{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 422, “The Peacemaker” 413}


John Ploughman’s Almanac for 1908, and Spurgeon’s Illustrated Almanac for 1908.

The two Almanacs are once more ready for publication, and it is believed that they will prove fully equal to their predecessors. The great broadsheet contains 366 proverbial sayings, &c., and five pictures of farm scenes. Five of the illustrated articles in the Book Almanac are from the writings of C. H. Spurgeon, and the 366 texts for 1908 have been selected by Pastor Thomas Spurgeon. The Almanacs are one penny each, and can be obtained from Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings, London, or through all booksellers and colporteurs.

The OCR quality of this sermon was poor and contained many spurious comas, italics and corrupted or missing words. Editor.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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